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Overwhelmed by Data
I was listening to the radio yesterday, and happened upon a discussion between Terry Gross of NPR and Matt Richtel of the New York Times. He wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning series for the Times, called "Driven to Distraction" where he delved into mullti-tasking behind the wheel.  Fascinating stuff.
The main thrust of this discussion yesterday was how, as a society, we are all constantly connected, and therefore overwhelmed by data.  He compared it to those old experiments done with lab rats, where a rat would press a bar and presto, out would come food. The rat quickly learned to press the bar.  When the experiment changed to intermittent reinforcement (i.e., sometimes you press the bar and get food, sometimes you don't), the rat would constantly press the bar to see if they were gonna get lucky.  E-mail kind of works like that for humans.  You check it all the time.  Sometimes you get something you like, sometimes you don't.  God forbid you don't have access to it.  
And why do we check our e-mail so often?  Because we get a little rush from it... thus, it becomes a bit of an addiction. Without it you feel bored.  I know ... more

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