Continuous Partial Attention


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Some great ideas about the evolution of the way we pay attention. The post is actually notes from an address at the Supernova conference so it’s not super legible in parts but the content is very interesting nonetheless. Some highlights:

Bill Gates has three types of meetings: free-for-all, mixed (sitting at back indicates paying half-attention), and full (if you’re sitting at the table, you focus on what’s going on).

1945-1965: organization/insitution center of gravity. We paid attention to that which we serve… 1965-1985: me and self-expression. Self and self-expression new center of gravity. Trusted ourselves, entrepreneurial… 1985-2005: Network center of gravity. Trust network intelligence. Scan for opportunity. Continuous partial attention is a post-multitasking adaptive behaviour.

Now we long for a quality of life that comes in meaningful connections to friends, colleagues, family that we experience with full-focus attention on relationships, etc.