Wednesday, July 07, 2004


The dreaded word drudges up a nightmare. For many it means juggling numerous tasks at one's employment while trying to keep up with Jimmy's piano lessons and Susie's soccer game all while trying to keep one's head from spinning off.

An article in the latest Business Week suggests it's the new generation's mantra -- except it's not to be efficient in one's employment, rather it's for entertainment and gadgets. CJ, the college-aged multi-tasker, watches three TV's, plays a video game, surfs the net, and reads a magazine at the same time. No wonder grades are in the shitter. And no, I'm not kidding.

Every child in the US is diagnosed with ADD; maybe they just have what CJ so dutifully exhibits: an attention span of a two-year old. Maybe this type of "multitasking" is great for diversion from serious contemplation of anything beyond one inning of baseball, a quick hand of cyber poker, or a response to an IM, but I don't see why it is a positive "action". OK, they get to "read" more or "see" more, but the actual thinking part, or the understanding of anything, god forbid, complex, is lost in the matrix of entertainment overload.

seriously, students can't be asked to read, say, Hearts of Darkness as a senior because they don't have the time, skills, or attention span to read it, let alone think about the subtleties. Amen for the No Child Left Behind -- simplification at its best -- for the new generation of CJ's won't need to think -- they can entertain themselves into oblivion.

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