I’m still thinking of ways to push my plan of coupling a journalist with one of the world’s biggest rockstars to record a holiday song for battered women. And if it works out I’ll be singing all the way to sub-Sahara. I’m reminded, though, that the vast networks that let us do so many things are also among the distractions that curb attention required to do them.

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Justin D. Martin is a journalism professor at Northwestern University in Qatar. Follow him on Twitter: @Justin_D_Martin