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  • Tuesday, June 21, 2005


    Pausing to Think

    I'm a little slow in my thought processes. Sometimes I like to follow up a stray thought and see where it leads. Often reality passes me by while I take a side trip in my head to a conclusion. It's a little like thinking of the perfect comeback on your way home from a party or five minutes after it would be useful.

    I love documentaries. I'll watch almost any science program, history, etc. I often watch C-SPAN's "Book TV" on the weekends. If it's information, I want to know.

    This is where my slowish mind intersects with TiVo. I've come to depend on the ability to pause what I'm watching for a few moments. Sometimes I feel a need to think through the implications of what I've just seen or learned on the TV. In the past, I pretty much had to just allow the information to flow over me. Mostly I absorbed the content but not always all the details. And it was sometimes difficult to integrate the information.

    Now if I need a moment to think, I can take it. Sometimes five or ten seconds can make a big difference to me. Suddenly I don't have to just let the information flow over me. I have a chance to actually evaluate the information, decide how credible I think it is and draw my own conclusions. Just because I love documentary information doesn't mean I think it is always accurate or that I agree with the perspective presented. I particularly like being able to pause political discussions and examine a rhetorical point, looking for fallacies of logic or false assumptions.

    When I first had the TiVo installed, I considered it a luxury, a high tech toy. But I've become a slave to this ability to pause. I'm almost dependent on it. If I zone out for a moment and miss a bit on the radio news, I can't rewind it. It's lost to my wandering mind. So I'm not really completely certain this is good for me. Perhaps I need to play more computer games to speed up my mind.

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