Attention Quarantined

You become what you agree to attend to.

And your freedom turns on it.

Literally.

.

Effort of attention is … the essential phenomenon of will.

William James

.

.

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.

.

.

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.

.

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

.

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

.

ATTENTION

.

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.

.

On the Flip Side

Read:

(a thought-provoking article by Georgi Dinkov)

.

Meditation practice that doesn’t arise spontaneously (or comes to one organically) might only add to the stressload of everyday life.

Same goes, probably, for yoga and exercises of all sorts.

.

Which reminds me of good intentions—paving the road to the proverbial hell—and a great quote by Robert A. Heinlein:

“Goodness without wisdom always accomplishes evil.”

I’m not sure about the ‘always’ in that sentence but goodwill has indeed proven to be quite slippery a virtue over the last century.

.

What exactly is the connection there? Well, try and figure it out. The key word is spontaneous and organic . . . as opposed to programmatic.