Quotes Science Tech

Gertrude Stein: ‘Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.’

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.”

Gertrude Stein, “Reflection on the Atomic Bomb” (1946)

Productivity & Work Psychology Tech Writing

Why we pursue distraction

via giphy

We pursue distraction because we don’t know what else to do with our time.

Social networking and TV (whichever boredom solution we prefer) is a gateway to instant happiness. Screen time leads to dopamine release and impedes our impulse control.

How to increase our focus

Focus means ignoring all the noise that makes your brain fat. It means turning off all push notifications on your phone. It means sitting down and slowing down with a blank paper or blank screen and sorting shit out from scratch.

“Every other Friday, I take a tech break by spending the day outlining ideas for new articles on regular old sheets of paper.” 

Gregory Ciotti

It’s impossible to see forward when our eyes gravitate to the nearest touch-screen. There’s even a black box on the treadmill. That rectangular glow will do anything to conquer our eyeballs. Enough already!

Here’s a good rule of thumb to remain productive and sane in the age of distraction: try to produce as much as we consume.  

Kids are tweeting and texting these days which means they’re writing more than ever, but is their prose any good? Quality comes from concerted effort and deliberate practice.

And that means making concerted efforts to break away the tyranny of screens.

Arts Productivity & Work

The Art of Presentations

Keep it simple, top-line. No one wants to see all the details. They’d rather look at a few bullets or charts, hear you speak, and write down what they deem necessary.

Showing your work becomes more about what you omit than what you say, including the simplification of the rarely read appendix, so it too reflects your key findings in a digestible format.

Presentations are small products, stories, and art forms, just as is this blog post. They try to streamline complexity while also stirring curiosity and exciting action. The best presentations often leave more questions than answers.


The Older Mind May Just Be a Fuller Mind

For the time being, this new digital-era challenge to “cognitive decline” can serve as a ready-made explanation for blank moments, whether senior or otherwise.

It’s not that you’re slow. It’s that you know so much.

You might not be as forgetful as you think, just over-informed. How about another RSS feed?


Information overload? Visual content is the answer

According to Nielsen, 27 million pieces of content are shared each day. And Statistic Brain says that our average attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds—one second less than a goldfish!

We check our phones 150 times per day. We check our email 30 times an hour. And the amount of information in the world continues to double every 18 months.

Some of these stats sound exaggerated but point taken. How much is too much?

We need more filters.


So information has been commoditized, and what’s important now is knowledge. And the difference between information and knowledge is that knowledge is about having a point of view based on what we know.

Jeremy Zimmer

All the answers are a tap away. Consuming, learning, and then doing. That’s at least one knowledge process.