Attention Economy

I’d quibble with much of this nettime post by Prem Chandavarkar, but I entirely agree with the focus on attention as a scarce resource which is becoming perhaps the main target of capital:

If we are in the information age, the
one thing that information consumes is attention, and consequently
attention becomes a scarce resource. As an economy is substantively
affected by those resources that are scarce and important, our lives
are now being affected by the quest for attention.

The scarcity of attention is exacerbated by the changing nature
of alienation (as defined by Baudrillard). Alienation was earlier
characterized by distance – a separation from the normal routines of
life. But it is now characterized by an overwhelming proximity to
everything. The construction of sheltered spaces for reflection, which
were provided by the regular routines of life, are now difficult to
come by, and require substantive and sustained effort that few are
willing to devote effort to in an attention starved world. Deprived of
space for reflection, we face the challenge of being “reduced to pure
screen: a switching centre for the networks of influence”.

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