Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Problem With Multitasking : The New Yorker

Tim Wu on Franz Kafka's time/task management technique and other multitasking topics
"While the brain is good at many things, it is rather bad at others. It’s not very good at achieving extreme states of concentration through sustained attention. It takes great training and effort to maintain attention on one object—in what Buddhists call concentration meditation—because the brain is highly susceptible to both voluntary and involuntary demands on its attention. Second, the brain is not good at conscious multitasking, or trying to pay active attention to more than one thing at once. Perhaps computer designers once hoped that our machines could train the brain to multitask more effectively, but recent research suggests that this effort has failed.
In short, we are easy to distract, and very bad at doing two or more things at the same time. Yet our computers, supposedly our servants, constantly distract us and ask us to process multiple streams of information at the same time. It can make you wonder, Just who is in charge here?"
The Problem With Multitasking : The New Yorker

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