Schwartz, Evan I. "Interrupt-Driven." http://www.hotwired.com/wired/2.06/ departments/electrosphere/interrupt-driven.html
The article, "Interrupt-Driven," was located on the World Wide Web with the search altavista. Although many people have the perception that the internet is limited to universities, professionals, the upper end of the middle-class, and the upper-class, libraries and schools are beginning to make the net more accessible to people from all walks of life. The only limiting factor is the knowledge that the internet exists. Surprisingly, a small percentage of the general public is still either unaware of the existence of the internet or unable to use it. Thus, everyone is not able to receive information using the net, but a very large majority of people are able to retrieve information via the internet. This particular article can also be found in Wired Magazine, which is by far more limiting than the internet since it is targeted towards an intellectual audience.
The article of interest, "Interrupt-Driven," primarily focuses on an adult, Dave deBronkart, who has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Through the characterization of deBronkart, a 44 year-old desktop publishing consultant, many other actors are introduced. The author, who little is know about, mentions the psychiatrists who specialize in the disorder. She uses these psychiatrists to obtain the estimated number of adults affected by ADD, which is somewhere between three and ten million in the United States. She then mentions two psychiatrists, Drs. Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey, co-authors of a book, Driven to Distraction, to initiate the explanation for the reason of adults having ADD. Hallowell and Ratey also voice their frustration, probably similar to many adults, about how slow the American Psychiatric Association is classifying ADD adults. The New England Journal of Medicine is then praised for publishing the results of a study by eight doctors. The results provided credibility for the adult form of ADD.
Through the remainder of the article, the author provides support for ADD adults in two forms: (1) discusses a support forum and (2) briefly mentions the stories of four other adults with ADD. The Attention Deficit Disorder Forum on the CompuServe information service, developed by the Desktop Publishing Forum, was referenced as a support forum. Thom Hartmann, an entrepreneur and one of the founders of the Attention Deficit Disorder Forum, is mentioned as having ADD. Finally, Francis Lawrence, a 46 year-old home business owner, Carolyne Brown, 31, and Nancy are briefly mentioned to give personal accounts of the daily problems they faced as ADD adults. The author also mentions some famous people that the ADD Forum has decided have or had ADD to provide what I consider a light comic relief. The famous people mentioned include Einstein, Edison, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Bill Gates. Of course there are general groups that remain a constant throughout the article such as ADD adults , the primary readers of this articles, the medical community, and America, the Attention Deficit Society.
"Interrupt-Driven," a personal account, begins by labeling ADD as the official brain syndrome of the information age, which is the settle underlying statement through the whole article. In deBronkart's personal account, he says, "Technology lets me keep up with my mind" (Schwartz, p1). The article proceeds to suggest how ADD fits into high-tech, high-stim, fast-food, information-over-loaded, media-saturated life-style of America in 1990's. The author, whom little is know about, then characterizes adult ADD as a multi-tasking mind. She also list many other qualities all of which are the bi-products of our high-tech society, such as getting lost in cyberspace, juggling too many projects, etc. The article later discusses a support forum, which strangely enough is on the internet, another result of hi-tech America. It goes on to give four other personal accounts about the daily problems an ADD adult face. Finally, it intoduces the term pseudo-ADD, which is the displaying of ADD characteristics without the genetic backing. It is getting very difficult to distinguish between ADD and pseudo-ADD. By the end of the article, it seems like a tragedy. Regardless of what we (Americans) do, we are destined to fall victim to the fast-pace American society, the villain.
I definitely believe that high technology will soon take it tolls on the world, especially Americans, whether through ADD, pseudo-ADD, heart attacks, etc. Americans are going to begin facing drastic problems for what we think of as the "ideal" (hi-tech) world we are creating. In other words, it doesn't surprise me at all that many people are beginning to show signs of ADD without genetic backing because at times, I think that I have pseudo-ADD. I feel that my situation is also a result of the hi-tech society. MIT gives information at such a rapid rate to meet the demands of society; it is very easy to become distracted while engaged in something. So this causes me to question the existence of genetic ADD. Is ADD not just a disorder to cover for our uncontrollably technical world? In any case, I think the article is well-written and should serve as a wake-up call to America; however, it should have developed the research proving the existence of ADD slightly more.
Reviewer: Lekisha Jackson