Ear Plugs to Lasers: The Science of Concentration by John Tierney is pretty interesting, but it's the illustration by Victor Koen that I couldn't resist.
It's about concentration. As Jenny Bornholdt lamented in a poem, you can't read and listen to the radio at the same time. Winifred Gallagher is one of the researchers quoted.
â€œMultitasking is a myth,â€ Ms. Gallagher said. â€œYou cannot do two things at once. The mechanism of attention is selection: itâ€™s either this or itâ€™s that.â€ She points to calculations that the typical personâ€™s brain can process 173 billion bits of information over the course of a lifetime.
â€œPeople donâ€™t understand that attention is a finite resource, like money,â€ she said. â€œDo you want to invest your cognitive cash on endless Twittering or Net surfing or couch potatoing? Youâ€™re constantly making choices, and your choices determine your experience, just as William James said.â€
She has tips for concentrating and doing your best brainwork. But you can read that for yourself. (Don't start the day with email...) I just had to show a brilliant image that millions have doubtless seen already.
Now I'm going to focus.