Re: [Frameworks] Avant-garde film, Facebook, and the nature of attention

From: Aaron F. Ross <>
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2011 16:35:40 -0700

It amuses me to see the generation gap so clearly illustrated on this
list. I'm 43, and have the disposition of a cranky old man. But I
teach at an art university also, and I can corroborate what Brook said.

I can see these issues clearly from multiple points of view, partly
because the subjects I teach are very technical and
computer-intensive. I'm afraid the older set are not going to like
what I have to say.

Although it's true that attention spans have shortened, on balance
the influence of technology is a massive boon to literacy and general
intelligence. Concerns that information technologies are making
people dumber are unfounded and alarmist. Each generation is smarter
than the one before it. It's just that intelligence is a moving
target: our conceptions of intelligence change over time.

Nowadays there is less value placed on remembering things, and more
value placed on comprehension and application. Humans, as a species,
are moving up the ladder of Bloom's taxonomy. Those who are most
facile with new technologies will move up more quickly.

The good news for old farts is that senility is not inevitable. Using
computers is a really good way to keep your brain agile.

So I'm in favor of a Facebook presence. It can't hurt anything, it
can only add to the discussion that already exists... such as it is.


At 6/14/2011, you wrote:
>For what its worth, most of those same students of mine who are
>email-averse not only have no trouble paying attention to the types
>of work Fred mentions, they seem to crave it, and are excited as
>well by challenging, slow and extreme-attention-requiring works of
>narrative cinema. But then I teach at an art school, which may skew
>the polling so to speak.


Aaron F. Ross
Digital Arts Guild

FrameWorks mailing list
Received on Tue Jun 14 2011 - 16:36:09 CDT