Meg sent me this short YouTube promotion for Steven Johnson's upcoming book on creativity. Its worth the time. My one-line response: one book's distraction is one browser's connection.
I like this talk because I've been thinking of Richard Miller's recent discussion of "slow reading" (which I discovered browsing through Facebook, and then browsing over at the Blogora). From what I gather, Miller developed the idea out of Roland Barthes' Pleasure of the Text (in my quick searching, I couldn't find anything by Miller on this subject, but I did find a recent ADE Bulletin article by Jonathan Culler on Close Reading). From what I gather from reading about it, Miller's idea is for students to read one book over the course of the semester (about 15 pages a week). There's no pre-planned syllabus, student assignments develop from the reading on an idiosyncratic basis, negotiated by teacher and student. As a commenter on Facebook gestured, I have a fun time thinking about how USF's recently minted "Office of Assessment" would respond to such an idea (but I dwell in a completely enframed, technological, bureaucratic UNIverse). Such an idea, however, seems connected to the premise of Johnson's upcoming book--that great ideas are a result of careful contemplation and chaotic encounter.
Thankfully, today, our libraries provide opportunity for both.