“Our culture applauds people who can discover foreground information where others see only background—fictional detectives who discover significance in a seemingly insignificant item, successful entrepreneurs who exploit a market niche nobody else noticed. We also applaud people who can meld foreground information into the background—magicians who hide elephants in small boxes, quarterbacks who deceive defensive backs. We are likewise impressed by our own ability to separate foreground from background, to quickly find and follow the correct signs in an unfamiliar airport during a dash to a tight connecting flight. But we are also amused by the strange things we sometimes do, such as to engage in unimportant tasks when we are overwhelmed by pressing concerns or to play potentially distracting background music while we are engaged in a highly focused activity.”

“Our culture applauds people who can discover foreground information where others see only background—fictional detectives who discover significance in a seemingly insignificant item, successful entrepreneurs who exploit a market niche nobody else noticed.
 
We also applaud people who can meld foreground information into the background—magicians who hide elephants in small boxes, quarterbacks who deceive defensive backs.
 
We are likewise impressed by our own ability to separate foreground from background, to quickly find and follow the correct signs in an unfamiliar airport during a dash to a tight connecting flight.
 
But we are also amused by the strange things we sometimes do, such as to engage in unimportant tasks when we are overwhelmed by pressing concerns or to play potentially distracting background music while we are engaged in a highly focused activity.”

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