Ming the Mechanic:

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Attention2003-10-15 16:00
by Flemming Funch

Some days ago Doc Searls quoted Esther Dyson blogging at Bloggercon:
"The first magic of blogging, of course, is that everyone can self-publish. Everyone has a voice. The tools makes that possible.

But the next magic, much harder to achieve, is that everyone wants to be listened to...

[...] In the blogosphere, there's no shortage of airtime, but there's still a shortage of attention."
In earlier times, unless you were the village idiot, you'd expect that when you spoke to people, they'd stand still, pay attention, listen, and respond. But in the Internet age you'll have to get used to the fact that there's no guarantee that people will pay attention to you. I've seen quite a few people be shocked when they realized that. "But, but.. what I'm saying is really IMPORTANT. And I'm talking really LOUD." There's just not enough attention to go around. Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with what you're saying, necessarily.

But we do need tools to expand our attention. I.e. be able pay attention to more things without going crazy. If I lift up into the air over the earth, many details will go out of focus, but I'll end up with a beautiful picture of a whole round earth with land and sea and clouds. My picture of the earth becomes more whole and simple by seeing more at the same time. But in our information world, if I try to see more at the same time, I'll just get information overload and go nuts. There's no inherently good reason for that, other than that we're addicted to disjointed information that doesn't fit together when we scale up.

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