“In Defense of Distraction”

Posted: September 15, 2009

In a wonderfully written article published by New York Magazine, Sam Anderson discusses the ramifications of our culture’s “crisis of attention”. Anderson addresses the idea that information overload has caused us to become severely unproductive. Is this “poverty of attention” leading society to a point where we risk sacrificing any significant productivity to modern day distractions? In the midst of movements toward zen-like focus through secularized meditation, attention doping with potent medication, and the ultra-efficient, cut-all-possible-corners solution, “lifehacking”, how should our culture respond to the increasingly hyper-active nature of the information age? Should we try to retreat to a simpler time? Or are we capable of reaching new mental heights fueled by today’s unprecedented levels of information and communication?

Anderson sees the brain’s plasticity as the key to preventing information overload. Similarly, Cogmed sees the brain’s plasticity as the key to maximizing cognitive potential through training.

Follow the link below to read the fascinating discussion.

nymag.com/news