Three seconds:
There is an article (Hugs Follow a 3-Second Rule, SCIENCE. vol. 331 no. 6017 February 4, 2011 page 518) that explains current thinking that the human mind functions in three second snippets.  That’s how long time lasts for us.  After three seconds we are off to thinking about something else. 

The exception offered is the split second reaction.  I suppose for most such things the reaction has already been planned during some prior three second reverie. 

As a minority report let me assure you that I can analyze a situation and take novel action in under three seconds.  I confess that I may then pause for three seconds and reflect on what I have done.  I suppose that there are those who are faster, but I have never met one.

The real difference is at the other end.  As the title suggests, hugs last about three seconds among all people and under any circumstance.  Well it’s news to me.  If you are a guy and we hug, expect it to last under a second.  If you are a gal, don’t plan on getting much else done that afternoon unless you push yourself away.  No, I’m not a sexist, but I will concede that my mind works differently around a woman. 

So the three second attention span thing does not ring any subjective bells with me.  But when I reflect I seem to recall noticing it in others.  If I see something pleasant and new I’ll want to watch it for a while even though I may have companions who have seen their fill in the regulatory three seconds.

I used to notice that if I undertook a project it might be two or three years before I could arrange it the way I wanted it.  That used to seem like a long time, but by now I have been working on the kinship and fertility thing for over ten years and it seems to me that nothing has changed.  I am still intent.  Others are still otherwise.

The place where the rubber meets the road of course is in trying to explain it.  When I explain anything it usually takes far more than three seconds.  And that’s for easy things.  How am I to explain this in three seconds?  All I will do will be to hit the brick wall of prejudice. 

But I have a plan.  That is to break it up into thee second parts.  I can do that.  And then give a three second pause between each point so they can digest.

Well it’s a thought. 

Don’t expect these web log postings to get down to the three second mark, though. 

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