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Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Ageby Maggie Jackson
Synopses & Reviews
Do you text during family dinners or read e-mails during meetings? Does your spouse learn about your day from Facebook? Do you get news about the world by scanning online headlines while also doing something else? Welcome to the land of distraction. Despite our wondrous technologies and scientific advances, we are nurturing a culture of diffusion, fragmentation, and detachment. Our attention is scattered among the beeps and pings of a push-button world. We are less and less able to pause, reflect, and deeply connect.
In Distracted, journalist Maggie Jackson ponders our increasingly cyber-centric world and fears were entering a dark age of interruption that will render us unable to think critically, work creatively or cultivate meaningful relationships. Jackson warns of what can happen when we lose our ability to sustain focus and erode our capacity for deep attention—the building block of intimacy, wisdom, and cultural progress. The implications for a healthy society are stark. Societal ADD will adversely affect parenting, marriages, personal safety, education and even democracy. And yet we can recover our powers of focus through a renaissance of attention. Neuroscience is just now decoding the workings of attention, with its three pillars of focus, awareness, and judgment, and revealing how these skills can be shaped and taught. In her sweeping quest to unravel the nature of attention and detail its losses, Jackson offers us a compelling wake-up call, an adventure story, and reasons for hope. Put down your smart phone and prepare for an eye-opening journey. We can—and must—learn to focus attention in this Twitter culture.
Book News Annotation:
The author of What's Happening to Home: Balancing Life, Work, and Refuge in the Information Age fears that we are developing an 'attention-deficit' culture. In historical, scientific, and philosophical contexts, Jackson calls for a renaissance of attention to counter being driven to fragmented 'mcthinking' by electronic technologies. Bill McKibben (The End of Nature), among those who share her concerns, introduces this paperback edition of the 2008 book. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Distracted is a gripping expos of this hyper-mobile, cyber-centric, attention-deficient life. Day by day, we are eroding our capacity for deep attention the building block of intimacy, wisdom, and cultural progress.
Jackson explores the erosion of deep, sustained attention--the building block of intimacy, wisdom, and cultural progress--and offers the cutting-edge solutions needed to cure, not just live with, an epidemic of inattention.
About the Author
Maggie Jackson (New York, NY) is an award-winning author and journalist who writes the popular "Balancing Acts" column in the Boston Globe. Her work also has appeared in The New York Times and on National Public Radio, among other national publications. Her acclaimed first book, Whats Happening to Home? Balancing Work, Life and Refuge in the Information Age, examined the loss of home as a refuge.
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