No Time to Think

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WEEK 11 – This week we were asked to analyse the following papers and a TED Talk presentation reflecting on how the accelerating pace of life and the distractions/noise in form of new means of communication are affecting our concentration and vanishing our “sanctuary” where we can dedicate time for thoughtful reflections. * “No time to think: Reflections on information technology and contemplative scholarship”, David M. Levy. (2007) * “Speed and the Unsettling of Knowledge in the Digital University”, Ray Land, (2011). * TED Talk “5 ways to listen better”, Julian Treasure, (2011) Distractions serve anything but the knowledge

It is true that today’s digitisation and networking tools speed up the pace of our communicative exchanges. In the other hand, these increasingly attractive tools are stealing our time and helping to distract us. These distractions serve anything but the knowledge because seriously limit our ability to focus and attention (and hence learning). Nowadays many people believe that reading an entire book is less attractive than commenting on their friends' photos on Facebook or, open multiple tabs in a browser and quickly discover everything that is happening. It is precisely the possibility to access an incredible amount of information through the current digital technologies and encounter endless possibilities of knowledge that challenges our inability to build mental representations. Given the monumental supply of information obtained through the mass media, especially the Internet, the individual focuses his attention by very few moments in the data exposed on computer screens as they navigate through new links. However, the quality of these connections often contrasts with the amount of information, which are hardly assimilated because there is no time or effort to establish relations between concepts and thus, creating new meanings. As a result, individuals have habitual concentration difficulties, especially when "connect" with...
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