Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005
[Collaborative notes taken by Nat, Tom, Kevin, and me. EAOE.]
How many comparative literature majors were in the audience? Five - she wins the bet.
Other quick questions, to ensure we are all on the same page.
Does technology free you? Or enslave you?
In 1997 I coined the phrase continuous partial attention. With continuous patial attention we keep the top item at the top and then monitor everything else.
cpa is motivated by the desire not to miss opportunities
We feel alive when connected to others. To be busy and to be connected is to feel important
In close to two decades it’s been important to maximise connections, to network, to maximise technology. Speed, agility and connectivity are very important. Need to nework and always-on lifestyle means we are overstimulated and underfulfilled?
do you cherish technology-free moments now and then?
Email free fridays has emerged. We are email junkies - 1 billion sent a day. Great new way to do business but also a headache. Nestle-Rowntree has introduced the idea of email-free Fridays. It’s been banned in the co. to see if employees are more creative with face-to-face meetings.
Email can defer decisions.
CEO requires everyone to disarm in meetings - leave tech at the door.
Three kinds of meetings at MS
- free for all
- you must pay attention if at the table, unless at back of room
- meetings where total attention is demanding.
Larger pattern at work. Shifting into a new cycle -an evolving set
Attention is dynamic - socio-cultural influences. use of attention and how it evolves is a thread. 20 year social cycles - but they are generalisations.
We take a set of beliefs to an extreme; the extreme fails; we seek what we repressed.
1945 the org was central - Authority
Culture was that employer/marriage community was key
Was a belief that by serving employers, marriage we would be happy. Service to the institution would bring us happiness, so focused on that which served the institution, and stursted experts and authority to filter out what was not important.
In the 60s, it was more about self-expression, a 20 year period all about ‘me’.
Trusted ourselves; entrepreneurial - co’s like Apple
Paid attention to that which created personal opportunities. Gave full attention to software like Word or Excel because we saw it as providing opportunities.
Fragment attention if it enhanced opprtunity
Multi-tasking was a super-functional adaptivity.
one employer to many, marriage to a rising divorce rate
20 years of all-about-me increased narcissim and lonlieness.
1985-2005 - networks has been the centre of opportunity. Getting things done usedto mmake us feel alive, now it’s connectivity.
Connection was the aphrodisiac.
CPA is a post-multitasking adaptive behaviour.
ADD is a disfunctional variant of CPA Myspace/friendster which count false connections - the lack of meaning underscores the emptiness of promiscuous connection.
The iPod is as much about a way to make a protected space as a personal playlist.
Not “what do I have to gain?” but “what do I have to lose?” - Fear.
Look to Institutions for trust rather than excitement.
New aphrodisiac in the new era is comitted attention, intention, focus, experiencing engaged attention
Our opportunity is to develop the tools and technologies to take our power back so that it really does enhance our quality of life.