Posts Tagged ‘Xiao 78retwee’

Your attention didn’t collapse. It was stolen | Psychology | The Guardian

January 19, 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/jan/02/attention-span-focus-screens-apps-smartphones-social-media

Liked this quote from the article: “Individual abstinence is not the solution, for the same reason that wearing a gas mask…isn’t the answer to pollution… [It’s] just pushing it back on to the individual…when it’s…the environmental changes that will…make the difference.”

bigger quote
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In Moscow, the former Google engineer James Williams – who has become the most important philosopher of attention in the western world – told me I had made a crucial mistake. Individual abstinence is “not the solution, for the same reason that wearing a gas mask for two days a week outside isn’t the answer to pollution. It might, for a short period of time, keep certain effects at bay, but it’s not sustainable, and it doesn’t address the systemic issues.” He said that our attention is being deeply altered by huge invasive forces in wider society. Saying the solution was to just adjust your own habits – to pledge to break up with your phone, say – was just “pushing it back on to the individual” he said, when “it’s really the environmental changes that will really make the difference”.

Nigg said it might help me grasp what’s happening if we compare our rising attention problems to our rising obesity rates. Fifty years ago there was very little obesity, but today it is endemic in the western world. This is not because we suddenly became greedy or
self-indulgent. He said: “Obesity is not a medical epidemic – it’s a social epidemic. We have bad food, for example, and so people are getting fat.” The way we live changed dramatically – our food supply changed, and we built cities that are hard to walk or cycle around, and those changes in our environment led to changes in our bodies. We gained mass, en masse. Something similar, he said, might be happening with the changes in our attention.
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