Attention in the Western Hemisphere is a Gaussian Beam

I was recently reviewing some slides my brother put together for a class on laser manufacturing technology and it got me thinking about the metaphors of a Gaussian Beam.

If you don’t know the concept, I’ll simply show the slides here:

slide 1 gaussian beam

slide 2 gaussian beam

Attention is a Gaussian Beam

This was making me think about how attention in the Western hemisphere feels to me like a Gaussian Beam. There is only one true point of focus and when the “current thing” is moved into that focal point it is undeniable. The power is at it’s maximum and every member of society is bombarded under the energetic intensity. But there is only one beam and when it moves on the previous thing is left completely out of focus, illuminated only by the diffusion of the scattered light reflected off of the next current thing.

gaussian beam surface plot

It’s a metaphor for how the media works, research funding at universities, regime politics, VC startup funding (now we only fund “AI” projects 🫠), etc. I’m not certain that it’s limited to the Western hemisphere either, that’s simply my experience.

I will omit the recently experienced list of “current things” here, it’s too exasperating for me type them all out here.

I support the current thing group meme

Organizational focus is a Gaussian Beam

I was also thinking about how this further applies to organizations. They have a hard time doing more than one thing at a time, it’s just a limitation of organizing groups of people. There are a lot of examples of companies that become ramshackle conglomerates, lose focus and collapse (General Electric for example).

I think the same logic applies to government agencies. Their focus can be brought to bear on one big thing but in doing so it removes the focal point from other duties.

You may have noticed there are a lot of for-profit organizations lately that vocally are changing their mission statements to things other than turning a profit. My point here is I think you should believe them at face value - if you say your top priority is something other than turning a profit and focusing on you business, you probably wont be turning a profit much longer.

Follow the focal point

I will simply leave you with this meme. Where will the Gaussian Beam be brought to focus next?

I support the current thing meme single

Written on March 18, 2023