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Old 08-09-2019, 03:55 PM
Location: Southwest Washington State
22,260 posts, read 14,612,761 times
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Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
I would argue that multitasking is absolutely possible. But I do believe that some people are better at it, or it manifests in different ways, and the same person's ability with this can change with age, or with training.

When I was a kid, I got into a lot of trouble in school for drawing pictures during class. This used to frustrate me, because if I had to just sit there like a doll, staring at the teacher while they spoke, and that was it...which may have LOOKED like good listening to the teacher...my brain would either start a sort of boredom shut-down where I would fall asleep, or it would wander off into some far more complex thought process that would make it impossible for me to follow what the teacher was saying.

But! Give me something to occupy my hands and eyes, that I didn't need a word-driven train of thought to process, like drawing, and my brain would suck up the lecture and retain it well. Better by far, than if I was not drawing at the same time. I've noticed a lot of people taking up knitting and crocheting, which I think is a similar thing. It gives parts of the brain a task so that they are not idle, and then you can hear and/or speak, in an engaged way.

If I am driving, and have no music to listen to and no one to talk to, and boredom sets in over time, I'm far more likely to become drowsy or to have my mind wander. In a time like that, especially if I am, say, on a long stretch of highway, not handling constant input from cross-traffic, signals, and so on in town, if I just try and "focus on driving" when it simply is not giving enough demand on my brain, I really do believe I'm far better off getting someone on the phone to talk to, to keep me in an alert state. I've done enough long distance driving to have a good idea of how my mind works in these situations. Boredom is not conducive to alertness.
I was the same way in school.

Driving, not so much though. But if I am to drive a long time, then I would prefer to listen to a book on tape. Around town, no.
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Old Yesterday, 08:04 AM
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Actually everyone can multitask. I can alt tab while talking to someone on Second Life at once just fine.

What you can't do it give full undivided attention to both areas at once. That's not always a bad thing. I wanna relax and take things easy. But I will give you my full undivided attention and stop "splitting" it when it's needed.

I haven't seen the link in the first post but I'm going to bypass it and use some simple logic of my own. Using my above example it is a situation where one person can "divide" there attention. And thus multitask. If you're really really good at both tasks you can do both quite well. A person could, for example, do math in their head while playing a game. The later could even help with focusing on the former task. You can do it "without thinking too much". A "task" never implied "having to use your head too much". Or otherwise stated "Do relationship things with me". Those things are indeed tasks but they are not the only tasks.

Another example is watching TV while eating. I seem to manage stuffing my face just fine when watching TV. If I'm super interested in whats on TV I don't look at my food which slows down the eating. Otherwise I have to look at my food as I glance away (missing a little bit of the TV in the process). Do both tasks take a very slight hit? Yes. But am I still doing both at once with good results? Also yes. It can take time to adjust to doing two things at once but with enough practice and repetition you get better at doing the two things at once. Sometimes people can even do two tasks at peek efficiency at the same time. Which is rare but does happen. As I think back on world war 2 and having played games that involve extremely immersive elements I can only imagine how soldiers had to adapt with digging in while defending while worrying about logistics as they're short on supplies while dealing with tanks. Sure, you got specialised roles for each area. But when **** hits the fan and that's compromised you don't have a choice but to multitask. Considering we worn world war 2 I'd say that proves people are good at it. Well, some were/are. You got people bad at it too. Some people handle it better then others. Some people simply lead by example better then others. No matter what any "study" says I have witnessed people do multiple tasks at once quite well. And also quite badly. But that's how it goes. You get some of one and... a lot of the other I guess. If people suck at multitasking it's because they're not used to it and struggle with the extra pressure. Comes down to experience mostly.
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Old Yesterday, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Taramafor View Post
Actually everyone can multitask. I can alt tab while talking to someone on Second Life at once just fine.

What you can't do it give full undivided attention to both areas at once. That's not always a bad thing. I wanna relax and take things easy. But I will give you my full undivided attention and stop "splitting" it when it's needed.

Agreed. The reality is there are few tasks which require "full undivided attention" where your brain cannot divert for a few milliseconds to even a few seconds.

This seems to come down to semantics; how one defines multi-tasking. Taken literally, performing more than one task in ther same block of time, it doesn't matter how the task is performed - consciously or subconciously (no such thing as "muscle memory", the brain is still running the show). Someone decided to take an opposing view of something that most everyone accepts, and attach irrelevant qualifiers to justify their position.
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Old Yesterday, 08:38 AM
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Computers are true multitaskers. They can perform multiple tasks at the same time.

