Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age

Front Cover
Prometheus Books, 2008 - Psychology - 327 pages
3 Reviews
We have oceans of information at our fingertips, yet we seek knowledge in Yahoo headlines glimpsed on the run. We are networked as never before, but we connect with friends and family via email and fleeting face-to-face moments that are rescheduled a dozen times.
Welcome to the land of distraction.

Despite our wondrous technologies and scientific advances, we are nurturing a culture of diffusion 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.

Distracted is a gripping exposé 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. The implications for a healthy society are stark.

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. This is exciting news for all of us living in an age of overload.

In her sweeping quest to unravel the nature of attention and detail its losses, Maggie Jackson introduces us to scientists, cartographers, marketers, educators, wired teens, and even roboticists. She offers us a compelling wake-up call, an adventure story, and reasons for hope.

Pull over, hit the pause button, and prepare for an eye-opening journey. More than ever, we cannot afford to let distraction become the marker of our time.

From inside the book

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - snash - LibraryThing

The book presents a fascinating and frightening collection of evidence for our distracted lives; distracted by split focus, mobility that erodes our sense of space, involvement in the digital world ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - revslick - LibraryThing

Great book in explaining all the ways we have become distracted and continue to go over the edge into an ADD/ADHD dark age, but the author neglects solution and/or application of the argument entirely except to say be more attentive. Read full review

Contents

Foreword
9
Chapter One Wired Love l880Tracing the Roots
29
Chapter Two F0cusEmailing the Dead
45
Copyright

9 other sections not shown

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About the author (2008)

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, What's Happening to Home? Balancing Work, Life and Refuge in the Information Age, examined the loss of home as a refuge.

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