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12 September 2006


Bill Anderson

Jim, thanks for this post; it's very generative. And, in my mind, it makes up for your depressing post a few days ago ("Humans cannot be trusted ...."). Maybe my thoughts on both will be here.

I agree with your description above, but the claim that "our attention span is too short" doesn't quite ring true. It's certainly accurate to claim that there's too much to attend to. But if my attention span is short, it's because I'm not exercising it by attending longer to certain tasks. It might seem that I'm being overrun with tasks, ideas, demands, etc. But I think it's my job to manage that, and it requires an act of will. I guess I'm trying to avoid the victim stance. We need to claim our authority over our attention and let other things fall where they may. When I used to forget things my mom would say "if it's important it will come back." I'm reassessing how important all the chatter is, and how I value being able to attend to something deeply.

And to your post about humans and trust. It's a bit of a tautology, but in my view we have no choice but to trust each other, to trust each other to be human, and this means that we occassionally let each other down.

Jim Benson

Thanks Bill,

Funny though, I thought the Humans Cannot Be Trusted post was the uplifting one!

As humans, we like to play and, increasingly, our play demands a winner - we'd like it to be us. In the past, we needed to band together to win the game. That game was won by not being killed by bands of thugs or by starving to death.

Today, in a large part of the world, our fears are of ennui and self dissolution. I think it's harder to get people to cooperate and converse because we have the luxury of not cooperating and not conversing.

Having that luxury, though, carries with it an implicit trust not to bludgeon me to death or steal my food. So I think we do trust each other, but that trust doesn't necessarily equate to a healthy community.

Edward Vielmetti

Jim -

I was recently tagged as having a short attention span, though I suspect that's an artifact of having my attention scattered throughout various parts of the net, and the necessary difficulty of really determining what someone is interested in by the artifacts they produce or consume.

Mainstream media is having its own credit crunch induced crisis, with real estate ad spend (and thus classified ad revenue) way down & thus the size of the news part of the paper shrinking in concert. The Cincinnati afternoon paper is closing up at the end of the year.

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