If youre a youngish Asian American like me, you can likely dredge up memories of being dragooned to test prep or tutoring sessions. Housed in spartan rooms with the obligatory Scantron machine, these may have been academies for the SAT, PSAT, AP, and ACT or aggressively accredited courses to give you an edge over other applicants to private or feeder schools. Acres of paper would be distributed, from pallets of practice questions to flash cards and take-home exercises. Classes were set to the metronome of drills. At some point, the instructor might airily toss off a bit of advice for the clueless: if in doubt, just bubble in all of the abovewhatever the question, there was a good chance that was the right choice.
Have you heard of Mondaugens Law? Named for an engineer in Gravitys Rainbow who studies atmospheric radio signals, it has the economy of an epigram. Here it is in full: Personal density is directly proportional to temporal bandwidth. Temporal bandwidth, by Mondaugens lights, is ones sense of the present moment.