Friday, June 13, 2008

Short attention span?

Are you having trouble reading, Bunkie? Do long, dense paragraphs fade faster from your depth of field? Having trouble concentrating? Blame the web. Blame Google. Immediacy is replacing deep reading. One researcher says we now “power browse” while going for quick wins. But I’ve carried on about this long enough.

Can plants think? Make decisions? Along the shores of the Great Lakes resides a beach weed called the sea rocket. Underground, where roots do all sorts of things, this plant recognizes kin and lets them be. But the rocket starves out non-related plants by aggressively sprouting nutrient-seeking roots. How does it know? A highly sensitive sense of “something” enables the weed to detect chemicals in the soil and air and act accordingly. This is creeping me out. I used to love salad.

Considering moving into one of those downtown condos? The upper floors get less street noise. But anyone who can remember flying kites will tell you: the higher up you go, the stronger the winds on your balcony. Wrought iron outdoor furniture is making a comeback.

The public's perception of "the butterfly effect"is wrong. Remember in the 1990’s movie “Havana,” Robert Redford, a math-wise gambler, tells Lena Olin, “A butterfly can flutter its wings over a flower in China and cause a hurricane in the Caribbean. They can even calculate the odds.” Wrong. That’s backward. Think about all the Monarch butterflies in Mexico. If each touched off a tornado, we’d have a helluva time just hanging on.

1 comment:

The South Plainsman said...

George, your first paragraph is right on. It is part of an overall problems that has been coming on for 50 years.

Everybody is in a rush. The whole theme in our country is instant gratification. People want things NOW! They don't want to have to save and wait. Borrow the money and buy it! NOW!

Folks want to spend an hour on the Internet and believe they have conquered "War and Peace." There are a lot of interesting things out there on the Internet, but to get the benefit of good literature, one has to READ.

Pretty soon a lot of them will reach geezerhood, and find out that NOW there isn't enough money left. Or time. Or eyesight.

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