Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Worth reading: My Distraction Sickness -- And Yours, by Andrew Sullivan. 

Even though pulling out a few quotes (rather than letting you go a read the whole article) seems maybe counterproductive, more speed, more distraction, more imperfect distillation, I'm worried that you, the few who still venture into the quiet, won't have/make the time to read the whole article and I want to make sure you know how good it is. So here are a few of the most important points. 

"I tried reading books, but that skill now began to elude me. After a couple of pages, my fingers twitched for a keyboard. I tried meditation, but my mind bucked and bridled as I tried to still it. I got a steady workout routine, and it gave me the only relief I could measure for an hour or so a day. But over time in this pervasive virtual world, the online clamor grew louder and louder. Although I spent hours each day, alone and silent, attached to a laptop, it felt as if I were in a constant cacophonous crowd of words and images, sounds and ideas, emotions and tirades — a wind tunnel of deafening, deadening noise. So much of it was irresistible, as I fully understood. So much of the technology was irreversible, as I also knew. But I’d begun to fear that this new way of living was actually becoming a way of not-living."

"Every second absorbed in some trivia was a second less for any form of reflection, or calm, or spirituality. “Multitasking” was a mirage. This was a zero-sum question. I either lived as a voice online or I lived as a human being in the world that humans had lived in since the beginning of time." 


Sullivan chooses to be a human being for a while, and in the end returns to a half real/half virtual playing field, the one where we all battle. 



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