Two pieces of this week’s reading resonated with me in light of the election:
Carr discusses “sleeping on it,” or taking a break and returning later with fresh eyes. Later, in mulling the effect of over-tasking on our brain, he quoted Seneca, “to be everywhere is to be nowhere.”
I believe that during this election, our weak muscle memory in strategic thinking and deeper problem solving caught up with us. We read headlines and tweets, skimmed longer articles or ignored them altogether. We were distracted by excessive hyperlinking. We tweeted thoughts immediately, instead of grappling with them longer. We decided there was a one-size-fits-all answer (healthcare or not), (wall or not) for some of society’s biggest problems, but these issues weren’t solvable by algorithms or calculations. This election required a human brain, not a computer. These are structural and complex issues that deserve, and require, our grappling, discussions, and unconscious thought space.
Had the clickbait and immediate gratification of quick quips been less prevalent, perhaps we would have invested more to allow ourselves think fully in one space. Carr would say that technology did not solve our problems this year, rather it brought them to glaring light.