Depth = Full Focus Attention

Mark Pesce in his contribution to a piece on ABC Unleased shares in “My dreams for 2010”

What Mark refers to as depth is what Linda Stone calls “the next aphrodisiac” in her talk at Supernova 2005 – Full Focused Attention.
 
Five years into Linda’s 20 year cycle framework of culture, cycle where swinging back to the individual as a centre of gravity. Full focus attention. It’s why I’ve focused, from time to time, on things such openness, sharing, and context.

Culture creates the technology it needs to fulfil its desires.

Mark Pesce, author, technologist, futurist.
We have become broad grazers of culture. Over the last decade, our ability to ‘go wide’ has reached unprecedented levels.

Whether an uprising in Iran, a celebrity marriage gone sour, or the trivial factoids which obsess us, we now have the tools to take it all in, all the time, wherever we are.

The mainstream media have tried to follow us on or flight path into breadth, only succeeding in becoming more insubstantial.

But the time for breadth is over. We’ve passed the test – with high marks. We need to move along.

The other and mostly unexplored axis of an information-saturated culture is depth. Each of us has the capacity to dive in and learn more about almost anything than ever before.

It nearly always starts with Wikipedia, which then points you to another resource, which points to another, and another, until, at the end, something like real mastery has been achieved.

With depth comes judgment; walk a mile in another’s shoes and you can know their thoughts. It’s not fast food, but it is a nutritious meal.

It’s interesting to note that the big movie this year (and probably the decade) is James Cameron’s Avatar. Uttered at its climax, the film’s catch phrase is, ‘I see you.’

Three words framing an experience of depth, one soul knowing the soul of another. That might be too much to ask on a planet of nearly seven billion souls, but we know we are lacking, and long to restore balance. Depth must take its place alongside breadth as a core human capability in the era of hyperinformation.

Without it, we will simply evaporate into ephemera and trivia. But with it – and this is my dream – we can reach the rock-solid core of being.

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