Posts Tagged 'multitasking'

One Thing at a Time: Debunking Multitasking

Posted on October 17th, 2017 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Impact and Symptoms, Individual Solutions

Dinotopia is one of the lovelier literary utopias out there. Introduced as a lavishly illustrated book by James Gurney, and later made into a TV miniseries, it tells of a fictional island where intelligent dinosaurs and humans coexist and collaborate in a peaceful society; the absurdity of the premise is offset by Gurney’s magnificent illustrations. And although this blog seldom deals with dinosaurs, real or fictional, there is a point in the book that is relevant here. The code of Dinotopia The citizens of Dinotopia obey the ancient “Code of Dinotopia”, which consists of 11 short commandments, such as “Give.. Read more

An early observation on multitasking

Posted on May 25th, 2012 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

While browsing a forgotten bookshelf I found myself leafing through an old volume called “The scientist in action – a scientific study of his methods”, by one William H. George, a Physics professor from Sheffield. This book had been published in 1938 by Emerson Books, NY. And as I flipped the pages I happened to notice the following statement: It is one of the properties of man that if he tries to give attention to many things at once he becomes confused. Confusion of thought is a hindrance to scientific research… I have no idea who Mr. George was, but.. Read more

Wayda go, Ford! Stop driver distractions!

Posted on November 19th, 2010 · Posted in Individual Solutions

Driving and <anything other than driving> don’t mix well, as I recently pointed out. Unfortunately, the number of <things other than driving> that you can do in a car grows fast as new technologies turn our cars into mobile electronic appliances with ever more computing, communications and multimedia capabilities. The more screens, computers, GPS systems and cellular communications on board, the less will the driver keep his or her eyes on the road! It is encouraging, then, to read that Ford has responded to this issue and will introduce, in selected 2011 models, features specifically intended to prevent distraction. The.. Read more

Keep your hands on the wheel!

Posted on October 24th, 2010 · Posted in Impact and Symptoms

The silly, if cheerful, pop song from the fifties, “Seven little girls“,  gives us the chorus: All together now, one, two, three / Keep your mind on your driving / Keep your hands on the wheel / Keep your snoopy eyes on the road ahead / We’re having fun, sitting in the backseat / Kissing and a hugging with Fred! A somewhat improbable notion, considering that there were seven girls (plus Fred) in the back seat; but it has an important lesson: the driver should keep his mind on the driving, his eyes on the road, and – most obvious.. Read more

A good definition of Multitasking

Posted on October 13th, 2010 · Posted in Impact and Symptoms

I was lecturing about Information Overload and multitasking recently, and told my audience how the research data shows that trying to multitask makes you less efficient at each of the tasks you try to do in parallel. After the lecture, one attendee came up to me and gave me a lovely definition she had for Multitasking: Multitasking is a way to screw up a number of different things at once. I just had to share this gem with you! 

WiFi in the classroom: enabler or distraction?

Posted on April 9th, 2010 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

My friend Prof. Sheizaf Rafaeli of Haifa U writes a fascinating column in Calcalist where he examines our new digital world (if you’re one of my readers to whom Hebrew isn’t Greek, take a look!)   His last post examines the dilemma of WiFi use in university classrooms: some universities are turning the net off, to ensure students will listen to the lectures instead of mucking around in Facebook; others prefer to keep access available, claiming freedom of speech and the fact that with cellular web access the battle is lost in any case. Sheizaf personally advocates the second position, which.. Read more

A fine distinction about Multitasking

Posted on November 9th, 2009 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

A common fallacy I encounter repeatedly is that people – at any rate, the younger ones – are able to “Multitask”, that is, attend to multiple actions at once. Since the problem of interruptions in the workplace (and beyond) is a major component of Information Overload, this fallacy is supposed to be comforting. Unfortunately, it is a myth (to borrow from the succinct title of Dave Crenshaw’s book, The myth of multitasking). Discussing the subject with a friend, she made the point that what people are really doing when they “multitask” is spend some minutes doing one thing, then spend.. Read more