Hyper and Deep Attention & CR

This may be bad to say but this may have been the first reading assignment that I actually was interested in. Well the Hyper and Deep Attention paper anyways, not the Carolina Rhetoric part.

“Hyper and Deep Attention: The generational Divide in Cognitive Modes” is a paper published by N. Katherine Hayles; a English professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Hayles starts off by introducing her audience to the idea’s of deep attention and hyper attention, in which deep attention is utilized in the solving of complex problems or focusing on a single medium, such as a novel; with limited environmental alertness. And hyper attention in which a person can quickly and efficiently navigate a environments with multiple mediums or points of interest jockey for attention. The down side of hyper attention is impatience. After her initial introduction, Hayles bring up the point that deep attention is so embedded in the educational system today that hyper attention tendencies are almost seen as defective or bad behaviors. Hayles goes on to off the explanation given by Steven Johnson, that the reason that students are shifting to more hyper attention tendencies is there everyday environment of young peoples have become over saturated with media. This over saturation has lead to multitasking while doing assignments for school. The studies that she referenced on the subject also indicated that the multitasking actually diminished the student efficiency.  After a rather in depth overview of ADD and AD/HD Hayles restates her hypothesis in terms that are linked with AD/HD, “The generational shift toward hyper attention can be understood as a shift in the mean toward the AD/HD end of the spectrum.” Soon after on the subject of AD/HD medication such as Ritalin, Hayles references a two survey that found in North Carolina and Virginia public schools, that students where being prescribed Ritalin who did not fit the criteria for AD/HD, where 5-7% where completely misdiagnosed. Directly after this Hayles offers an explanation by B. Vitiello, “that speculates that the overuse of Ritalin may be because parents press for it, find that it helps their children do better in school.” This makes sense as a possible reason to the over prescription of Ritalin. After an small overview brain plasticity, and the effect of video games on young children. At this point in time Hayles addresses what she says is the obvious riposte of: (how is hyper attention) better for what? She offers a few examples from todays society, the best one I believe is the instance of the air traffic controller having to mange dozens of aircraft while looking  at many computer screens without out making a single mistake. The last section of the paper address challenges in the higher levels of academia, and how it maybe time for a change in how we structure curricula. Hayles goes on to mentions some new techniques that are being implemented in a University of Southern California  classroom. The one in-particular that I was interested in is called backchanneling; in which participants type in comments as the speaker talks, providing running commentary for the material being presented. My one thought on this though was that if I was the presenter, I would want to make sure the I was over prepared for this presentation. I feel that sense this presentation style could be so dynamic, I would want to be prepared for what every could come my way.

Real quick on the subject of our Carolina Rhetoric reading. We got and overview on the elements of an argumentative, reasoning, and general essay. We then focussed on how to go about writing different elements of essays, along with some do’s and do not’s to help us along the way.

Finally for our topics, I am thinking about something along the lines of computing. More specifically something dealing with Moore’s Law. Though I’m not to sure how to turn this into an argumentative essay, and finding meta data for has turned out to a lot harder than I thought.

What I know:

  • Moore’s Law states that every two years the speed of computers will double. This is referring to CPU’s not the computers as a whole.
  • To be more specific, the law pertains to the number of transistors on a cpu
  • The number of transistors has started to double on a one year interval in the past decade or so.
  • The law also states that this trend will continue until transistors can reach the atomic size, this is where the cap is.
  • Not every likes this law, but for the most part everyone agrees with it.
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