From a vipassana perspective, when you say "bare attention", what does "bare" refer to? ie: bare of what?
Ven Thanissaro seems to imply that bare represents unconditioned, but I have a feeling this is not the intention of vipassana teachers. In Ch 3 and Ch 4, his criticisms do seem overly sharp, which detracts from the beneficial points that are buried in a slew of criticism. But in Ch 5, his analysis seems to be getting back to a more beneficial approach. In the intro, he suggested readers may skip Ch 2-4. Maybe later editions will condense that matter by omitting some of the negativity. I do see his point for wanting to differentiate other teachers' interpretations of mindfulness, but there is a difference between constructive criticism and negativity. His tone seems off in these chapters.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.