Attention Quarantined

You become what you agree to attend to.

And your freedom turns on it.

Literally.

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Effort of attention is … the essential phenomenon of will.

William James

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The way Social Media can in effect anti-socialize us and Smart technologies dumb us down is the way that our capacity for discerning attention is under great threat in the Black Hole Glut of the Attention (=Distraction) Economy.

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And it all happens when we have no distinct idea about who we actually are and what we actually stand for.

Absent clarity of intent and intuitive self-reliance we’re bound to forfeit our agency and to defer to what (ever) is being curated for us.

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Free will then is not exempt from causes and conditions but is rather the flexible coordination of attention, intention and emotion in skillful action. That’s what it means to be free from a psychological and phenomenological perspective.

Evan Thompson

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Which reminds me of a profound poem by A. R. Ammons—which arrested my attention the very first time I read it:

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ATTENTION

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Down by the bay I

kept in mind

at once

the tips of all the rushleaves

and so

came to know

balance’s cost and true:

somewhere though in the whole field

is the one

tip

I will someday lose out of mind

and fall through.

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The Candid Are a Little Wild

“Honesty’s on short supply and we subsist on mendacities in times of grave crises. We cannot afford such luxuries as truth or common sense in drastic times.”

Norman Spineles

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they are worse than zombies. they are holier than thouing their willfully blind way through the china shop of your conscience.

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The meek shall inherit the earth.

the hell,

all that the meek can accomplish is be weak

and thus a vehicle for evil.

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it’s only the little wild

who can

open their heart a little wide.

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The ‘New Normal’ is The Same Old News

We’re discouraged from doing more and more of the things that help us evolve while encouraged to do things that keep us psychologically stunted.

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becoming an adult is to arrive at the understanding that you’ll be shamed and punished for your virtues and rewarded and exalted for your sins. that society will not encourage you to be humble and enlightened. on the contrary: it will condition you to perpetuate the ratcheting neuroses and pretense that undergirds it all.

Bukowski on the Technocracy

auto-generated sonnets (by courtesy of GPT-3 say) all but vindicate Charles Bukowski. when in regards to art and the creative process he wrote:

AS THE SPIRIT WANES THE FORM APPEARS.

yes.

and no:

machines will never be able to emulate the intuitive intelligence of an artist. approximate: yes. but to replicate? no way.

machines may only (impeccably) embody the empty and formulaic aspects of the human. the mind. as it were. without the heart.

which is plenty meager.