Kayt's Reviews > Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn

Now You See It by Cathy N. Davidson
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's review
Jun 02, 12

bookshelves: nonfiction
Read from May 19 to 30, 2012

More like a 3.5, but Goodreads is annoying and stubbornly refuses to let me do that.

Basically: a book about how humans pay attention and learn, and how it is changing/should change now that computers and the internet are involved.

I enjoyed the beginning more, because it was talking about the things that influence how we learn. For example, babies *learn* that some things (grandparents) are considered more worthy of attention than other (light hitting the curtains).

Later chapters focus on school and learning, and the workplace. Davidson makes good points, using studies to back up what she writes. The tone is distinctly "the internet is good! Long live the digital revolution!" And she makes some compelling points--how school is based on an old model meant to prepare students for a few specific industries, not geared at creativity. Then again, I'm also biased because I was homeschooled, so all all the "GASP! This doesn't work well! But these other creative/individual things do!" stuff was...old news, I guess. Very unsurprising.

For the workplace, I did have to wonder, though, how much of a change society would have to go through for what Davidson wants to occur across the board. I felt that as the book went on, it was leaning more and more toward idealization and didn't address things that would stand in the way.

...But then again, I was getting bored. I love reading about studies and stuff, not so much "this is how things could/should be!"

Also, there really wasn't that much about "the brain science of attention." We did get some attention-specific stuff, especially early on, but more and more there'd just be a quick "etc etc and also attention!" thrown in, sort of like when I was writing undergrad papers and got off-topic but liked what I wrote so I'd throw in a feeble line so we could all pretend that it was relevant. Not that the book is bad, but it's more focused on changing needs in school and the workplace in response to a shifting society, digitally, than "attention."

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