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January 26, 2007


Tim Storey

This seems to be a hot topic in legislatures right now, and that makes sense given the explosive proliferation of snazzy devices with advanced text messaging capabilities. I was facilitating committee chair training for the Kansas House a couple of weeks ago, and a lively discussion broke out over whether chairs should crack down on the practice of lobbyists sending text messages to members. One chair stated that he forbade the practice. Others wondered if it wasn't just a new twist on the old practice of passing notes. The topic came up again in Wisconsin the next week. I have a feeling this discussion is taking pace in several capitols.

Tim Storey

One more thought about the February 2007 issue of the Harvard Business Review, there is a list of the 20 "breakthrough ideas for 2007." Idea number 7 is "living with Continuous Partial Attention" and outlines the phenomenon of many people rarely paying full attention to the thing that is right in front of them. It starts like this, "We all know the phenomenon: You're in a conference room (or legislative hearing--my words), and all the people around the table are glancing--frequently and surreptitiously--at the cell phones or BlackBerrys they're holding just below table level." The writer, Linda Stone, dubs this "continuous partial attention." She says "the constant checking of handheld electronic devices has become epidemic." She talks about the adverse affect on decision making that trying to cope with an endless stream of information can have. Hmmmm?

James kester

Well, at least they don't interfere with driving safety. I personally have not yet mastered the knee turn at 35 mph. However
I witnessed a young man the other day make
a forearm turn without dropping his PDA!

I'm anxiously awaiting the multi-infomatic steering wheel from Dearborn, complete with with Type-Key pad!

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