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Is the internet merely a wicked temptation for employees?

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Great article in Sunday’s NYT Magazine by Peggy Orenstein about the lures of the internet.  Comparing herself to Ulysses lashing himself to his ship’s mast to avoid succumbing to the Siren’s song, she looks for ways to free herself from the internet.   Her thesis: knowledge and information are two different things.

“The trap is more of a bait and switch: the promise [of the internet] is of infinite knowledge, but what’s delivered is infinite information, and the two are hardly the same. In that sense, Homer may have been the original neuropsychologist: centuries after his death, brain studies show that true learning is largely an unconscious process. If we’re inundated with data, our brains’ synthesizing functions are overwhelmed by the effort to keep up. And the original purpose — deeper knowledge of a subject — is lost.”

I remember reading that some companies have been experimenting with “email-free Fridays” in an effort to improve productivity.  That seems like a wonderful idea to me.

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