Maggie Jackson, Distracted: Reclaiming Our Focus in a World of Lost Attention
Where: The New York Society Library
53 E. 79th St.
212-288-6900 Price: $15
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In the first edition of a groundbreaking book that’s been compared to Silent Spring, Maggie Jackson sounded a prescient warning of a looming crisis: the fragmentation of attention that is eroding our abilities to problem-solve, innovate, and care for one another. Now in an updated edition that Nicholas Carr calls “more essential than ever,” Jackson offers both a renewed wake-up call and a path forward as we reckon with one of the most pressing problems of our time. How can we at last harness the technological marvels of our age and turn data into knowledge and distraction into skillful attention? How can we reset human bonds in a time of perilous disconnection? What are the long-term effects on cognition and memory of constantly splintered focus?
Jackson explores the deep historic roots of distraction, the attentional skills most needed today, and the perils we face in looking first to the machine to resolve our epidemic inattention. She offers a harrowing yet hopeful science-based account of the fate of our highest human capacity.
Maggie Jackson is an award-winning author and journalist whose commentary and articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Utne, and on National Public Radio, among many other publications. She is a 2016 Bard Graduate Center Visiting Fellow whose essays feature in numerous anthologies, including The State of the American Mind: Sixteen Leading Critics on the New Anti-Intellectualism (Templeton, 2015) and The Digital Divide (Penguin, 2010).Buy tickets/get more info now