What Becomes of Attention in the Age of the Pandemic?
Casey Schwartz in Conversation with Andrew Keen on the Keen On
The coronavirus pandemic is dramatically disrupting not only our daily lives but society itself. This show features conversations with some of the world’s leading thinkers and writers about the deeper economic, political, and technological consequences of the pandemic. It’s our new daily podcast trying to make longterm sense out of the chaos of today’s global crisis.
On today’s episode, Casey Schwartz, author of Attention: A Love Story, discusses our future relationship with technology.
From the episode:
Casey Schwartz: One thing about this moment that’s interesting is that nothing that was inevitable now feels inevitable. I would have said this before that we’re never going to get away from our Internet addiction. We’ve lost the battle in a way, but I actually think that a lot of assumptions are kind of eroding at the moment.
Andrew Keen: What kind of assumptions?
Casey Schwartz: I feel like whatever we thought was guaranteed, whatever kind of behavior, whatever habits, whatever personal habits felt so set in stone—and I’m only thinking right now in terms of our relationships to online life, but I’m sure there are so many others—where we just sort of took for granted. Yes, I have a habit of spending six hours online per day, and, let’s face it, that’s not going anywhere. I just feel like there’s a shift in what we now think is possible. We didn’t know it was possible to put our lives on pause.
Casey Schwartz is is the author of Attention: A Love Story and In the Mind Fields: Exploring the New Science of Neuropsychoanalysis. She contributes regularly to The New York Times and lives in New York City.