Daniel Levitin on the perils of multitasking

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“Instead of reaping the big rewards that come from sustained, focused effort, we instead reap empty rewards from completing a thousand little sugar-coated tasks.” That’s a quote from a great article in the Guardian about multitasking by Daniel Levitin, Why the modern world is bad for your brain  (thanks to Vicki for sending me the link). If you’ve […]

Laptops in the classroom and multi-tasking

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The case for banning laptops in the classroom is a blog by Dan Rockmore in the New Yorker on the surprising proposal by one of the lecturers to ban  laptops in programming classes  at Dartmouth.  I say ‘surprising’, but it doesn’t actually surprise me, since I’ve noticed that of all people, programmers and other exceptional thinkers in just about […]

The problem with reading online

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Four years ago, I started an MA in music education at the Institute of Education in London. The first module was on the philosophy and aesthetics of music, and included the kind of books that I had been avoiding for 25 years, like Hanslick’s Vom musikalisch Schönen. With philosophy, there are no short cuts, you just have […]

Multi-tasking, phones & phenomenology

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I never expected to see four fixations of mine (multi-tasking, the dangers of driving while phoning, phenomenology, and dance) come together in a single scholarly article, but today’s the day. The latest issue of Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences is devoted to dance and cognitive science (see here), and one of the articles, by Robert […]

Give yourself a break from multi-tasking

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Just try it. Give this podcast from Headspace about the healthy use of technology 15 minutes of your time. Pause to reflect on the way you use technology, and the extent to which switching between one window and another, between email and document, text message and Facebook, music and video, might be knocking up toxic […]

Yet another reason not to multi-task

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Readers of this blog will know that I have a real thing about mult-tasking, so I’m delighted to read this article on cell-phone accidents in the New Scientist, though not so happy about one of the recommendations. Road signage should be improved so the obstacles to phone users are more obvious ? How about advising […]

Change deafness, multi-tasking and ballet teaching

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I was talking to a friend recently about scams and conmen. Our conclusion was that anyone who says ‘it would never happen to me’ is deluding themselves.  The thing with conmen is that they know how to deflect your attention from what they’re up to, and so this idea that you’ll always be as alert […]

Cyclists: beware multitaskers

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The driver who caused the death of one cyclist and injured another while she was distracted for – listen carefully – two seconds while throwing a spider out of a car window has been sentenced (full story from BBC here).  I keep banging on about multi-tasking, but here’s proof that you can’t do two things […]

Ha! I was right: singletasking IS the new multi-tasking

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You may remember that I posted about the natty little program called Freedom that turns off your internet access for a time designated by you, so you can get on with your work? And you may remember that I have a thing about multi-tasking: I think it’s a myth, and a rather dangerous and antisocial […]