New research from Carnegie Mellon University confirms what we already knew: Yes, distraction does make us stupider. The little red flag at the bottom of my computer screen is not a harmless little reminder that I am not alone in the world. It is a constant invitation not to finish a thought.
Multitasking is marked by a sustained sense of urgency in a world mediated by communication devices. Puttering is something different.
"Noise is not the most important problem in the world," Garret Keizer begins. But he makes a robust case for noise's far-reaching effects.