by Mike Shea on 2 March 2013
In the article Attention Shoppers!, Michael H. Goldhaber describes the future currency of a world of unlimited supply: attention. Attention is a limited resource and, just like money, we have to consider two questions:
The article referenced above is a long article, but it's worth your attention. One of his final points is particularly interesting: His final points are particularly interesting:
- As the flow of attention becomes more important, so will cyberspace.
- The importance of stars will increase, with a corresponding decline in power for those who insist on anonymity.
- A lessening role for large organizations, because they can't focus or trade attention easily.
- The same goes for governments, whose role will diminish as well.
- Almost everyone will have a personal Web site.
- For a secure old age, you will not want to rely entirely on Social Security or any kind of investment, monetary savings, or pension fund.
- In projects of all kinds, comprehen- sive lists of credits for everyone involved will become as common and necessary as in Hollywood films now.
Think about the second-to-last bullet. You don't want to lean on money as a safety net for retirement, you want to rely on your ability to capture attention — to be valuable to people. I suppose this is the key concept in knowledge work, your value comes from your applicability to another's interests or needs. You have to have knowledge that others perceive as valuable. John Gruber does.
Let's look at the other side; saving attention. You can't really save attention, you can only be conscious of where you're spending it. You can spend it watching 20 minutes of ads per hour of the Oscars or you can learn how to program a computer. We're going to have to get better at figuring out how to refocus our attention because everyone else in the world is figuring out how to take it from us. This is why I experimented with info agent and plan further such experiments. Thats where I want to spend my attention.
Here are twenty five other ways to refocus your own: