Skip to comments.Think multitasking is new? Our prehistoric ancestors invented it, UCLA book argues
Posted on 12/12/2010 9:37:08 AM PST by SunkenCiv
Answering e-mail while toggling between telephone conversations. Monitoring social networking sites while working. Supervising the kids' homework while listening to the news and cooking dinner. The abundance of contemporary distractions offers many reasons to curse multitasking.
But a UCLA anthropologist refuses to join the chorus. In a new book that explores the long history of multitasking, Monica L. Smith maintains that human beings should appreciate their ability to sequence many activities and to remember to return to a task once it has been interrupted, possibly even with new ideas on how to improve the activity... Smith, an associate professor of anthropology, contends that the multitasking is the ability that separates human beings from animals: "Multitasking is what makes us human."
(Excerpt) Read more at eurekalert.org ...
It's an attempt by self-aggrandized pseudo-intellectuals to apply CPU architecture to human behavior.
Human behavior was around long before CPUs, and people did what they had to do to survive, and watching the hills for saber-tooth tigers while digging for tubers would have been required behavior.
People can’t really multitask. They are focused on one task at a time ans switch from task to task. Some people are a little better than others at this. But at times all can be distracted and not finish th
That is the definition of multitasking ... switching from task to task.
Exactly. Nothing new here. Move along.
People who have no worry about where their next meal is coming from have a need to invent ways in which they are stressed more than anyone ever has been before. Its nonsense.
Its like people who believe they are the first generation who has ever had to work AND raise children at the same time. The period of non-working women was extremely short and keeping up the homestead used to be a heck of a lot of work. Women that washed clothes with a scrub board, made their own soap, cooked on wood, and butchered were sitting on their hands all day.
Anyone stuck behind a soccer mom carreening down the road in an SUV full of screeching kids while blabbering inanely on her cellphone can attest to this.
Jefferson's "copy" machine (now on display at Monticello) is an example.
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Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
You send Joe that pic of me Civ? Even though it is a nice photoshop job, putting me in a park in Mexico City.
I thought it had been shown that women are hardwired for multi-tasking. Historically, women have had to monitor children while doing other tasks. I attend many community meetings, and it is not unusual for women to meet while watching children and working on some sort of craft or food project at the same time.
Yep, you wouldn’t of been alive too long without *multi-tasking*.
Actually, that is not true. Humans *can8 do two things at once: drive and listen to the radio, or anything mechanical while holding a conversation. Actually, all of the tasks that we can do “mechanically” are actually being controlled by a non-linguistic area of the brain at the same time that a more linguistic area is being utilized.You can combine any one task that requires physical activity with any task that requires linguistic consciousness.
Humans cannot *consciously* do two things at once. Those things are accomplished by switching between tasks. But humans can do things simultaneously, by utilizing different areas of the brain.
Thus, a person can both sing AND dance at the same time.
I think that on average women are genetically better at multitasking than men. Men were most importantly focused on one thing, tracking and killing game. Woman on the other hand spent much more time keeping the fire going, preparing food to eat, keeping the kids out of trouble, and looking after their husbands needs.
Anybody who thinks women don’t have a tracker hunter instinct needs to watch them in the shopping mall.
A woman’s skill is not as a hunter tracker, but as a finder gatherer. Spotting the bargain item in a store where you already know approximately where to look is like finding the prime roots or berries in known growing areas. On the other hand men are chasing a constantly moving target. Involves different skills, and may explain why they are better on average at algebra.