The Isolator Helmet For Extreme Focus

Manual adderall? A fascinating, torturous device from a century ago, created by a sci-fi pioneer, the Isolator beautifully illustrates the hazards of single-minded focus, although it also would make a splendid fashion accessory. Via A Great Disorder:

These images are from the July, 1925 issue of “Science and Invention”, which was edited by Hugo Gernsback, who later became famous as a pioneer in the field of science fiction. He also invented this contraption which, to my mind, nicely illustrates the folly of taking an excessively narrow approach to solving a problem. The “Isolator” is designed to help focus the mind when reading or writing, not only by by eliminating all outside noise, but also by allowing just one line of text to be seen at a time through a horizontal slit. Obviously…this could be profoundly counterproductive: how would he know that his house was on fire -or, what if he dropped his pencil?

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  • Calypso_1

    mmm breathplay

    • Rex Vestri

      ROFL
      Glad I’m not the only one who had that thought pop into my head.

    • Camron Wiltshire

       HAHAHA

  • http://twitter.com/alizardx A.Lizard

    What was going on with mass participation in experiments with radio and early electrical and electronic devices in general looks a lot like the “maker” scene of today. Hugo Gernsback was a major influence in that community with his electronics parts mail-order company and hobbyist-oriented electronics publications, one of which survived to 2003 as Radio-Electronics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio-Electronics discusses this history.

  • Grum
  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    even before information overload got to today’s levels
    the artistically sensitive began to develop defenses
    but its hard to hide from the telescreen’s web

  • I_abide

    This is a bit of overkill just so you can fish bowl.  Gas masks are a much more compact option.  

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