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In this brilliant follow-up, Matthew Crawford, author of the bestselling Shop Class As Soulcraft, investigates the challenge of mastering one's own mind We often complain about our fractured mental lives and feel beset by outside forces that destroy our focus and disrupt our peace of mind. Any defence against this, Crawford argues, requires that we reckon with the way attention sculpts the self. He examines the intense concentration of hockey players and short-order cooks, the quasi-autistic behaviour of gambling addicts, the familiar hassles of daily life, and the deep, slow craftwork of building pipe organs. He shows that our current crisis of attention is only superficially the result of digital technology and becomes more comprehensible when understood as the culmination of certain assumptions at the root of Western culture that are profoundly at odds with human nature. The World Beyond Your Head makes sense of an astonishing array of familiar phenomena, from the frustrations of airport security to the rise of the hipster. With implications for the way we raise our children, the design of public spaces, and even the survival of democracy, this is a book of urgent relevance to contemporary life.
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