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CREATED BY chris • LAST EDITED BY chris 6754 days AGO
Clive Thompson for the New York Times: "Lots of people complain that office multitasking drives them nuts. But [Gloria Mark] is a scientist of "human-computer interactions" who studies how high-tech devices affect our behavior, so she was able to do more than complain: she set out to measure precisely how nuts we've all become."

"A computer screen offers very little visual real estate. It is like working at a desk so small that you can look at only a single sheet of paper at a time. [...] This is part of the reason that, when someone is interrupted, it takes 25 minutes to cycle back to the original task. Once their work becomes buried beneath a screenful of interruptions, office workers appear to literally forget what task they were originally pursuing. [...] The central danger of interruptions, [Mary Czerwinski] realized, is not really the interruption at all. It is the havoc they wreak with our short-term memory: What the heck was I just doing?"

"On the bigger screen, people completed the tasks at least 10 percent more quickly - and some as much as 44 percent more quickly. [...] In two decades of research, Czerwinski had never seen a single tweak to a computer system so significantly improve a user's productivity. The clearer your screen, she found, the calmer your mind."

"[Gloria Mark] discovered that people in open-cubicle offices suffer more interruptions than those who work remotely. But they have better interruptions [...]"

"A.I. doesn't panic."

"We love Google not because it brings us the entire Web but because it filters it out, bringing us the one page we really need."

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