EXTRA! EXTRA! How do you read all about it?

No judgement calls here, just presenting the facts. And a pie chart.

Let’s imagine two fairly intelligent people who share a house. Let’s call them R1 and R2 ( to be totally non-ageist and non-sexist). Both these people like to keep up with world news, domestic affairs and politics, R1 leans towards science, literature and technology, R2 towards sport, gardening  and …well, more sport. Neither  is much interested in celebrities or gossip.

Here is the breakfast table this morning.

Immediately some other differences become apparent. R1 drinks coffee from a freebie mug; R2 drinks tea from a very nice cup and saucer. More obviously, perhaps, R1 reads news from electronic devices (which may or may not be fruit-branded) and R2 reads ALL the Sunday newspapers in their print form. Another obvious difference is that R1 seems to be multitasking and doing something other than ingesting news, maybe writing a manuscript, a grant or some other work-related task. R1 may or may not also be checking email, playing Words with Friends, tweeting and writing a blog post. On the fruit-branded phone (not in shot because it is being used to take the photo), R1 may also be messaging and sharing photos with immediate relatives. R2 is reading.

Here are some other differences.

Table space usage

Space required: R2 > R1.

Electricity required: R1 > R2 (But only just: R2 requires the light on; R1 doesn’t).

Recycling required at the end of the day: R2 > R1.

Distraction potential from information at hand: R1 > R2.

Need to wear a cardigan because it’s getting a bit chilly R2 > R1 (larger electronic device is generating quite a bit of warmth).

Amount of information available R2 = finite; R1 = virtually infinite

Time required to read said information R2 = 3 hours; R1 = whatever allocated, often too much.

Noise levels generated R1 > R2 (Stupid cooling fan).

Ability to read information outside areas of interest: R2 = R1 (proportionally speaking)

Ability to wrap vegetable peelings: R2 >>> R1

Weight of stuff to move to clear table R1 > R2 (but only just).

Ability to keep being informed in a blackout: R1 > R2. (R1 total of 3 + 10 + 11 = 24 hours worth of battery life; R2 until dark so 12 hours)

Potential for black print grubbiness on drawer handles, light switches and banister rails R2 >>> R1

Have I covered everything?

PS: R1 just read this blog to R2. R2 added…

Amount of information on participants: R1 >> R2

Amount of time wasting going on: R1 >> R2

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About drmmobs

Medical Researcher
This entry was posted in Family, Science, Statistics. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to EXTRA! EXTRA! How do you read all about it?

  1. Best “new media” vs “old media” analysis ever :-) Especially dig the pie graph!

    FWIW, as much as I love my gadgets, I cannot resist buying newspapers to enjoy with coffee – especially on weekends.

  2. Tim J says:

    I’m not sure the pie chart is completely accurate. It appears to show space used, not space needed. In particular I see that more of R1’s belongings than R2’s are overhanging the edge of the table . . .

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