May 2006 Archives

multitasking, monotasking, nulltasking

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People often speak of multitasking to refer to things like, talking on the phone and taking a dump and reading a magazine all at the same time. I am not so sure anyone has introduced a term to refer to a sort of failed multitasking that happens all the time. You're talking on the phone to somebody, having a reasonably linear conversation, when suddenly the other party says "damn, what does this dick want from me now?" And you're like, huh? "Oh nothing I'm just looking at my email." That isn't multitasking, it's monotasking. The person whom you were talking to was talking to you, then he wasn't, then he was.

It gets better. I'm in the kitchen preparing dinner and turn away from the counter, walk two and a half steps to the refrigerator, open it, and -- the screen goes blank. No, my friends, I don't merely forget why I opened the refrigerator. I forget it all, including my name and any notion of time or place or purpose in this universe. Everything comes to a complete halt, a perfect stillness. Yes, I suppose certain involuntary bio-activities like breathing and circulation are still carrying on. But for all practical intents and purposes, this is nulltasking.

Paxil increases suicide risk -- so?

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The New York Times reports that "after analyzing data from clinical trials, GlaxoSmithKline has sent letters to doctors warning that its antidepressant drug Paxil appears to increase the risk of suicide attempts in some young adults." Why is that a problem? Doesn't suicide cure depression?

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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