[caption id="attachment_22528" align="alignleft"](Photo by Ian Lamont published under Creative Commons License)[/caption]Tied to our electronic devices, most of us do a lot of scrolling these days: scanning our Facebook newsfeeds and tweets, skimming favorite blogs and online news sources. The result, says Nicholas Carr (“Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains), is that we’re losing our capacity to concentrate, contemplate, reflect, even as what we’re reading is often purposely kept shorter in response to our shortened attention spans. All of this has consequences for the quality, depth, and tone of the discourse that we can engage in about important matters.
Historically, the Rondo neighborhood was the most vibrant African American community in St. Paul, until a new freeway, built in the 1960s, tore it apart. According to the Minnesota Historical Society, “The construction of I-94 shattered this tight-knit community, displaced thousands of African Americans into a racially segregated city and a discriminatory housing market, and erased a now-legendary neighborhood.”