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February 7, 2022 64 mins
Sean Illing talks with the author Johann Hari about his new book Stolen Focus, which explores what's happening — and what's already happened — to our attention. They discuss how exactly Big Tech "stole" our ability to focus, what many leading scientists say about how we are psychologically and physiologically changed by the powerful new draws on our attention, and whether or not we need an "attention rebellion" to fight back against the tech giants, whose business models depend on us getting easily distracted. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Johann Hari (@johannhari101), author References:  Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention — and How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari (Crown; 2022) Companion site with audio excerpts from interviews with experts and additional endnotes: Getting Ahead of ADHD by Joel T. Nigg (Guilford; 2017) "Capitalism is turning us into addicts" by Sean Illing, interviewing David T, Courtwright (Vox; Apr. 18, 2020) Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan (1964) "Enhancing attention through training" by Michael Posner, et al. (Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences (4); 2015) "Facebook and texting made me do it: Media-induced task-switching while studying" by Larry Rosen, et al. (Computers in Human Behavior, 29 (3); 2013) "Accelerating dynamics of collective attention" by Sune Lehmann, et al. (Nature Communications; 2019) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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