Context switching like my brain is a fucking CPU

They say our brain is sort of like a CPU, well agreed. But it’s not a multiprocessor which can manage multiple tasks in parallel, its a single core CPU which only supports a single thread at a time, and any attempts to balance multiple tasks at the same time, leads to so much context switching, that my brain usually ends up hanging like a CPU. A context switch is when a CPU switches from one task to another, and has to store some info about the old task ( to resume it later ) and also load some info about the new task to start working on it, this saving and loading leads to inefficiencies and multiple context switches leads to poor CPU utilisation. And that is exactly what my brain keeps on doing all the time these days it seems. I CAN’T FUCKING FOCUS!!!

Okay, I should seriously do something about finding CS analogies about everything in my life, idk, maybe I like CS so much that I can’t help relate everything with CS (much to the annoyance of some of my friends though 😛), a few days back I was explaining a friend how love can be expressed as a constructive superposition of reward functions of two people ( which BTW I heard from Wojciech Zaremba, co-founder OpenAI on Lex Freidman’s Podcast ), and then I was complaining about how the market making ability of the dating market is so bad that it sounds like such an inefficient market, and then we were contemplating what would happen if I say such things on an actual date, well who knows, I don’t have one to do that experiment lol.

As you can clearly see from the above paragraph, I find it very hard to focus on things, my mind wanders from one topic to the other very fast, which is also pretty evident when talking to me, cause I randomly switch to unrelated topics in the middle of conversations. I don’t know why that is so really, maybe it’s due to the generalist inside me, who likes to know about anything that seems interesting, which is in stark contrast with what I actually do, ie. research, which requires you to focus deeply on a topic, and carefully think about the problem, and its solution, maybe that’s why I don’t like doing research anymore.

This blog is also a result of a lack of my focus, I was technically supposed to be thinking about my ongoing research projects, but I am too distracted to think about it, so here we are ranting in our blog to calm our mind a bit so that I can at least sleep without overthinking.

The most valuable thing in our current generation is our attention, our focus. There are so many options, so many things that we can do that, that everyone is fighting for getting as much attention from others as possible, which is a bit weird if you think about it, since attention isn’t actually all that difficult to get if you tune out all the noise, and puts anyone who can do so at such an unfair advantage in this distracted world. The products around us are made to compete for our attention, and in a free internet, our attention is itself the product which companies are selling to the highest bidders ( through ads, which infact makes up the majority of the revenue of Big-Tech giants like Google, Meta ).

Sometimes when I am too distracted by all the context switching, I just put up some music and roam around in my room, it sort of helps with bringing myself back to focus, switching of my mobile helps as well, I think our mobiles are to blame a lot for this problem ( and we are to blame for using them in that way ). I can’t help but imagine how fucking awesome would it be to be able to have laser sharp focus on the task I am currently doing and only that task, not caring about whatever the hell is happening in the world, maybe that’s where brilliance lies, maybe that’s how you do something unique — by cutting out the noise.

Well, with my brain back to reasonable amounts of clarity, that will be all for the post, if you found this post relatable, I can only say that it’s a real problem, and something that doesn’t get said often in today’s hustle culture obsessed with multi-tasking, so hey, just my thoughts but if you’re feeling distracted too, maybe write a bit about it :P

Anyway that’s all for the post, so long!

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Ayush Mangal

Ayush Mangal

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