the child grows enormous but never grows up
…an exaggerated slowness that both resembles and permits extremely close slow attention to whatever’s being done.
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
I’ve been having a hard time reading books and finishing movies. I click through websites, vacantly aware that things are going on in the world, accustomed to the placid, oceanic motion of clicking, scanning, and window-resizing. I browse Wikipedia entries, looking through section headers to get an idea of something I know nothing about. I’ve gotten so caught up in the romance of the news cycle, in the ability to have infinite access to infinite information that the cache of my mind dumps out, leaving me empty-headed and forgetful.
The intro to Aaron Lake Smith’s excellent essay on what we all lose by giving ourselves to the digital world. Granted, this is not a new topic, but written with flare and honesty. Keep reading … (via utnereader)
In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: A scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: It consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.
Herbert Simon, 1976 (via bradofarrell)