Signal to Noise

Mark Morford’s column on SFGate.com this morning had it just right for me – “Let’s all get ADD!

Ever work with a company whose staff is all appropriately Treo equipped?

TreoYou know the drill – you’re talking to one of them from across the table, after about 8-9 seconds her eyes begin to recede, she gets this quizzical little wrinkle in her brow, down go the eyes, up comes the hand and she’s re-engaged with her Treo – and you’ve lost her. Call it “TDD” – Treo Distraction Disorder. Hooked. Except, they hate the phone! No wonder they email so often!

I went through the 12 Step Program on this particular addiction about 4 years ago. I was an early Blackberry/Crackberry addict – and just couldn’t live without it. That little vibrator would immediately capture my attention – regardless of what else was happening around me. I was composing emails while driving up I-280. My wife wanted to sit with other guys at lunch – who would talk to her. When she’d talk to me, her first words were always: “Eye Contact?” She knew if she didn’t get eye contact, I simply wouldn’t hear anything she said.

Fortunately for me, I went on a long family vacation overseas and had to leave that Blackberry behind. When I came back, it was sitting on my dresser. I’d had such a wonderful time without it that I said “I’m just going to leave you there for a while.” Six months later, I finally got around to cancelling my subscription. I never did pick it up – except to toss it into the trash one day about a year later.

This post from last year talks about a similar problem with IM – just another addiction.

Mark said it very, very well in his column this morning:

We equate deranged, caffeinated busyness with smarts, with success, when in fact the exact opposite is true. Just ask the yogis, the gurus, the healers of the past 5,000 years: It is actually when you calm the mind, clear things out, breathe deep and sleep deeper and clean out the toxins and the caffeine and the Ambien, that’s when real wisdom, real intuition comes your way. The rest is just, well, noise. Happy delicious annoying caffeinated sexy fun infuriating obnoxious unstoppable noise, but still noise.

Steps to an ecology of mind…

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