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Friday, February 06, 2009

The need for quick answers

Yesterday I received Mary Furlong’s Newsletter. It is something that I always read. No, let’s be more accurate, I always scan read it, looking for triggers that will make me dive in further. One such trigger was about a new book being published online.

Theodore Roszak, a gentleman with an impressive looking academic record, is publishing a book (The making of an Elder Culture) “in which the past countercultural values of this ‘audacious generation’ can be made relevant to an elder-dominated society.

I loved the quote at the beginning of his web site.
Aging changes consciousness more surely than any narcotic; it does so gradually and organically. It digests the experience of a lifetime and makes us different people — sometimes so different that we are amazed, embarrassed,or even ashamed at the person we once were.
I downloaded three of the chapters and again found myself scanning the text looking for triggers.
It suddenly struck me what a pity it is that both Mary Furlong and Theodore Roszak have clearly spent a long time crafting their documents and all I can do is skim read them.

I guess the take from this is that I am probably exhibiting the same behaviour as many younger people (anway it is nice to think that) and looking for immediate answers. Too little time and too much stuff to read.

We can either wistfully look back to an era when people did have the time and inclination to read hand crafted text, or give in to the need to cater for the short attention span – “give me the facts” – needs of many of today’s readers. I guess the answer is learn to read faster. Dick Stroud

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