Continuous Partial Attention by Adam Shand

I tried to express this concept when I wrote Intelligent Agent. In part, I love the feeling of partial attention. The feeling of knowing a little about everything, watching trends develop everywhere, constantly experimenting with the new. I've always been a better jack of all trades than I have been an expert. Even as a kid, I sensed I wasn't destined for expertise, but rather to do many things "well enough".

As I get older, I occasionally have periods of rest which force me back to my senses. Denied of my ability to be connected, suddenly my brain and emotions start working. I feel more at ease, more alert, more interested … even though I have less stimulus.

Ever since working for Earthlight, I remember a sense of "if I can just finish this project, I'll be caught up". Several jobs and ten years later, that moment has never arrived.

I think this drives my interest in personal information systems. If I could only process and store information more efficiently, somehow I would have the time to do what I wanted to be doing.

journal posted on 13 Aug 2004

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