Na­ture pro­vides prime ex­am­ples of multi- task­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

WE all hear this stuff on all media out­lets about how women are so good at multi- task­ing.

One of the ads shows a fe­male jug­gling her kid, pro­gram­ming and shut­ting the oven with her toes, un­lock­ing the car with her other hand and kiss­ing use­less hubby good­bye while head­ing out the door.

Yeep­ers! I would not want to be mar­ried to such a per­son. You would feel so in­fe­rior ( be­ing a mere male, stupid and in­com­pe­tent!).

The idea of multi- task­ing was first pro­posed in multi- user PDP- 8 or fore­run­ners.

What it ac­tu­ally means is time- slic­ing: this is where you de­vote 100 per cent of your ef­fort to­wards one ac­tiv­ity for as much time as is needed. Then you switch and do the same.

When your loved one is busily talk­ing about some­thing you do not need to know or think about, you move on to another task, again 100 per cent at­ten­tion, un­til you get in­ter­rupted.

In a com­puter sys­tem these in­ter­rupts get pri­ori­tised, and I sus­pect the

com­put­ers, hu­man brain works fairly closely to that. “What did you say, honey?”

An oc­to­pus has brains in one of each arm. In that cir­cum­stance I can be­lieve in multi- task­ing. Hence, I be­lieve in dis­tribut­ing in­tel­li­gence, energy gen­er­a­tion and power gen­er­ally.

I get en­cour­aged by flocks of birds and shoals of fish re­act­ing to a threat; I sus­pect we do not need politi­cians if we be­come ra­tio­nally en­light­ened.

Read the Null- A se­ries.

BERND BUCH­HOLZ,

Con­don.

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