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attention

Randall Szott’s Lebenskünstler is one of my favourite blogs. The range of ideas, links, and provocations is broad, but at the heart of the blog is his desire to question and understand social (and life) art practices.

In the following post, he quotes Mark T. Mitchell writing about the importance of attention in liberal arts education (and beyond):

It is, in the end, impossible seriously to engage the great tradition without cultivating the habit (or is it the art?) of attention. Tocqueville notes that the habit of inattention is the greatest vice of democracy. This vice is exponentially more pervasive in an age where email, text messaging, Tweets, and YouTube are only a click away. Learning to attend carefully is, perhaps, one of our culture’s greatest needs. Paying attention requires self-control. We must learn to listen before we speak and think before we act. These habits are essential for self-government.

– Mitchell, cited in randallszott.org/2013/03/01/mark-t-mitchell-the-art-of-attention-stewardship-and-cosmopolitan-neglect/

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