A Deadly Wandering Rhetorical Analysis

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The ability to divide our attention during cognitively demanding tasks and the allure of technology creates a delicate balancing act that can at times have grave consequences. On September 22, 2006 in Utah, Reggie Shaw placed the fates of James Furfaro and Keith O’Dell, as well as his own upon this deadly scale. Tragically, the lives of James and Keith were lost, and Reggie Shaw’s future would be forever altered by the events and decisions of that day (Richtel 16). In this modern age of technological marvels our attention is vied for in a constant conflict. Frequently in our lives or particularly in our jobs we are called upon to execute mentally demanding and at times dangerous tasks. Notwithstanding, as the marvels of the technological world call to us, as a siren calls to…show more content…
However, at what point does the weight of our divided attention tilt towards disaster? Within the pages of A Deadly Wandering, Matt Richtel, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and writer for the New York Times, contemplates the impact of technology on human attention and the potential consequences of dividing our attention. Richtel seeks not only to understand why James and Keith lost their lives on that fateful day, but to also gain knowledge about the essence of attention (34). Throughout the narrative, Richtel utilizes research conducted by experts in the field of attention to illustrate the effect of divided attention on such critical tasks as driving an automobile. According to research conducted at Princeton University, directing attention to one stimulus causes awareness of all other sensory input to be lost, such as operating a mobile phone while driving (121). Dr. Adam Gazzaley, a neurologist with a PhD in

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