Johann Hari (@johannhari101) is a New York Times best-selling author and top-rated TED speaker. His latest book is Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention—And How to Think Deeply Again.
What We Discuss with Johann Hari:
- It’s not just your imagination: attention spans are shortening, and finding the mental state that fosters deep thinking is increasingly elusive.
- It’s not just kids: college-age people switch tasks, on average, every 65 seconds. Adults? Every three minutes. We’ve become accustomed to interrupting ourselves when external distractions aren’t there to do it for us.
- It’s not your fault: your inability to focus isn’t a personal failure; your focus has been stolen from you by powerful external forces that have left all of us uniquely vulnerable to corporations determined to raid our attention for profit.
- It’s not just the internet and technology: our lack of focus has actually been happening for generations.
- Discover what Johann learned about reclaiming this focus—as individuals, and as a society—on a trip that took him around the world.
- And much more…
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The human brain can only really pay attention to one thing at a time, which makes finding focus in a world that’s constantly bombarding you with information—from every angle—nearly impossible. But it’s not your fault. Your inability to focus isn’t a personal failure; your focus has been stolen from you by powerful external forces that have left all of us uniquely vulnerable to corporations determined to raid our attention for profit. On an individual level, this can disrupt our ability to learn complex skills and achieve lives of purpose. On a societal level, this can keep us from achieving collective goals that benefit humanity.
It’s a real problem. But is there a real solution?
On this episode, we’re joined by Johann Hari, author of Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention—And How to Think Deeply Again. Here, we discuss what’s really robbing us of our attention and what Johann learned about reclaiming it on a trip that took him around the world. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
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Miss the conversation we had with Tristan Harris, a former Google design ethicist, the primary subject of the acclaimed Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, co-founder of The Center for Humane Technology, and co-host of the podcast Your Undivided Attention? Catch up with episode 533: Tristan Harris | Reclaiming Our Future with Humane Technology here!
Thanks, Johann Hari!
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Resources from This Episode:
- Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention—And How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari | Amazon
- Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression—And the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari | Amazon
- Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari | Amazon
- Johann Hari: Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong | TED Global London
- Johann Hari: This Could Be Why You’re Depressed or Anxious | TEDSummit 2019
- Johann Hari | Website
- Johann Hari | Twitter
- Johann Hari | Instagram
- Johann Hari | Facebook
- Johann Hari | YouTube
- Johann Hari | TikTok
- The Home of Elvis Presley | Graceland
- The Adversarial Persuasion Machine: A Conversation with James Williams | TechCrunch
- James Williams: Stand Out of Our Light | TEDx Athens
- We Saved the Ozone Layer. We Can Save the Climate | NRDC
- Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Space Laser and the Age-Old Problem of Blaming the Jews | Vox
- I Knew It, the World is Falling Apart! Combatting a Confirmatory Negativity Bias in Audiences’ News Selection Through News Media Literacy Interventions | Digital Journalism
- Rohingya Sue Facebook for £150BN over Myanmar Genocide | The Guardian
- Steven Pinker | Why Rationality Seems Scarce | Jordan Harbinger
- Johann’s Interviews with Joel Nigg, Earl Miller, and More | Stolen Focus
- Joel Nigg | Twitter
- Earl K. Miller | Twitter
- Multitasking and the Brain | Brighter Minds
- Glenn Wilson | Website
- Should Texting While Driving Be Treated Like Drunken Driving? | The New York Times
- kSafe Mini Cell Phone Time Locking Container | Amazon
- “Le Burnout” In the Land of the 35-hour Work Week | FrenchEntrée
- The Right to Disconnect: Emerging Issues and Ways to Overcome Them | OnLabor
- Gloria Mark | Twitter
- How Distractions At Work Take Up More Time Than You Think | I Done This Blog
- Provincetown: Cape Cod’s Most Popular Destination | Provincetown Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
- David Copperfield by Charles Dickens | Amazon
- Sune Lehmann | Twitter
- Abundance of Information Narrows Our Collective Attention Span | ScienceDaily
- Explore What the World Is Searching | Google Trends
- The World Is Not Getting Enough Sleep | World Economic Forum
- Matthew Walker | Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams | Jordan Harbinger
- Roxanne Prichard | Twitter
- Later School Start Times Catching On Across the Nation | Sleepopolis
- Charles A. Czeisler | Sleep Medicine
- Impact of Sleepiness and Sleep Deficiency on Public Health | Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
- Jaron Lanier | Why You Should Unplug from Social Media for Good | Jordan Harbinger
- Alice Hamilton Hates Heavy Metal | Cosmos Magazine
- How the World Eliminated Lead from Gasoline | Our World in Data
- The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff | Amazon
- Tristan Harris | Reclaiming Our Future with Humane Technology | Jordan Harbinger
- Aza Raskin | Twitter
- Shoshana Zuboff | Twitter
- The Acceleration of Addictiveness | Paul Graham
- Andrew Sullivan | Wikipedia
- Renee DiResta | Dismantling the Disinformation Machine | Jordan Harbinger
- Jane McGonigal | How to See the Future and Be Ready for Anything | Jordan Harbinger
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