Someone recently said to me that things were happening too fast for them. Now I personally take life at a pretty quick pace; nothing is ever fast enough for me. So I find it hard to believe that things could happen too fast. You just deal with what comes along as it comes.
But it seems to me that the biggest problem in any company, organization, or even family, is the differing rates at which people can absorb, process, and deal with what is happening.
The fact is that on a macro level nothing really ever happens that fast anyway, with the exception of extreme weather and car accidents, neither of which is easily handled by anyone.
Just to be safe I spent the weekend sitting on the porch reading a novel, and the only thing that was too fast was the fly that kept buzzing around me. And I promise, no more stream of consciousness posts. I’m just trying to get back onto the rational plane.
A great post at Presentation Zen asks "is a computer like a bicycle for the mind?"
There’s no question that a kid and a laptop *can* be a very good thing, but does time spent with an app like PowerPoint as a sixth-grader make it more likely that when the student is, say, 25 she’ll be a better thinker and a better presenter, especially when the electricity goes off and she’s left with nothing but a whiteboard and some pens? Or think of it this way: does a personal laptop in the school function as a bicycle for the mind, amplifying the student’s own capabilities and new knowledge or is it more like a car with pre-packaged formulas that allow the student to become soft in the head while appearing to really go places?
I think that the kid is probably better off with a piece of paper and a box of colored pencils than a laptop. A computer and a particular set of applications merely impose limitations on the user. There are only certain fonts, certain colors, certain templates, and seemingly certain limited ways to do things.
The laptop doesn’t make you a better thinker; in fact it limits how you think based on the limitations of the machine. Like calculators years ago, it may free the student from the need to do repetitive operations like addition. Or it may make it easier to format a report than it would be with a typewriter. It makes it easier to do things that you already know how to do. But without specific tools it doesn’t help you learn, or increase your creativity.
A blank piece of paper and colored pencils allow ultimate creativity by introducing no limitations. And a person that uses their mind and that sheet of paper to convey an idea will be a better thinker, and probably a better presenter too.
Every now and then you have a day or two where your fragile existence seems to be falling apart. The past couple of days have been that for me. Days when you actually wonder what you’re doing on earth, with frustratingly little in the way of answers.
If that sounds a bit cryptic, believe me when I say that’s just how I feel.