Seneca on Time & Attention

Our battle with time and attention spans centuries. Over 2,000 years ago, the philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca wrote about distraction in On the Shortness of Life:

No activity can be successfully pursued by an individual who is preoccupied … since the mind when distracted absorbs nothing deeply, but rejects everything which is, so to speak, crammed into it. Living is the least important activity of the preoccupied man; yet there is nothing which is harder to learn… Learning how to live takes a whole life, and, which may surprise you more, it takes a whole life to learn how to die.

And taking care of our time and attention:

People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy.

(via Brain Pickings)

More on Attention

Mark Manson hits the nail on the head:

Limitless access to knowledge brings limitless opportunity. But only to those who learn to manage the new currency: their attention. In the new economy, the most valuable asset you can accumulate may not be money, may not be wealth, may not even be knowledge, but rather, the ability to control your own attention, and to focus.

Because until you are able to limit your attention, until you are able to turn away, at will, from all of the shiny things and nipple slips, until you are able to consciously choose what has value to you and what does not, you and I and everyone else will continue to be served up garbage indefinitely. And it will not get better, it will get worse.

via In The Future, Our Attention Will Be Sold.

Stuck in the Bullshit Machine

Today I stumbled upon a brilliant article, The Bullshit Machine, on Medium that hits almost all of the thoughts I’ve been having on “social media” lately. The gist being that the lure of FOMO and the social nature of these sites encourage so much empty, meaningless action and output that it’s preventing us from actually living meaningful, creative, passionate lives. The stuff that makes us happy and fulfilled.
Continue reading “Stuck in the Bullshit Machine”

Attention: A Muscle to Strengthen – The Atlantic

Sood argues that most of us spend more than half of our mental energy flitting from thought to thought, from app to app; we would ultimately be more productive and resilient, less depressed, and physically healthier, if we were only more deliberate with our cognitive energy.

via Attention: A Muscle to Strengthen – The Atlantic.

Time and attention are two of your most valuable assets and we give away both without much thought over the course of the day. See my attention posts here and here for more of my thoughts on the subject.

Political correctness doesn't actually exist

But political correctness isn’t a “creed” at all. Rather it’s a sort of catch-all term we apply to people who ask for more sensitivity to a particular cause than we’re willing to give — a way to dismiss issues as frivolous in order to justify ignoring them. Worse, the charge of "political correctness" is often used by those in a position of privilege to silence debates raised by marginalized people — to say that their concerns don’t deserve to be voiced, much less addressed.

via The truth about "political correctness" is that it doesn't actually exist – Vox.

Agreed. Simply deeming someone’s opinion, issue, or problem as “PC” is beyond lazy. But that also describes most everything in politics and “news” nowadays.