Another great piece on how our attention is being eroded for profit; this time it’s an interview with Johann Hari, author of Stolen Focus. The parallels between our increasing inability to focus and our inability to actually do anything about the climate crisis are pretty interesting—I think there’s a lot to the idea that there are intrinsic links between pushing both ourselves and our planet beyond tolerable levels. There’s a definite misalignment of incentives here—even in just cutting ourselves some slack and getting a good night’s sleep:
Dr. Charles Czeisler, who’s the leading expert on sleep in the world, said to me, “If we did go back to sleeping as much as we need to, as much as we did a century ago, then that would cause a huge recession as people would consume an hour less every day.” In other words: If our physical needs were met, it would cause an economic crisis.
I do appreciate the slightly optimistic note the on which the interview finishes, but I’m a little less hopeful that people can (or will) change enough to make a real difference.