on July 21, 2014 in Misc

People’s attention spans have shrunk.

Which is a big reason why I’m keeping today’s post short.

Seriously. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average attention span of the U.S. citizen has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013.

The attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds.

lucy movie

Meanwhile, over at the Pentagon, one of its agencies that invests in cutting-edge technology is working on brain enhancement implants for soldiers.  I am not making this up.

It seems the generals want to create super soldiers with hyper-concentration, a perfect memory for maps, and no need to sleep for days on end.  Which to me sounds like a cross between Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory and a meth addict.

Isn’t it fascinating how fiction writers predicted both these extremes?  From the dumbed-down people in Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451, to the super smart super folks in more books and movies than I can count.

bradley limitlessThe newest movie on the topic is Lucy. I want to see it because I’m fascinated by ideas of enhanced brain power.  Guys I know will see it because Scarlet Johansson plays Lucy.  But to be fair, I pretty much saw Limitless, which had a similar brainy, because Bradley Cooper was the lead.

BTW, up until a few years ago I used to meditate a lot.   And as flaky as it may sound, a couple of times I used intense meditation, concentration, and deep relaxation to heal muscle injuries, one of them being a painfully stiff neck.  I swear that after twenty minutes my neck was about 80% healed.

How about you—any fantasies or real tales of brain power you may have? Did it inspire you to write a brainy story?

8 Responses to “Brainiac”

  1. Sorry, I stopped reading at the eight second mark.
    That is sad. Thanks, Twitter.
    Waiting for reviews, but I’m intrigued by Lucy as well. And not just because of Johansson.

  2. Helena says:

    Alex – Dang that eight second mark!

  3. Hart Johnson says:

    Attention span of a goldfish is longer than ours? HA! That is beautiful in the most sick twisted way possible. I am also fascinated with the expanded brain use, but MY worry is it will be available to the richest, giving them yet another advantage and making it even harder for the normal people…

  4. Eight seconds is the amount of time that it takes to ride a bull in a rodeo. Don’t ask how I know that. Anyway, the Scarlet Johannsen flick doesn’t really look all that interesting to me. It’s obvious that a studio is trying to see if she’s got enough star power to carry a movie founded on bad science to box office success. I think that experiments on soldiers is a little frightening, especially if it is done without their knowledge or consent. However, I find other books (like the Handsmaid’s Tale) a far scarier thing that could possibly make its way into reality.

  5. “Which to me sounds like a cross between Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory and a meth addict.” I laughed out loud. So true! can’t wait to see Lucy. I’ve heard that about the Pentagon, too.

  6. Helena says:

    Hart – The fact that the rich will be able to afford these enhancements is already becoming an issue. So our society could become even more unbalanced.

  7. Helena says:

    Michael – The Handmaid’s Tale depressed the hell out of me, especially because the fundamentalist beliefs of the rulers are all around us.

  8. Helena says:

    Carol – I bet some of the details in the movie were inspired by the Pentagon’s experiments.