Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Linda Stone, former VP at IBM and Microsoft now dedicates her life to studying "attention".

I highly recommend watching this video of her discussing her research - while average video quality, the content is extremely insightful.

May I have your attention please? - Linda Stone - SIME 09 from Ayman van Bregt.

My notes from the video:
1. Attention is our primary currency

2. Attention, expressed collectively defines a society, community and culture

2. She coined "Continuous Partial Attention" a state where we are continuously doing multiple tasks that require cognition. It creates a heightened state of crisis, similar to that of "fight or flight". She argues that we have become "communications centred" rather than highly productive when working. The implication is that the quality of our work likely suffers and with this modus we struggle to solve deep and difficult problems, that require uninterrupted thinking.

3. She talks of "Email Apnea" which is the temporary cessation of breath or shallow breathing when doing anything in front of a screen.

4. While technology has definitely increased our productivity, it has also compromised the quality of life by being "always on". We use technology to "stay on top of things" but it rarely works out that way and it creates a "artificial sense of constant crisis". in large doses this can have significant health implications, such as, cortisal burnout,

5. breathing is the body's master control for attention and cognition. with email apnea you are in "fight or flight" mode which is not optimal for deep problem solving and creative thinking

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