INFINITE DISTRACTION

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Infinite Distraction

Author : Dominic Pettman
ISBN : 9781509502288
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 89.78 MB
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It is often argued that contemporary media homogenize our thoughts and actions, without us being fully aware of the restrictions they impose. But what if the problem is not that we are all synchronized to the same motions or moments, but rather dispersed into countless different emotional micro-experiences? What if the effect of so-called social media is to calibrate the interactive spectacle so that we never fully feel the same way as other potential allies at the same time? While one person is fuming about economic injustice or climate change denial, another is giggling at a cute cat video. And, two hours late, vice versa. The nebulous indignation which constitutes the very fuel of true social change can be redirected safely around the network, avoiding any dangerous surges of radical activity. In this short and provocative book, Dominic Pettman examines the deliberate deployment of what he calls hypermodulation, as a key strategy encoded into the contemporary media environment. His account challenges the various narratives that portray social media as a sinister space of synchronized attention, in which we are busily clicking ourselves to death. This critical reflection on the unprecedented power of the Internet requires us to rethink the potential for infinite distraction that our latest technologies now allow.
Category: Philosophy

Distraction

Author : Natalie M. Phillips
ISBN : 9781421420127
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 56.48 MB
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Early novel reading typically conjures images of rapt readers in quiet rooms, but commentators at the time described reading as a fraught activity, one occurring amidst a distracting cacophony that included sloshing chamber pots and wailing street vendors. Auditory distractions were compounded by literary ones as falling paper costs led to an explosion of print material, forcing prose fiction to compete with a dizzying array of essays, poems, sermons, and histories. In Distraction, Natalie M. Phillips argues that prominent Enlightenment authors—from Jane Austen and William Godwin to Eliza Haywood and Samuel Johnson—were deeply engaged with debates about the wandering mind, even if they were not equally concerned about the problem of distractibility. Phillips explains that some novelists in the 1700s—viewing distraction as a dangerous wandering from singular attention that could lead to sin or even madness—attempted to reform diverted readers. Johnson and Haywood, for example, worried that contemporary readers would only focus long enough to "look into the first pages" of essays and novels; Austen offered wry commentary on the issue through the creation of the daft Lydia Bennet, a character with an attention span so short she could listen only "half-a-minute." Other authors radically redefined distraction as an excellent quality of mind, aligning the multiplicity of divided focus with the spontaneous creation of new thought. Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, for example, won audiences with its comically distracted narrator and uniquely digressive form. Using cognitive science as a framework to explore the intertwined history of mental states, philosophy, science, and literary forms, Phillips explains how arguments about the diverted mind made their way into the century’s most celebrated literature. She also draws a direct link between the disparate theories of focus articulated in eighteenth-century literature and modern experiments in neuroscience, revealing that contemporary questions surrounding short attention spans are grounded in long conversations over the nature and limits of focus.
Category: Literary Criticism

Being And The Between

Author : William Desmond
ISBN : 0791422712
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 24.44 MB
Format : PDF
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This is the culmination of a systematic metaphysics written by a world-class philosopher, demonstrating the need for a renewal of metaphysics.
Category: Philosophy

The Youth S Companion

Author : Ezra Sampson
ISBN : HARVARD:32044096988514
Genre : Encyclopedias and dictionaries
File Size : 46.3 MB
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Category: Encyclopedias and dictionaries