Procrastination. As I began to write this reflection I found myself distracted by my phone, my Facebook account and Pop music videos on MTV Pride. The irony of the parallel between this and this week’s focus on state of attention amuses me. Before I delve into my thoughts on Hyper and Deep Attention…
Optimism. Now this is a state of mind that is in part alien to me. Why is my blog named ‘Philosophical Pessimism and
“If they hesitate to embrace the label for themselves, it seems to be largely because of the psychological or dispositional use of the term “pessimism” has already begun to overwhelm the older meaning… they fear how they will be perceived if they adopt the term.”
– Dienstag, Joshua Foa. Pessimism: Philosophy, Ethic, Spirit Princeton University Press, Feb 17, 2009, pg 121
Pessimism is a negative – superficially irrational; it is pragmatic to me. Being ambitious is a trait of mine; overt positivity is not. Nonetheless, I have compiled a personal list entitled ‘Dear Future Self’ of my optimisms and aspirations through my Media studies:
I: Understand the fundamentals of Directing/Producing
II: Enhance my screenplay writing and creative writing skills
III: Increase my internal film library
IV: Apprehend the broad community in the Media industry
V: Experience hands-on work across multiple Media mediums
VI: Improve my visual and sound editing skills
VII: Garner a professional network
VIII: Keep ridiculously analysing film Media for multiple readings
IX: Develop current creative Popular Culture <–> Media ideas
“Overthrow Media warlords” (Unknown speaker as of yet). The humorous simplicity of the phrase shrouds the incredulous nature of the aspiration of another student in the lectorial. This aspiration was not my own however I am adding it to ‘Dear Future Self’ as optimism XI. You may think it is pretentious for an Australian, non-Roman to use Roman Numerals in the list. Feel free to make your own assumptions and analysis. The truth, however, is that it adds a sense of structure and order that cannot be depicted by the European Hindu-Arabic numeral system. Simple as that.
I am now at the point of realisation that I have spend almost an hour writing a post on pessimism and optimism and not a reflection on the primary reading in the lectorial. However, when considered logically, they connect almost beautifully. The distractions I wrote of earlier are what they are: forms of Media. I guess it is only fitting that my deep-attentive state was interrupted and subverted by various forms of the discipline that I am beginning to study.
“Alternating… because psychological studies indicate that what we call multitasking is actually rapid alternation among different tasks.”
Rubinstein J, Meyer D & Evans J, Executive Control of Cognitive Processes in Task Switching, American Psychological Association Inc. 2001
I am not going to lie to myself that I was multitasking. After reading this quote during the lectorial I am determined that I agree. I am of the mindset that in order to succeed and deflect exertion, Deep Attention must occur. I know this as reading the excerpt from ‘Hyper and Deep Attention: The Generational Divide in Cognitive Modes’ (N. Katherine Hayles) I found myself in a deep state, undistracted by the hyper-attentive students around me. Upon discussion of the excerpt with fellow students, I learned that I was the only one to complete the reading. This, we decided, was a pristine example of Hyper and Deep attention in practice. I am looking forward to being self-aware of how my attentive state fluctuates over the course of my studies.