OK so those of you with little children may find yourself in a predicament where you need to unclog a toilet. And while you have a plunger you really would prefer not to use it. Let’s face it, you’d rather whatever is clogging your toilet to FLUSH OUT and not flush back up.
This young man seems to have found a system where you first flush the toilet with hot water, then squeeze dollops of dishwasher detergent into the bowel, then add more hot water, then more detergent… the toilet eventually flushes automatically and pushes all that crap through the drain pipe.
What, you thought this blog is all about philosophy and waxing poetic? Parenting can be downright dirty and stinky, folks!
We see children seemingly able to embrace technology and the fast pace of today’s society, that we may think that today’s children are becoming better and better at multitasking.
I think we need to do some empirical (observational) experiments.
The next time when we see children “multitask”, we can look to see whether they are completing the sequential tasks of multiple projects in parallel — or whether they are simply switching from one task to another task to another task.
From my personal observation of young children, I see more frequently a phenomenon of short attention devoted to individual tasks. I see children becoming very quickly bored of task 1 — then shifting attention to task 2 as a relief from boredom and — once task 2 becomes boring — shifting to task 3 as a relief from boredom of task 2. However, none of the 3 tasks may be completed. This is not true multitasking. This only gives an appearance of multitasking when it is actually fragmented attention span manifesting.
I think the same is true of adults (I have observed this in myself and whether I truly multitask). If you observe whether an adult is truly multitasking, you’d have to see whether multiple tasks are completed both in parallel (multiple projects) and in correct sequence (multiple tasks within the same project) such that the person makes maximal use of “down time” or “gap time” within project 1 to complete or start a new task within projects 2 and 3 but returning to complete project 1 using the gap times occurring in projects 2 or 3.
This requires a higher order level of thinking and planning because it also requires a certain amount of anticipation and prediction of where the gap times may occur in other projects that allow one to straddle across these different projects.