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#132 A Less Algorithmic Human with Dan Nixon

Our life experience will equal what we have paid attention to.

William James


Dan Nixon is a writer and economist who focuses his work on the application of mindfulness skills to improve the economy and society. A former economist with the Bank of England, Dan has worked with central government, non-governmental organisations and other national organisations to develop mindfulness skills capacities.

In this wide-ranging talk, we discuss the relative ease of losing ourselves in the digital world and the various ways of working towards a healthier and better relationship with technology. From a mindfulness perspective, the basic human capacity to pay attention is critical and is a foundational human capacity because attention is a basic element that connects human beings to the world at large and the people around us. As a result, it is imperative that we cultivate mindfulness as a foundational skill, as a society that pays attention on purpose. 

The link between attention capital and productivity is worth considering seriously. The extent to which people report feeling digitally distracted and could be seen to have an impact on productivity. If we have a continuous partial attention approach to our economic output, this erodes our ability, at a society-wide level, to do meaningful work. 

Mindfulness can therefore be associated with more sustainable consumption patterns and ethical decision making. This would have the benefit of guiding us away from impulse buying and fast fashion towards an overall decrease in consumption.  Mindfulness would enable the cultivation of metacognition, the ability to think of thoughts as thoughts and emotions as emotions, thereby creating a space between stimulus and response and giving us greater freedom in how we respond to our desires.  

What You Will Learn In The Show

  • Why mindfulness is a foundational capacity of the human experience
  • How mindfulness skills can help develop a more adaptable and resilient economy
  • How mindfulness can support our lives in a digitally distracted age

Resources Mentioned In The Show

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