Conversations, framing, attention span, application

I had the most compelling conversation with Jenn today and decided that I should maximize the generative quality of ideas and write about it immediately. Regarding attention span, i’m not quite sure about where I stand in regards to the norm and my own personal ideal. How is it thought of? Is it thought of categorically or generally? How many ways can it be parsed to be applied to as a useful metric for general intelligence?

It has been a monumental struggle to get my attention span back up to what I consider normal levels. I attribute this to my meditation training. In relation to most people’s attention span, I consider my own to be astronomically superior. I find that to be distracted yields the emotional reaction of rage. Comparatively, as a child, I had laser-like focus, and I could focus for hours. It was a powerfully rewarding feeling to write and hyper-focus, to feel the compelling pull of an idea, and to be an active participant in its shaping. It felt more like the focus was important.

Whatever the case may be, I have found it to be of utmost importance to push back against the culture of instant gratification and distraction in perpetuity that we, as a culture, are faced with now. Everyone has instant access to the storehouse of almost all of humanity’s knowledge. This gives rise to an interesting paradox that may be solved with group goals and intentions. An individual who endeavors to learn as much as possible will be lost in a sea of information, by and large biologically disconnected with the hardwired-in apparatus for its genesis and synthesis. One can become encyclopedic in terms of data. One bumps up against the sheer limits of information intake and sublimation, which is in turn merely a product of lifestyle, psychological disposition, general health, ect. Categorizing, applying, and, in short, sublimating this enormous amount of information successfully into wisdom, useful application, and otherwise, any physical expression, is another problem entirely.

The purpose of a corporation may very well change, depending upon the product. Get a team of people functioning at the heights of their cognitive potential at the very pinnacle of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health, and a corporation may very well bloom from a proverbial bare, rotting tree stump, which serves as the prevalent symbol for the less noticeable, but farther reaching and more insidious product of their dynamism, into the next iteration of the Library of Alexandria. Bridge the substantial gap between for-profit corporation, and Institute of Higher Learning, and you make the next big leap in instantiating the infrastructure for the Post-Human.

I grasped at the birth pangs of what could be a more intelligent, wiser, more dynamic, in a singular conversation with my best friend in the whole world. We dove deeper than we ever had. We covered familiar ground, as we tend to rehash the same topics. But, with each turn of the wheel in this cycle, we build upon them more and more, and in doing so, come to understand one another’s minds in terms of thinking process, personal dispositions, what we each struggle with emotionally and mentally, and somehow never hit bottom with them. There is such a powerful birthing of knowledge in our time well-spent, locked into one another. I cannot stress how rejuvinative it was to sit and talk, looking into one another’s eyes the whole time, and speak of ONLY meaningful things. We gather momentum as we go along, the force of the speed splinters the topic into more and more concepts and ideas that each magnify into magnificent detail until a feeling of flow engages and carries us along with even greater momentum.

Flow states are triggered, for me, by conversation. I am stimulated by the unadulterated and unperturbed focus mutually shared by myself and another person. I have forgotten how rare a commodity this, how rarely this transpires. The great majority of most human interaction I either witness or take part in seems to me so fractured, so diffused of a sense of responsibility, and so sparse its population of great or even very minimally good ideas, that it feels almost meaningless. Not necessarily meaningless but it renders them as a matter of course, that one must just go through the motions. Conversation has become a social decorum as opposed to the main mode of the conveyance of ideas and wisdom. We’ve deviated into the fracturing of the human with the machinations of the digital age. We get one aspect of the human in an engagement only, or multiple, disconnected aspects of many. One communicates through text, or through voice, while ignoring the presence of someone one stands or sits right next to. One reads the words in posts on status updates alone in a room. This disordering of the elements of human interaction not only misalign the meaning we derive from those interactions, but it diffuses the sense of responsibility we feel towards one another.

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