Attention Span

There are so many topics in which I am interested. Gardening, climate change (AGW or not), solar panels, netbooks, vegetarianism, water conservation, church structure, modern cloth nappies, world peace, personal peace, server virtualisation, God’s plan to reconcile the world to himself, cholesterol in patisserie products, network monitoring, good governance and all things politic, electric cars, world poverty, genetically modified organisms, childhood developmental stages, the history of most of the above, … gah the list seems endless, and that’s just my choice of topics!

I don’t know how best to decide what to pay attention to, and sadly I only have enough attention span and time available for so many topics at so much depth and breadth. So much information is available that I flit from topic to topic with Twitter, blog posts, snippits of other web reading, and the occasional book. This yields an attention-deficit mode of intake, and I need to change it. I’m all for being a generalist, but one can only spread the butter so thin (thanks Bilbo) before you really do approach knowing nothing about everything. Two options seem to surface:

  • Pick a small few topics and invest properly in them, ditching all else
  • Read more books, since they actually stay on topic for a while

Maybe the latter (hmm, put down the laptop earlier and go read in bed) plus part of the former without doing too much extreme ditching. I’ve left out talking with friends, and that can be very rewarding with some people. With others it’s all smalltalk though, which is fine in itself but off-topic here.

Sometimes I am reminded that my existence is as God’s creation, and there my highest goals lie. Everything else follows that and, thankfully, follows it very well. Galations 5:22-23 describes this well: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” No law, and no thing to which I aspire.