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Researcher: "Bursty" email responses link us to Darwin and Einstein
Merlin Mann | Oct 27 2005
New Scientist article suggests contemporary patterns for answering email may not differ much from the way people had previously dealt with paper correspondence—we tend to respond in "bursty" patterns that give high priority and fast turnaround to important stuff while allowing the less pressing stuff to languish for weeks. The basis for comparison? The letters of Einstein and Darwin:
I wonder if they also had to sift through 90% unsolicited ads for mens' patent medicines and daugerrotypes of Ladies Having Gone Wild.
[ Thanks, Mr. Kottke ]
Update 2005-10-29 12:38:34
It's all pops and buzzes from here -- remember I got a C-minus in Geometry as a senior -- but the response does have lots of terms and formulas and appears to be written by someone smart. You guys are, of course, free to rassle over it.
Thing is: even if this research were written in crayon on the back of the deed to the Brooklyn Bridge, it wouldn't alter my (increasingly overstated) opinion on a larger point; technology adopted and applied without proximate (and self-aware) behavioral changes gives us little more than a more efficient way to send our lives out of control. True for Darwin and true for me -- and probably will be as true for George Jetson as it was for Gork the Caveman. Just saying.
[Thanks again for the heads-up, Fazal]
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