Can I Have Your Attention?

Seriously, can I have it? I’ve noticed in the past several years I lose mine all the time. And when I seem to have it, it only lasts for a short time. So I could use some extra attention, some with shelf life to it.

It all started, I think, when I began working in front of an internet-connected computer all day. It was just too easy to pop over and check news headlines or the latest online sale or my friends’ recently posted pictures. I was (and am still) able to get my work done. In fact, the distractions probably helped my eyes from glazing over. But the downside is that I think I started training my mind to concentrate for shorter intervals. Facebook only exacerbates the problem.

Later, about five years ago now, our twins (and first children) came along. Up ’til then I could usually find time to read or work on something for an extended period of time. No more. The evenings are taken up with dinner, baths, bedtime routines, stories, and then cleaning up the mess left over from the day. Finally, by the time that’s all done, there is no block of time left to read more than 15-30 minutes before bed. Again, my mind adjusts to accommodate short bursts of needed attention.

I’ve become an expert at skimming news articles, blog posts, and other miscellanea I would have, in a former life, given more attention to. I’ve become Cliff Clavin—lots of trivial information with little depth.

I do find myself returning to the same sorts of bits. Whenever I get my attention back I hope to dive in a little more deeply. Until then, here are a few things that have held my short attention over the last few weeks.

  1. The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife seems to have  flared up and fizzled out rather quickly; although it may stick around longer than it should.
  2. The dust up around Emmanuel Christian Seminary’s Christopher Rollston and his Huffington Post  article about the marginalization of women in the Bible has put a lot of bibliobloggers in a rightful tizzy. See the list of links in this post.
  3. Is Big Bird too big to fail?
  4. Is Jurgen Klinsmann up to something by not calling up Jozy Altidore for the next World Cup qualifiers?
  5. Is it time for a revision of peer review?
  6. And of course there’s always music. If you don’t know the story of Staff Benda Bilili, get to know them now. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo four senior paraplegic musicians take in abandoned street children and together they make music that forces you to move, what’s not to love?

 

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