Musings on Multitasking

I feel like I'm running on fumes this week. My students graduate tonight and I have a classroom to pack up tomorrow. It will be the usual magic trick. All that stuff originally came out of my closet, therefore it should all fit back into the closet. Right?

I need a bag of holding. And a few extra hours in the day. Hmmm . . . that makes me think. Think about all those science fiction and fantasy books you've read. All of them have some really neat toys, don't they? I mean, who wouldn't rather be beamed somewhere instead of dealing with the hassles in the airport? I'm just happy they're not making everyone take their shoes off anymore. That's always been fun. And disgusting. When I travel I travel during the summer (the whole teaching gig is not conducive to travel in the off-season) so I'm always in sandals. Never think of that when I'm pulling myself together at four am, but when I'm in that line and I have to stand barefoot on that floor . . . insert horrified shudder here. I think I need to check my shots.

A transporter--that could be fun. Creepy too, though. All your atoms scattered and transferred miles in a few seconds. I keep thinking about how I get cellphone interference when I drive past the high school. What would that do to your atoms? What would happen if they weren't all put back in the right order? Overthinking this way too much, I think.

What other toys would you want? JD Robb has PPCs, personal palm computers. I think we already have those. Anyone with an iPhone is walking around with one of those in their pockets. Things that feed info directly into the system seem to be the next step. In FEED and in UNDER THE NEVER SKY, both futuristic societies have technology that zips right into the brain. FEED, literally has a feed into the neural centers. It gives information, entertainment and education. Most importantly, it gives you purchasing information. The world of FEED is based on complete consumerism. You get the impression the world is falling apart around the main character's ears, but hey, there's a sale at this store. Cool! In UNDER THE NEVER SKY, the world as we know has already ended. Those who live in the Pods, self-contained little worlds, each have a Smarteye which allows them to live primarily in these virtual worlds in their own heads.

Both pretty creepy if you ask me, but then again I also never forsaw a time when the kids can't go anywhere without some sort of technological device attached to their hands. Think about it. When was the last time you actually had a conversation with someone? Too often they're focused on the small screen in their hand or their back pocket is beeping. shrilling or chirping. Ever had dinner with someone who has to check their device? Try talking to a teenager--they all usually have something in the background. Many seem physically incapable of doing only one thing at a time. There's an old quote I recall--don't know exactly where I got it from, but it comes to mind whenever I think of my students texting, listening to music, surfing th Web, AND trying to do their homework. Multitasking is doing several things badly at once.


  1. Sadly most of that creepy 'future' stuff is already here. And the amount of data generated, processed, and mined for the purposes of consumer behavior analytics is eye-opening.

  2. I know! It's really a remarkable time to be alive and a rather frightening one as well. If you haven't read FEED or UNDER THE NEVER SKY, I have to really recommend them. That is, if you like grim, post-apocalyptic worlds. I read an article about how stores put together displays and arranged stores. Pretty creepy. I will never walk into a store and turn to the right again--almost all of us do, apparently.



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