In Rapt, acclaimed behavioral science writer Winifred Gallagher makes the argument that the quality of your life largely depends on what you choose to pay attention to and how you choose to do it. Gallagher grapples with provocative questions - Can we train our focus? What's different about the way creative people pay attention? Why do we often zero in on the wrong factors when making big decisions? - driving us to reconsider what we think we know about attention.
"The Neuroscience of Concentration"
The founders established the Post Office before they had even signed the Declaration of Independence, and for a very long time it was the US government's largest and most important endeavor - indeed, it was the government for most citizens. This was no conventional mail network but the central nervous system of the new body politic, designed to bind 13 quarrelsome colonies into the United States by delivering news about public affairs to every citizen - a radical idea that appalled Europe's great powers.
Follow a crawling baby around and you’ll see that right from the beginning, nothing excites us more than something new and different. Our unique human brains are biologically primed to engage with and even generate novelty, from our ancestors’ first bow and arrow to the latest tablet computer. This “neophilia” has enabled us to thrive in a world of cataclysmic change, but now, we confront an unprecedented deluge of new things, from products to information, which has quadrupled in the past 30 years and shows no sign of slowing.