Change Means More Demands on Attention Skills – by Betsy Hill

We all have a sense that the world is changing rapidly, even exponentially.  We all seem to be moving faster just to keep up.  Can we keep up?  Are we falling behind?  Here are some statistics and predictions that underscore just how dramatically the demands on our attention and ability to process are being challenged. 

  • China will soon be the number one English speaking country in the world.
  • If you took every singe job in the U.S. today and shipped it to China, they’d still have a labor surplus.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today’s learner will have 10 to 14 jobs …by age 38.
  • According to former Secretary of Education Richard Riley, the top 10 jobs that will be in demand in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004.
  • In 2004-2005, 14% of couples who married had met online.
  • In March 2009, Google averaged 293 million searches per day.
  • There are about 540,000 words in the English language, about 5 times as many as during Shakespeare’s time.
  • More than 3,000 books are published … daily.
  • A week’s worth of The New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 19th century.
  • The amount of new technical info is doubling every 2 years. For students staring a 4-year technical or college degree, this means that half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study.
  • Predictions are that by 2013 a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computation capability of the human brain. 
  • By 2023, when today’s 1st graders ill be 23, a $1,000 computer will exceed the computation capability of the human brain.

Please share with us your thoughts on how these changes are affecting our lives.


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