When you admit your diagnosis, unintentionally.
NY Times columnist Jennifer Senior laments about the technology age in the Trump era:
Many evolutionary biologists are fond of pointing out that the human body is not adapted to modern life, which often involves sitting for hours at a time and toiling in artificial light and consuming mounds of processed sugar (“There’s no food in your food,” as the Joan Cusack character says in “Say Anything”). But the same design problem, it could be argued, is true of the human brain: It was not engineered to process the volume of information we’re getting, and at the rate we’re getting it.
There is probably some truth to this for individuals who seem to not recognize that we are a product of our desires, which is why people like Senior long for simpler times. There was a time when the printing press was considered a danger to good order in a society unless the government had complete control. It’s as if she, like most of her liberal friends, have no grasp of history.
The real problem she highlights is not that she struggles with information overload itself; it’s that Trump’s participation in social media is creating an environment where people can’t hold him accountable:
It should be noted that this problem of split-screen consciousness is likely to get worse in the era of divided government, not better. It won’t just be the president laying claim to our attention, but also those who are holding him to account.
But Trump chaos, both intentional and otherwise, has proved a great de facto political strategy, precisely because we are neurologically incapable of handling it. The one thing we know about any interrupted activity is that it takes an awful lot of energy to return to whatever last had our attention.
In other words, Trump is having detrimental effect on her mental health.
She also takes a shot at the patriarchy, suggesting that an all female White House press corps would be better suited to reporting on the Trump administration.
For what it’s worth, Gloria Mark says that women, in her research, tend to self-interrupt less frequently than men. Daniel Levitin says the same, and that we seem to have more glucose available to replenish our battered neurons than men do. It’s an argument for having an all-female White House press corps. (Maggie Haberman and Ashley Parker: Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.)
She admits she is not one of those strong women in the press corps. The problem is that both Haberman and Parker are slightly less dramatic gossip columnist versions of Jim Acosta. The Times has had to issue corrections frequently for their shoddy reporting – the very essence of the real infliction: TDS.
And that’s the real admission. Trump’s problem is controlling his own messaging, preventing the media from taking him down easily. It has created a lot of casualties. Jennifer is just the latest to admit it.