It’s All About Noticing Things

Pay attention. This is important. Very.

‘You have an extraordinary genius for minutiae,’ I [Watson] remarked.

‘I appreciate their importance. [. . .]’ [Holmes said.]
The Sign of the Four, Chapter 1, The Science of Deduction, pg. 7

‘lt is my business to know things. That is my trade.’ [Holmes replied.]
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes; The Blanched Soldier, pg. 165

From the DUH! School of Intellectualism comes this:

Study links attention problems to early TV viewing

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Watching television more than two hours a day early in life can lead to attention problems later in adolescence, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The roughly 40 percent increase in attention problems among heavy TV viewers was observed in both boys and girls, and was independent of whether a diagnosis of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder was made prior to adolescence.

The link was established by a long-term study of the habits and behaviors of more than 1,000 children born in Dunedin, New Zealand, between April 1972 and March 1973.

There you are as a kid, merrily sucking at what Harlan Ellison rightly termed the Glass Teat, being stimulated at a pace that no human being could ever sustain, in an entertaining manner than no single human being could accomplish. It’s like being on a fun ride at high speed.

Then comes school.

Which goes at the pace of human beings.

The contrast is like going from that zooming fun ride to being sick in bed miserable with the flu.

And it takes them til now to notice that?! I understood that as a frikkin kid in elementary school. Which is why I was a rotten student (the fact that things were taught without showing their connection to real life was at least half the problem too). School, when compared to TV, was boring. It was a torture and a torment. And back then, TV wasn’t as hyperactive as it is today. In fact, the most hyperactive show back then was one specifically designed to encourage learning in children: Sesame Street! (Given the floodtide of stupidity and rising illiteracy since that show debuted, I’d have to say: Massive Fail!)

Sometimes I wonder just how much of the human race are actually zombies from the neck up — seemingly alive, yet brain dead. (Given the epidemic of drugs, I also have to wonder how much of that brain-deadness is innate in human beings and how much was self-created through chemical destruction of neuronal connections. And how long will it be before someone wakes up to create that study?)

Here’s a great example of someone waking up to challenge dogma. This issue is so important it compels me to do the unthinkable: embed a YouTube video in my blog for the second time.

There’s Nash, surrounded by people who are seemingly as bright as he is. After all, they’re all in the same college together, so the others have to be intelligent too, right? Yet he notices something that goes against what the others have simply accepted. And it doesn’t happen in a classroom. It happens in life.

And how many things do you pass by in your daily life not noticing? What have you accepted as fact that actually isn’t? Why accept what is instead of what could and should be?

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