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Showing posts from May, 2009

On attention

I sat down last night to read a book (David Rothkopf's Superclass , if you must know) and realised, for all my endless reading of magazines and listening to audio I hadn't actually soaked in the pleasure of pure unadulterated reading of books for a while. And then today I read Sam Anderson's piece in New York , "In Defense of Distraction" , on attention and the poverty thereof in the modern world, what with Twittering and Facebook. Which coincided with my belated reading of the Obama interview in Newsweek and in particular the part about how he manages his time . All of which made me wonder: having grown up very comfortable with distraction - reading while eating at dinner, that sort of thing - am I the sort of "digital native" Anderson talks about in the last page of his article, the person who can switch attention really well? Or is that really just fooling myself? I suppose it's a hard question to answer. I'd like to think I'm the form

Off the books

Megan McArdle at the Atlantic has some interesting follow-up on what was not in Edmund Andrews' (fascinating) book/ NYT piece ("My Personal Credit Crisis"), specifically on his wife's bankruptcies.

Wolfram Alpha and time spans

Tried out the much-hyped Wolfram Alpha and wasn't too impressed with the simple results of a date search. Maybe it's just me, but the difference between today (May 21) and Feb 24 should be 2 months and 27 days (i.e. counting from April 24), not 2 months and 25 days as Wolfram states. As someone pointed out, the algorithm seems to be counting March and April as the 2 months. the 4 days at the end of Feb and the 21 days of May, but that doesn't seem intuitively the way people count time spans. Otherwise the difference between May 25 and Feb 24 would be "2 months and 29 days", rather than "3 months and a day".

American Idol

Hey, they did what I thought they'd do on American Idol and have duets. Great idea. Although I have no idea why the judges were that harsh on Allison and not harsh enough on Danny. Hope she's not in trouble for "talking back". Funny that voters punish that. It ain't homeroom.