People..not so much. We can perform productive and non productive tasks at the same time (talking on the phone while cooking). When it comes to more than one productive task we juggle.
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Old Yesterday, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
This seems to come down to semantics.
It comes down to facts. Semantics are an ADDITION. People are assuming the additions apply across the board when they do not. This is how miscommunication (and worse, assumptions) happens.

The core of multi tasking is "doing more then one thing at once". That's it. That's the one thing that can't be argued against that we can all seem to agree on.

This beings into question "how well". Which in turn makes me wonder if people make pointless studies when THEY can't handle more then one task when others can. Why should others be told they can't handle more then one situation at once when someone else struggles?

The study was done either out of ignorance and lack of knowledge for how others perceive the "most basic version of the label" or was made out of inadequate feelings. both are cause for concern. People go through years if not decades of training or/and experience for EXACTLY this reason. To get better at doing multiple things at once. A well trained elite vet will be much more effective then a rookie without a clue. Think it's as simple as aiming and shooting? Nope. Safety. Mags. Overwatch. Knowing where to take position and where to avoid. It IS muscle memory. It just takes time to "sink in". Doesn't happen over night. Anyone can do it. Just takes practice. And a good enough reason to do so.

Then there's jobs like construction. Heights. Building while dangling from the side of a building. Window cleaning. Health and safety is a task in its own right. Construction vehicles. Which in turn requires driving while doing the constructing. Those people earned being called good at multitasking. They worked hard for it. It might be "One" task today but it was "two" only a few years ago.

Then there's code. You got to type it in as you think about what each command line does. And if you're working on a game that's game balance as well. And suddenly we got games that focus on this as a gamplay mechanic and we got five nights at freddies with multiple monitors, having to deal with power and vents and doors, all while worrying about things that kill you if you make even ONE mistake. Have you seen the hardest difficulty setting on that game? You do 9999999 things at once or game over. At rapid speed. Twitch games isn't something I'm not the best at myself. But I don't use my lack of skill to say others can't do it when it's been proven it's been done.

This isn't even covering being able to handle your own volatile emotions while making sure you carefully handle someone else's. Which is probably one of the most difficult multitasking things there is to do. It's extremely common for people to default to one side alone (be it their own or the other persons) rather then both. Basically I'm saying when you can focus on both of you at once it makes things go MUCH better.

Considering how well people have adapted to doing multiple things at once in various situations then I say semantics be damned and let people feel good for getting through that and achieving so much at once. For each and every situation which serves as proof and evidence. Lots of people are good at dealing with multi tasking. Even implying otherwise is an insult to the people that struggled to get that talent IMO. Some of which shed blood sweat and tears for it. Like everything else it has to do with experience. Some tasks are a little too hard to do at once (like being an engineer AND a medic at once. technically possible though) but that does not change the fact MANY tasks are able to be handled at once. If not all. Not saying it's easy (it's hard as balls to be honest. At least until you get used to it). Am saying it's been done and I have nothing but respect for those that can handle it.

And if you want to talk "multiple situations at once" let's touch on poly. The very definition is "multiple".

I think I'll just let my examples speak for themselves. Proof. Proof all over. But people turn a blind eye to it.
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Old Today, 04:16 PM
Location: Colorado
12,112 posts, read 7,437,635 times
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I guess the way I perceive this, and this is fully anecdotal, just a sample-of-one observation, and I do not assume that all brains are exactly alike, so I don't say this is "how it works," only "how it seems to work for me"...

I feel that with very rote, routine tasks, what we call "muscle memory" is that I don't have to call upon certain parts of my brain to make decisions or to actively engage. When I am showering, I'm doing some of my best thinking of the day, and then even though I got through the process of it without just standing there or slowing down, I can't clearly recall if I remembered to do this or that particular task in the process, like "wait...is this the shampoo, or the conditioner, that I'm about to rinse out? Did I accidentally shampoo twice?" I'm auto-piloting. OK that is a good example of not doing a primary task WELL because I'm devoting my brainpower to some kind of imaginary argument or philosophical puzzle at the time.

I like to make art, and if I have an art project I'm working on, I also like to put on a documentary or audio book or podcast or even a movie that I have seen many times. I can picture in my head what is going on visually since I've seen it before and have a reasonably good memory of it. But I think that using the part of my brain that primarily processes auditory information, while devoting focus to visual/kinesthetic information at the same time, really maximizes the productivity of my mind. I will be doing all of it best, when all of that is working. But in making art, I'm not using the language processing parts of my brain, which are engaged right now with whatever I'm listening to. If I tried to switch to reading at the same time as listening to a podcast or show, my brain wouldn't be processing the streams of words from both sources effectively (and I find that interesting because when I was a child, I remember being more capable of this.)
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