Attention Economy

A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.

Herbert Simon

I’m sure it was more than 15 years ago when I first heard technology pundit Steve Gillmor talk about the attention economy. He was prescient. Everyone scrambles to grab some of your attention. Including me.

But worse are the platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the like who hire hundreds of engineers to design algorithms and graphics designed to keep your attention on their sites.

Me, I wish to provoke a little thinking and then let you go in order to have a life.

Herbert Simon nailed it in more ways than probably even he imagined. He wrote pre-Internet. We have so much information presented on apps and web sites and newsletters and, yes, even books. We can even bury ourselves with information trying to comprehend the entire Bible.

And where does our attention stray?

We must be aware of where we’ve invested our attention. If the entire Bible as given to many of us as youth is too large for our attention, perhaps the Christian part (New Testament). Or perhaps just the words of Jesus. Maybe even that is too much information.

If we focus our attention just on the Sermon on the Mount, we shall be richer for it. We can perhaps come to comprehend enough to live it.

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