Constant access to handheld technology continues to force a discussion about attention and mindfulness. Not new, necessarily, but increasingly important. I’ve been digging into attention and presence recently. Here are a few interesting bits I discovered this week. Links are on the blue subheading.
In a meandering piece on attention and mindfulness, Craig Mod shares how his visit to rural Virginia writer’s retreat changed his mindset. I consider this critical reading. It offers a unique lens on presence. Mod, I will add, is truly the most interesting man in the world. I live vicariously through him on Twitter.
Attention is a muscle. It must be exercised. Though, attention is duplicitous — it doesn’t feel like a muscle. And exercising it doesn’t result in an appreciably healthier looking body. But it does result in a sense of grounding, feeling rational, control of your emotions — a healthy mind. Our measuring sticks for life tend to be optimized for material things, things easy to count. Houses, cars, husbands, babies, dollar bills. Attention is immaterial, difficult to track.
Krista Tippett hosts tech thinker Anil Dash to discuss the trajectory of technology in the absence of any ‘deliberate process of ethics, inclusivity, and accountability.’ This conversation covers some of technology’s inconvenient truths and raises a host of fascinating questions.
But those of us in the tech world have not done ordinary folks .. because we’ve adopted this stance that values don’t apply. And that’s part of the reckoning I’d ask everybody who’s not in technology to have, is to raise that flag. At the time when somebody says, “You’ve got to try this new app,” “You’ve got to use this new tool,” think through, what are the implications of, one, me using this, but two, what if everybody does?
Thanks to Wendy Sue Swanson for the heads up on this one. Stay tuned as this interview is likely to spawn a couple of posts in the near future.
An approachable primer to mindfulness with 10 ways to develop a mindful operating system.
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Distracted Doctoring – How absence of mindfulness impacts the clinical encounter.