“The digitization of our lives hasn’t just created more information than any of us can realistically process, it’s more than we can fathom. (Levitin offers the figure of 300 exabytes of data, which, accurate or not, is too many zeros to show you.)”
I am beginning to think that, while hand-made by humanity, the enormous pulse of energy we call the Internet can be treated as a sixth sense, the feel of information in the world. If it is a ‘sense’, then perhaps we can treat this information in much the same way our senses do. In his book, Levitin tries to tease out four major ways we could and do attend to that task.
According to the reviewer, Levitin divides this attentional system into four parts:
- “the default or “mind-wandering” mode;
- the central executive mode;
- the attentional filter;
- and the attentional switch that moves us from one mode to the other.”
The review also mentions that Levitin regards the key to ‘managing’ this information maelstrom is to remain calm, even Buddha-like in order to drain fear and uncertainty from the system. I know for certain that this is first step in creating any effective classroom learning environment so it makes sense to also do this in one’s own personal learning ecology. I had not consciously thought of this before. I know that in my on again, off again meditative practice (vipassana meditation) I focus on the breath as I sit. Might the same practice work in doing research? Instead of focusing on breathing, one would center on a particular question in calmness before the monitor. One’s research question? Or if you are earlier on in the research process, perhaps a topic of a few words. If you move away from that topic, then you gently bring yourself back to the center just the same as in vipassana meditation as you return to the breath.
So…I haven’t read the book, I have only read a review of the book. This post is rife speculation. Still, I am very excited by its prospects. I will grab a copy of this book. Perhaps we will run across each other via Kindle comments or the comments in this post? Wherever we find each other, we will be connecting outside ourselves just as when we read we connect within ourselves. I think this inner connecting through reading, writing, thinking is the work I need to refine and make public so that I can model it and share it with my students. They can then do what they will with it in their own inner struggle to connect.
Enjoy seeing and connecting with the video below. I perceive that it fits.
Connected Links of Interest: