interruptions and nodding

So, I’m taking an on-again, off-again retreat until Sunday night. Part of this down-time, indeed its a Sabbath, means quietness, catching up on reading and rest. I’m just back from another failed visit to see a flat (apartment) to lease and a stop at the local box store where I have stocked up with supplies for the weekend. Today, I caught up on the two week old news in the Economist that my sweet Anna sent me and in it is their Technology Quarterly. In that section I read two articles that interested me greatly. One because it was about human behavior, the other about a software program.

The article on human behavior was in context of human-computer interaction. It was about the computer recognizing the nod. Yes, the nod. Have you ever thought about nodding? Not nodding off (which I will do in an hour or so – I just had lunch) but the nod as communication. When having a conversation, one nods. Researchers have discovered that the nod is often preceed by a gaze change to the speaker from the listener. I personally would add an “umhmm” or a “hmmm.” This shows that the listener is indeed listening and engaged. Over and against just waiting for his or her change to speak (which happens way too often in typical conversation). Communication is really happening when we nod.
The other article is about a software that prevents the internet from distracting us. Be it Fb, Twitter or just checking our email, when working on the oomputer, we are very distracted. Sometimes Ill be at my desk working on something that is time sensitive and I’ll get a call, or I’ll be driving (back home) and I will take the call. But I will sometimes warn my caller that they are only getting 47% of my attention since I’m still doing X. It’s what multi-tasking is all about isn’t it? “Dipping” into the stream of the web as we try to work really slows us down. Our attention gets divided. The software prevents distraction by protecting us from the Internet.
This made me think about God. I am glad that God doesn’t have to divide His attention. Any of us who speak to Him have all of His attention (I might have said 100% of His attention, but 100% is a concept of human reasoning and I’m not sure that that is His limit. God is unlimited. He is eternal (something we don’t really get). Thus, he doesn’t need software to keep Him from being distracted. oh, and, I think God nods a lot.

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