Literature, Movies and America’s Attention Span

I have spent a good chunk of time working as a professional scientist now.  I have also spent even more time being a relatively avid (although that wanes from time to time) reader.  I have to say I think America’s attention span is declining.

I remember when people would read a book and not claim, ehhh I’ll just wait for the movie.  Then complain when the movie was a whole 2 hours.  What has happened to our attention span.

I see it in our taste in movies, books (nothing past 200 pages or so now gets taken seriously unless your name is Stephen King).

You also see it in politicians.  The statement seen on the news often that ‘well, so and so doesn’t have to worry about this bad decision the election isn’t for 14 months and no one will remember’…..

We need to focus on things as a country and think long haul.  If we don’t we will continue to have issues which I am seeing more of as I grow older.  Lack of engineers, lack of trained scientists that are American born, next to no manufacturing.  This is due to us only thinking if fiscal quarters rather than fiscal years.  What helps us immediately is our concern, not what sets us up for a successful year next year, or a dominant future.  We need to think about that future more.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Yoshi on March 1, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    I was going to write a nice response, but I got distracted while reading your post and decided to go play world of warcraft instead 🙂


  2. I agree, our attention span is shorter and shorter….. I have to say, since I do not have TV and am not bombarded with advertising and suggestions on what to think, who to hate, what to believe and who to ostracize, I think I am smarter. Or at least slowing the dumb-ing down.


    • I like that last part. I agree on not watching TV being a good thing. I will be willing to bet that reading enough and not watching as much interpreted stuff on TV, (e.g. MSNBC, CNN, FOX) or even a directors interpretation of literature. Not sure where that is going just rambling response.


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