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Distracted-- the Coming of a New Dark Age; Rob Kall Interviews author Maggie Jackson

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Maggie Jackson:-Oh yes, well, it's good to look at the big picture.- We can't always keep our nose in our Blackberries, can we?-

Rob Kall:-Excuse me, what were you saying?- I was checking out an email. (laughs)

Maggie Jackson:-Aren't we all, aren't we all?- I'm sure many of your listeners are multi-tasking while we speak.-

Rob Kall:-It seems to be the way.- You know, it's interesting because I mentioned to you the other day that I call the show "The Bottom Up Radio Show" and I said I'd like to put in to this interview, if possible, some angle of bottom up to what we were talking about.- And you said that you weren't sure, but the more I read your book, the clearer it was to me that you're talking about the other side of it.-

What I've been excited about with this bottom up revolution is that we are moving into a world where people participate in a lot of different ways and they connect in different ways.- And what you're writing about is how this connection to the Internet and the tapping of the power of the Internet is diluting attention and it's eroding connection.

Maggie Jackson:-Right.- That's the flip side, exactly.- We're highly connected, and yet, are we deeply connected?- Also, how are we defining connection?- If communications and relationships are merely a matter of snippets of time with one another, asynchronous and done while doing six other different things, what kind of a connection is that?- Both, again, in terms of the message that we may be exchanging with other human beings and also the intimacy, the emotional content?- I think that we really need to stop and start to think about this.- But yet I am optimistic, despite, I believe, the real risk of entering a dark age.- I am optimistic because just in the last year, I've seen an incredible willingness to rethink use of technology lifestyle.-

It could be the depression/recession or it could be all sorts of different changes.- People seem to be kind of pulling up short and saying, wow what is the substance of my life here and am I being productive, but in what sense of the word?- There's a Buddhist idea, which I'd like to investigate further, that a form of idleness is overwork.- In other words, if you are running around, busy, busy, busy, busy, but never really thinking or confronting the really tough questions in life, you are actually considered idle.- I think that's a fascinating conception right there.-

Rob Kall:-Well, I am very interested in the news media.- And I think that so much of the media that we have is engaged in that kind of overworked idleness, where it pays attention to nothing.-

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