Theoretical work is driven by sustained top-down vs. bottom-up attention. The top is long-term priorities, derived from broad generalizations, and the bottom is current experience. Evolution always neglected long-term: people didn’t survive very long unless they paid close attention to their immediate environment. Modern society is drastically more secure but our attention span barely budged. In fact, it’s getting worse for the majority, - they just elected ADHD-addled clown-in-chief.
“Thinking is to people as swimming is to cats: they can do it but prefer not to” Daniel Kahneman.
“I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious” Albert Einstein.
A lot of people could become a world-changing genius, if they spent 10 years of their youth fully focused on important problem. But that must come at the cost of “life“: unthinkable for hand-to-mouth hunter-gatherers that we evolved to be. I first decided on my top priority in the adolescence. But maintaining effective working focus on these abstractions, vs. “real” distractions, was far more difficult. Over the years, I majorly improved my concentration via following techniques:
Deliberate control over the subject of attention will be the most profound revolution yet: it will change what we want out of life. But waiting for the technology will leave you hopelessly behind those who do it old-fashioned way. Of course, most of us dressed-up apes don’t care, - there are bananas to be picked.