Archive | August, 2009

Make the Jump: Overstimulation, Hero Complexes, Dead Simple

17 Aug

I consider great articles, blog posts, speeches and books as those that not only have me nodding in agreement, but also have the potential to scare the s&%! out of me. Those communications that raise my fight or flight instincts, get my adrenaline going, or set off my interest in debating the opposite point.

urlBenefits of Overstimulation This article in the New York Magazine, In Defense of Distraction, hit all of the above and more. A few great snippets:

“Where you allow your attention to go ultimately says more about you as a human being than anything that you put in your mission statement,” he continues. “It’s an indisputable receipt for your existence. And if you allow that to be squandered by other people who are as bored as you are, it’s gonna say a lot about who you are as a person.”

“The truly wise mind will harness, rather than abandon, the power of distraction…It’s possible that we’re evolving toward a new techno-cognitive nomadism, in which restlessness will be an advantage. The deep focusers might even be hampered by having too much attention: Attention Surfeit Hypoactivity Disorder.”

“The neuroscientist Gary Small speculates that the human brain might be changing faster today than it has since the prehistoric discovery of tools. Research suggests we’re already picking up new skills: better peripheral vision, the ability to sift information rapidly…Kids growing up now might have an associative genius we don’t—a sense of the way ten projects all dovetail into something totally new. They might be able to engage in seeming contradictions: mindful web-surfing, mindful Twittering. Maybe, in flights of irresponsible responsibility, they’ll even manage to attain the paradoxical, Zenlike state of focused distraction.”

(Thanks as always to @tacanderson for putting this on his FriendFeed, one of those ‘distraction’ locations I check at least once an hour 😉

Data, Data & More Data Love data, stats, graphs, charts. With the influx of information we all experience – anything that slices and dices and helps me hone in on the seemingly unending breadth of data being put out into the universe seems pretty swift.

Case in point – Policy Maps – a GIS (geographic information system) made easy I found through a link on Twitter when I was researching for a proposal for economic development in a rural community. Subscriptions range from Free to Premium. With the ‘Free’ (30-day free trial after an online demo) you’ll have access to Census, Postal Service, city crime rates from the FBI, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, County Business Patterns, HUD, HHS and more.

url-1Adrenaline Junkies w/Hero Compexes Finally catching up on everything stacked in my Google Reader made me remember how much I miss perusing the blogs and posts at PRSA and Bulldog Reporter.  Almost missed James Donnelly’s Crisis PR – The Path Less Traveled – detailing the on-point pros & cons of a career in crisis PR. One of my favorite cons he highlights is “You grow to appreciate Cassandra:…To stomach a career here, you have to get used to bringing the horses to water and sometimes watch them dehydrate.” Among the pros? “New day, new battlegrounds…Some days, it’s like playing several simultaneous rounds of chess while on horseback. If that sounds appealing, the Force is strong with you.”

url-2Dead Simple Have you heard of Posterous yet? If so – let me know what your livestream is so I can subscribe. If not, it’s definitely worth a look. Especially if the desire to blog, share beyond 140 characters, broadcast your life is strong. Admittedly, I’ve done a lot of looking from the sidelines… prompted to be a voyeur from early-adopter colleagues. But this week I’ll be jumping into the Posterous pool with a shared Posterous blog on a topic close to my heart – food & foodies. The gist? ‘A dead simple place to post everything. just email.’ Everything includes your words, your photos, videos, links, MP3’s, files – with just a quick email. And, multiple voices can share the same blog landscape. Pretty sweet I must say.

– Jess