Currently viewing the tag: "distraction"

RMS Titanic at Cherbourg : Night Shot

For years I assumed that the Titanic tragedy was a result of human arrogance, the belief in the indestructibility of the newest, largest, fastest, fanciest ship of all time. But actually the Titanic went down because of distraction. Other ships had been warning about the iceberg-filled waters for days, but the Titanic’s captain changed course only slightly and did nothing to slow the ship’s speed. When the radio operator received a call from a ship that was surrounded by ice—this was less than an hour before the collision—he responded, “Shut up, shut up, I’m busy.” By the time lookouts spotted the iceberg ahead, it was too late to slow the Titanic’s momentum.
Although overused, the Titanic is a chillingly accurate metaphor for our time. Distracted people don’t notice they are in danger. Rumi said: “Sit down and be quiet. You are drunk and this is the edge of the roof.” –Margaret Wheatley

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story with complications that occur due to distraction.

Journaling Prompt: Write about how distraction affects your life.

Art Prompt: Distraction

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the dangers of distraction and give your audience tips for fighting it.

Photo Credit: Encyclopedia Titanica on Flickr

(details to come, as time permits)
These photos were taken during the “Web 2.0 Summit” conference in San Francisco in November 2008. The conference was held at the Palace Hotel, near the intersection of Montgomery & Market Streets, by the Post Plaza subway stop. During the lunch break and an afternoon break, I wandered out of the hotel to get some fresh air, and took some pictures of various tourists, pedestrians, and citizens of the fair city of San Francisco…


“Everybody is aware of the risk of cell phones and texting in automobiles, but I see more and more teens distracted with the latest devices and headphones in their ears,” says lead author Richard Lichenstein, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of pediatric emergency medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “Unfortunately as we make more and more enticing devices, the risk of injury from distraction and blocking out other sounds increases.”

…Researchers reviewed 116 accident cases from 2004 to 2011 in which injured pedestrians were documented to be using headphones. Seventy percent of the 116 accidents resulted in death to the pedestrian. More than two-thirds of victims were male (68 percent) and under the age of 30 (67 percent). More than half of the moving vehicles involved in the accidents were trains (55 percent), and nearly a third (29 percent) of the vehicles reported sounding some type of warning horn prior to the crash. The increased incidence of accidents over the years closely corresponds to documented rising popularity of auditory technologies with headphones. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write about a distracted character and the accident their distraction causes.

Journaling Prompt: Write about an accident that you had because you were distracted.

Art Prompt: Accident

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about the dangers of distraction

Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon on Flickr