New! Distraction Podcast Interview with Host Ned Hallowell Airs!
Category Archives: Uncategorized

One is Enough: A Talk By Donald Keene

Ever since I lived in Japan for a few years in my 20s, I have been fascinated by that country’s Living National Treasures, Ningen Kokuho. They are extraordinary craftsmen or performers honored by the government for preserving the country’s traditional arts, from swordmaking to Kabuki theater. But these artists aren’t just looking backwards or preserving . . . read more

Information Overload and Our Reliance on the Machine

Information overload is a problem that’s hard to pick apart. Haven’t we been deluged with information for hundreds of years? How can we turn down the data spigot without losing out on opportunities? Is anybody thinking creatively on this front?

A new book, Overload! How Too Much Information if Hazardous to Your Organization, by Jonathan . . . read more

Rebutting a Call for Shorter Attention Spans

Last week, theater critic Terry Teachout at the Wall Street Journal wrote a column, “Get to the Good Part” – arguing that shorter attention spans would lead to more concise art. I wrote a letter in reply.

Here’s the full letter, which was cut down a bit on the paper:

Terry Teachout is mistaken. Shortened . . . read more

Future of the Family

Long ago, I applied for a grant from a big, famous foundation to study technology’s impact on work-family, as it was called back then. I got a generous grant – but also a caution from the director that ‘technology doesn’t really have anything to do with work-family balance.’ How many times have I looked back . . . read more

New York Times and “Hooked on Gadgets”

Good news – our collective public discussions about technology may be maturing. I see evidence every day that we’re beginning to have nuanced, balanced discussions on distraction, overload and hyper-connectivity. Exhibit A: see the article in today’s NY Times, “Hooked on Gadgets and Paying a Mental Price.”

As Carolyn Marvin wrote . . . read more

Mind in the Making _ A Conversation with Ellen Galinsky

Last week, I wrote about Ellen Galinsky’s important new book , Mind in the Making, on the seven life skills that every child needs today. Recently, I caught up with Galinsky and asked a bit more about the book’s genesis and her views on learning. Here are excerpts from our conversation:

. . . read more

Mind in the Making

Ellen Galinsky’s new book isn’t for the faint-of-heart. Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs is inspiring, even joyful, and an essential handbook for any parent. But it’s provocative. In essentially teaching adults how to instill a love of learning in children, Galinsky also may . . . read more

Obama and Distraction

“Information becomes a distraction, a diversion… ” With those few words, President Obama recently created a stir about technology’s effect on our lives.

During his commencement speech at Hampton University, Obama said: You’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and . . . read more

Children’s Experience of Place

A plethora of great soon-to-be-published books have just crossed my desk, and I’m determined to read and blog about them soon – from Ellen Galinsky’s Mind in the Making to Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows. Hats off to them for their great work, now and in the past. More later.

But tonight I’m quickly giving a . . . read more

A Brief Bit of Happiness on a Winter’s Day

It’s dark, cold and the headlines are gloomy. Perhaps that’s why I can’t seem to pick up a paper or magazine without seeing an article about happiness.

Pointing out that employee satisfaction is hitting record lows, the Wall Street Journal visits with corporate consultants who advise gratitude and meditation to . . . read more