In Praise of Distraction: “Techno-cognitive Nomads” and the Perks of ADHD

[Illustration by Glen Cummings and photo by Anderson Ross, via New York magazine.]

“It’s been hypothesized that ADHD might even be an advantage in certain change-rich environments. Researchers have discovered, for instance, that a brain receptor associated with ADHD is unusually common among certain nomads in Kenya, and that members who have the receptor are the best nourished in the group. It’s possible that we’re all evolving toward a new techno-cognitive nomadism, a rapidly shifting environment in which restlessness will be an advantage again. The deep focusers might even be hampered by having too much attention: Attention Surfeit Hypoactivity.” – Sam Anderson praises distraction in this 2009 piece for New York magazine.