Attention in Condition Orange – trained/experienced vs. not

I was as shocked as anyone to hear, a couple days ago, about the shuttering of Harris Publications.  For 15 years I was a regular contributor to their magazines, and the stable of writers there was like a family (I’m hardly the first to say so).  Combat Handguns‘ enigmatic editor, Harry Kane, a man of unusual but very real experience, took me in in the early 90s, and I never figured out why he let me into the club; most of his writers had a lot more experience than I did.  Likewise, I often seemed to hear Tactical Knives‘ editor, the astonishingly knowledgeable Steve Dick, shake his head on the phone when he had to educate me about some aspect of knives.  Shirley Steffan, the group publisher, once made a $5000 contribution to a pistol match I was running for the benefit of the Jimmy Fund (a leading pediatric cancer research organization).

Good people.


The news got me looking over some of the articles I’d written for Harris on, the Harris Outdoor Group website (which I understand will continue with new (but unknown to me) owners.  One of my favorites is here, on the subject of how experienced people modulate their attention differently than untrained/inexperienced people when they suspect something is wrong.  This whole area of awareness and attention was one of Harry’s strong interests; he was always asking his writers to address it.  I hope that he liked my contribution.


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