Seven day. The weather beavers foretell it to be less miserable than the last two but this morning’s constitutional was less than satisfying.
It did however, give me some mind space to reflect on the human propensity for applying Ising models based on irrational grounds. That is, our great addiction to characterizing some aspect of life/society/… in terms of a two-state model. I suspect this is a manifestation of constantly seeking nonexistent simplicity.
The intermediary step leading to this cogitation was a reflection on how “life” is seen as either an “adventure” or a “burden”. Both seem strongly to reflect deep delusion on the parts of those who embrace either fantasy. Contrary to religionists and epicureans, life does have meaning and it is horribly degrading to a supposedly intelligent species, namely, that our purpose is propagation. Anything else is entrained debris.
The initial phase was reading an article [Link] entitled “Do students lose depth in digital reading?” There have been a lot of articles dealing with this and related subjects but this one has the merit of actually coming close to saying something of value. I offer a few quotes from the article:
“One study let students choose how much time to spend when reading on each platform. The researchers found that participants devoted less time to reading the passage onscreen – and performed less well on the subsequent comprehension test.”
“Print stood out as the medium for doing serious work.”
This is as close as we seem to have gotten to something actually useful in these media studies. The practical formula offered is that for time wasting reading – what I have labeled as airplane trash intended to consume the time spent traveling in an intellectually vacuous environment punctuated at each end by significant probability of death or dismemberment – electronics are better, but for real effort, paper is better.
I still suspect there is a wonderful middle ground for things like integral tables and handbooks where we are serious but impulsive. These should, I think, still be better served by electronics where we are freed from the burden of toting massive tomes that are > 0.9999 irrelevant to our immediate needs.
Now if someone could do something equivalent for note taking.