New Schedule and Location for 2016

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Tech distorts our sense of time

I've been assured by all the Baby-Boomer curmudgeons out there that too much access to smartphones and Facebook and Internet and television and computer games would make me stupid.  I'm sure that is how I sound when I tell my kids that it is the God-given absolute gospel truth that McDonalds and Burger King do not actually sell food, but rather disgusting plastic food-like toxic simulacra.  Fortunately for them, I have repeated that enough that I think they've begun to believe it.  Fortunately (maybe) for me, I've heard the curmudgeons rant about smartphones making us into idiots long enough that I've started to believe it.
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So how is it that tech makes us stupid?  What specific forms does that idiocy take?
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One form of this self-induced retardation that I have noticed is that tech screws up our sense of time, and of normal (human-paced) rhythms.  
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I suppose it is because we can have instantaneous gratification of virtually any intellectual whim.  Don't know the definition of "proclivity?" Say, "OK, Google, Define proclivity" and it'll pop up in a second or two.  Need to know what is 284 times $0.87? Type or speak it into Google and presto blam-o!.  Want something new to read?  No need to drive to the bookstore and wade through all the dead trees.  Open up your Kindle and it'll tell you the next dozen books you should read and you can buy one and have it delivered wirelessly in a few seconds.  Don't like what's on TV?  Flip to one of the other 300 channels.  Missing your buddy on the other side of the country (or ocean) Skype or text them.  Everything is instantaneous.
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It's really cool and convenient - until it isnt.
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What about when I set out to walk the dog and I set myself a goal of walking a mile (12 blocks), and not even halfway through I start speeding up and wondering if I'd counted wrong because this is a never-ending walk.
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What about writing productivity?  My Dear Constant Readers can attest to the fact that I used to be far more prolific on this blog.  There were several years where I churned out more than an article per day, all of them pretty good (for me).  Sometimes I'd go on vacation and miss a few days so I could sit down for an hour and churn out six or eight 500-1000 word articles and schedule them for posting.  Now, more often than not, I pop up a blank blog screen and stare at it thinking, "I don't have time for this!"
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How about push-ups?  Usher made us do 20 pushups at the beginning of every class we ever went to.  I did sets of 20 pushups several times per week for years.  I despised them (that's another story) but I can still churn out 20 push-ups in a few seconds.  But after about seven, every one seems to take forever!  I have time between each pushup to think up 2-3 excuses why I should stop.  What the hell!? Why can't I even do 15 seconds of exercise without my brain rebelling?
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I used to think nothing of driving 3 hours to Starkville or 5 hours to Jackson TN or even 13 hours to OKC, and now a 45 minute trip to Hammond takes a lifetime!
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I suspect the only reason I am still even remotely functional is because of my frequent weekend camping and hiking treks to places with no reception.




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Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com