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Bite sized learning, the new age

December 5, 2009

For my sins ‘ what a perfectly stupid phrase’ I am an involved in executive education. Once we ran workshops that lasted for 3 months residential, then we ran 1 month residential, now we run 3, 5 days or sometimes, rarely one or two weeks, but mostly 3 or 5 days.

On a nostalgic day I consider what we are able to teach and offer as learning in these absurdly short time periods compared to what we could be offering and I look at the news broadcasts, clearly intended for individuals with the attention span of a gnat. And, I wonder, what is it about doing very rapid things in very short periods of time that is so attractive to the human mind. What is it that makes these teensy weensy sound bites, Twitter-like pieces, seem so worthwhile?

Are we perhaps managing to avoid any seriously deep development, any periods of serious discomfort, any intensities that might disturb us? Have we perhaps reached a place where thinking too hard or feeling too much is not seen as a page in the learning lexicon?

In an economically rational world where too few people are being asked to do too much for too little in too short a time, where is the time to reflect and consider possibly more intelligent options? We are removed by this manipulative process from the need to consider the sanity of our actions, either toward money, growth or learning.

So nice to have a rave from day to day with no-one too concerned about how sane it is.

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