In the early 80s there was much talk about the time it takes for your computer to respond to a request.  As I recall, the holy grail established by IBM was under 3 seconds.  If it takes your computer more than 3 seconds to respond, your brain loses focus and looks for something else to do.   As the computer gets closer and closer to the sub-second response times of the brain, our productivity shoots up because we, at last, would have a tool that can keep up with the speed of thought.  Ooo the possibilities.

25 years later, I realize that we now have very small portable computers capable of keeping up with the speed of our thoughts, but it seems we are now relying on our computers to do so much of our “thinking”, that they frequently get bogged down in the minutia, and take much more than 3 seconds to respond.

As I search for answers in my second adulthood, this really isn’t such a bad thing.  My brain is frequently bogged down in the minutiae of my life and, I too, frequently take more than 3 seconds to respond.  Of course I have never been a Multi tasker, I seem only capable of processing things one at a time.  AND I have always considered this ability to focus all my energy and problem solving power on a single issue, a FEATURE not a bug.  However, unlike today’s computers, my brain is also intterupt driven.  I can, after a few sconds of processing, set aside the issue I am working on, and respond to another request.  Try to stop your cell phone from downloading a video some time and see how quickly it can deal with your next request.

As a writer, I am seeing fewer and fewer readers.  Most bookstores will support me on this.  When my brain is sufficiently uninterrupted and allowed to focus on this problem,
it keeps moving me towards the visual imagery of video.  I now have many more viewers than readers.  In my heart I still believe that words on a page are much more capable of moving people at the speed of thought, but in today’s byte hungry society that does not seem to compute.