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The Age of Distraction

I wonder if "The Age of Distraction" will become the name of this century, when historians look back, decades from now. In thinking that, called to mind is the thought of an elderly character, towards the end of Herman Hesse's novel,The Glass Bead Game (1943). The character moans about the triviality and arbitrary nature of the then recent trend of reading newspapers and magazines, chock full of diverse bits of information, the character saying that this period would, in the future, perhaps be called, The Age of the Feuilleton, feuilleton meaning a section of the newspaper, possibly including the latest News About Town. I remember, when reading this, in my early 20s, thinking how strange that this author was disdainful of newspapers (The Sunday New York Times!?), which seemed (before the internet age) to be a good forum for exchange of thought, with specialized editorial sections.

I have aimed to hunker down, and work in deep concentration and solitude on long and short term projects, both yesterday and today. Yesterday, the entire day was reserved for these. At 11 am, however, I was informed about an important meeting that was to take place today. This required considerable research and assembling in order to sort out a complex situation. I was expecting to have to do this work, but not with so little forewarning.

Today, like yesterday, I awoke fresh and early. Again, I have few appointments today, and none before late afternoon. I checked my email first thing, which was probably a mistake. One email was an inquiry about work, which required relatively quick action and, again, a fair bit of calculation and reflection: well over an hour. Soon it's mid-morning.

It's quite conceivable that I spend 3 months detailing how I have once again, each day been diverted or distracted from going further in planned undertakings.


Blur, 2011, digital print, various sizes

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