Listening not Blogging

I've been trying to listen rather than blog constantly at Supernova 2002 as it's hard to type, process, and listen simultaneously. I notice that some serial bloggers in the audience are posting very small chunks. Part of this is because many speakers are using fragments of stump speeches to put us in their mindset and we immediately move into fast-changing questions and histrionics.

I had a long talk with a fellow who used to publish a magazine that had a single 7,000-word feature in each issue devoted to a single person. He found that taking notes was a problem, and that after writing literally 1,000 mass-market (GQ, Esquire, Rolling Stone, etc.) pieces over the course of a decade that he had to relearn how to listen, and using a recording device and letting someone talk was the best idea.

The myth of multitasking is that we can accomplish several things with full attention at the same time. Rather, multitasking is an evolutionary outgrowth that allows us to carry out one activity and have a nominal awareness of others that we have extended to believe is full attention. Evolutionarily, this kept us from being eaten, and thus we survived and became who we are.

My wife hates one feature of my brain in this regard: I can stop listening when I'm distracting but still have heard what she says. If she asks what she said, I can repeat it to her, but my brain doesn't process it until I've resaid it. This kills her -- and rightly so -- as I can claim I heard her. Nonetheless, I should be listening with my entire brain.