Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I just finished Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher.

This was a disappointment. It's a great topic for a book, and there is some interesting material here, but it is put together in a sloppy, un-focused format and the good stuff is mixed in with a lot of drivel, sometimes leading to conflicting ideas.

For example, parts of the book espouse the idea that being able to direct your focus towards the future, particularly the anticipation of events, can be beneficial, while other parts of the book take a strong stance in favour of the new age "be in the now" kind of thinking.

The sourcing is also all over the map. At times the author seems to have spoken to direct sources for scientific data, other times she repeats stories taken from a newspaper or TV show, with seemingly no effort made to distinguish between the different reliability levels of these sources.

Hopefully there will be another book on the same subject. There appears to be enough interesting research to support that.

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