Good Day, God
Iʻve been READING again! I mean WHOLE books! And I have just learned WHY and how we all have the power to regain our ability to read and think. First of all, research shows that for the last 130 years our ability to pay attention has been dropping. No, it isnʻt just me . . . it isnʻt just you. It is US! Sune Lehmann, a professor of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at the Technical University of Denmark conducted studies to determine if it was just him — or if Society was actually changing.
Once he established it was indeed changing — he then designed a complex mathematical model to see if he could find out the various causes. One HUGE factor emerged. “You just have to flood the system with more information. The more information you pump in, the less time people can focus on any individual piece of it.” (page 32)
“We are collectively experiencing a more rapid exhaustion of attention resources.” What to do? We just need to live within the limits of our attention resources. Of course! Just like we live within our calorie budget and our financial budget. Yes, God, that does put it in perspective for me. . . as I am both a bit overweight and using a loan to make home improvements.
But it did help me to understand my bouts or insomnia. The middle of the night is as empty as my life gets. Kit is asleep. Our children back on the mainland are asleep. And questions I had intended to ask myself during the day — pop up! And I can actually find some answers — actually make plans. Dare I say, God, that You might find it easier to get my attention then too?
Two last thoughts: First, as I look around at the clutter on my desk, I realize just simple clutter makes it harder to focus. Second, the author Johann Hari, talks about the professor seeing a photo of Mark Zuckerberg standing in front of a room full of people all wearing virtual reality headsets. Mark was the only one “in reality.” And the professor realizes that soon there will be an upper class who ARE very aware of the need to protect their attention limits and their children’s — and then there will be the rest of us.
Kind of feel like that is now. . . Johann Hari goes on to explore 12 plus other factors that are making it difficult for us to focus. And I will continue to read and think and respond.
In the meantime — I’m continuing my no news policy — except print. And silencing all notification my phone makes. And treasuring silence. Maybe even clear out some clutter? Hmm? Do I hear a need for more contemplative prayer time?