Like Nick Carr, I read the NYTimes piece on focus this morning with interest. Loved how he distilled the issue down:
It has recently become fashionable (as we swing to the sway of our new technologies) to denigrate solitary, deeply attentive thinking, the kind celebrated and symbolized by Rodin’s The Thinker. Ideas and inventions, we’re urged to believe, leap not from the head of the self-communing genius but from the whirl of "the network." In fact, you need both – the lonely wizard and the teeming bazaar – as Edison’s life so clearly demonstrates. Edison certainly drew on the work and ideas of his predecessors and contemporaries, and his Menlo Park laboratory was by all accounts a noisy orgy room of intellectual cross-fertilization. But, like other deep thinkers, Edison had the ability to screen out the noise and focus his mind – and that capacity, half innate and half hard-won, was also essential to his creativity.