02 April 2007

Policy for the Distracted

Q: How many people with ADD does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Hey look! Isn't that Angelina Jolie on TV?

It'll be one of the great mysteries of history as to how the American population came to believe such patently absurd claims as "if we drop more bombs on the Iraqis in a month than we dropped on the Vietnamese in a decade, they'll come to love us," or "the best hope for stability in the Middle East is having 19 year-old kids from Kansas police a people who's culture and language they don't understand," and, "given we don’t have enough money to finance social security we should simultaneously finance social security commitments and launch a new retirement program," or, "we ought not to burden the dead with taxes when we have all these perfectly healthy working stiffs and investors to tax."

Or maybe it won’t be a mystery but will, instead, be clear to future generations who look at the way this generation consumes media.

The new media has played a role in manufacturing a form of attention-deficit disorder, a kind of attention skipping that encourages people to jump from topic to topic, to spread their attention so thin as to be unable to think deeply about topics. Young people multitask about half the time when consuming media (e.g., 62% of the time they are reading they are monitoring something else, like watching TV, listening to music, or instant messaging).

It may well be that Bush himself is not, as many of his critics suggest, unable to think deeply. It may simply be that Rove and Bush have been the first to intentionally craft policy specifically formulated to be consumed by the distracted. It is no wonder that their defenders like Michael Savage and Bill O'Reilly are so prone to hate speech; it is simply one more form of distraction.

3 comments:

Damon said...

just want to point out that michael savage is NOT a bush defender. the guy LOTHES our president. perhaps even more than you! :P lol!

Ron Davison said...

Damon,
It worries me that you know that. Don't pay too much attention to Savage - I suspect that it does to your soul what direct sunlight does to old LPs.

Damon said...

Oh, I hear him for about 10 minutes a year. He's quite the entertainer, but also quite of his rocker.

I put him in the same sub-catagory as Michael Moore. Idiotic extremists. And I hope they both STAY in those catagories, because as soon as either one of them become mainstream......goodbye world!