Side Program: Morning Zen Meditation Dominikanenklooster Monastery, Donderdag 30 mei, 2019 06:45-07:30 h Guided bij de Zen master (confirmed)
Talk: Diogenes of Sinope Dominikanenklooster Monastery, Donderdag 30 mei, 2019 09:45-11:15 h James Williams (confirmed)
Talk: Open Dominikanenklooster Monastery, Donderdag 30 mei, 2019 14:00-15:30 h Paul Davies (pending)
Great Discussion 15:30-16:00 h James Williams, Paul Davies Q&A met de publiek 16:00-16:30 h James Williams & Paul Davies BREAK + DINNER (vegetarian)
The Great Ocean Cleanup 19:45-21:00 h Boyan Slat (pending)
Talk: Greek mythology today - Homeros revisited Dominikanenklooster Monastery, Thursday 30 may, 2019 21:00-22:30 h Sylvain Tesson (pending)
How often are you diverted from a task by the seductive lure of your mobile phone? And does it matter? In a landmark book, James Williams argues we’re losing the power to concentrate
Sun 27 May 2018 09.00 BST Last modified on Tue 9 Oct 2018 14.26 BST
Imagine that you’ve just bought a new GPS device for your car. The first time you use it, it works as expected. However, on the second journey, it takes you to an address a few blocks away from where you had wanted to go. On the third trip, you’re shocked when you find yourself miles away from your intended destination, which is now on the opposite side of town. Frustrated, you decide to return home, but when you enter your address, the GPS gives you a route that would have you driving for hours and ending up in a totally different city.
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Like any reasonable person, you would consider this GPS faulty and return it to the store – if not throw it out of your car window. Who would continue to put up with a GPS that they knew would take them somewhere other than where they wanted to go? What reason could anyone possibly have for continuing to tolerate such a thing?
No one would put up with this sort of distraction from a technology that directs them through physical space. Yet we do precisely this, on a daily basis, when it comes to the technologies that direct us through informational space. We have a curiously high tolerance for poor navigability when it comes to our attentional GPSs – those technologies that direct our thoughts, our actions and our lives.
Think for a moment about the goals you have set for yourself: your goals for reading this essay, for later today, for this week, even later this year and beyond. If you’re like most people, they’re probably goals such as “learn how to play piano”, “spend more time with family”, “plan that trip I’ve been meaning to take” and so on.
These are real goals, human goals. They’re the kinds of goals that, when we’re on our deathbeds, we’ll regret not having accomplished. If technology is for anything, it’s for helping us pursue these kinds of goals.