News inhibits thinking. Thinking requires concentration. Concentration requires uninterrupted time. News pieces are specifically engineered to interrupt you. They are like viruses that steal attention for their own purposes. News makes us shallow thinkers. But it’s worse than that. News severely affects memory. There are two types of memory. Long-range memory’s capacity is nearly infinite, but working memory is limited to a certain amount of slippery data. The path from short-term to long-term memory is a choke-point in the brain, but anything you want to understand must pass through it. If this passageway is disrupted, nothing gets through. Because news disrupts concentration, it weakens comprehension. Online news has an even worse impact. In a 2001 study two scholars in Canada showed that comprehension declines as the number of hyperlinks in a document increases. Why? Because whenever a link appears, your brain has to at least make the choice not to click, which in itself is distracting. News is an intentional interruption system.
TODAY, April 6th 2013, is the 45th Anniversary of the USA release of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Because so much can, and should, be said about this film, I will digress to a matter of Kubrick trivia: Brian W. Cook, a British film director and Assistant Director on three of Kubrick’s films, illustrates the story of Alan Conway, an impostor who gained notoriety exploiting Stanley Kubrick’s celebrity and well-known reclusiveness, in his film Color Me Kubrick. Suffice it to say that, while this is an interesting piece of trivia, Cook is no Kubrick.
It seemed like more, but I only used “Kubrick” 6 times in this post. Scratch that. Make it 7.