Living into Focus: Choosing What Matters in an Age of Distractions
- Arthur Boers
The title captures well what the book is about. It is well written, a good mix of personal reflection by the author, examples from his life and the lives of others, and insights from thinkers like Ellul and Borgman. The author brings big ideas of cultural criticism down to practical, day to day issues and habits of my life. I use quotes from the book in a few different D & E classes and have added chapter seven as a reading for the course.
A few memorable quotes:
“We have allowed our technology to outrun our theology” - MLK Jr. (69)
“The issue is not technology itself but the reality that we often do not reflect on how we are affected and formed by our use of it.”
“Machines grow quieter, but we use more of them and so add to the noise. Devices are increasingly energy efficient, but we employ so many that we end up using more power than ever. While computers and online connections get faster, the time we spend on them keeps going up. The better we are at responding to e-mail, the more we are inundated by it.” (70)
“Too often our interactions with technology follow a predictable trajectory: because it is available we use it, then we think it is normal, and finally we expect or even demand that others employ it as well.” (71)
“People must be taught not to want leisure but to desire possessions.” - Henry Ford (144)
“When unclear about fundamental priorities, urgency becomes the default position.” (192)
I encourage you to read the book and, as I did, look for one or two new things to integrate into your life. Small changes can have big impacts on the whole.