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Steve Ransom

Attention versus distraction? What that big NY Times story leaves out » Niema... - 51 views

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    The web is a space whose very abundance of information - and whose very informational infrastructure - trains our attention to follow our interests. And vice versa. In that, it's empowering information as a function of interest. It's telling Vishal that it's better to spend time with video than with Vonnegut - simply because he's more interested in editing than in reading. Vishal needs needs no other justification for his choice; interest itself is its own acquittal.

    And we're seeing the same thing in news. While formal learning has been, in the pre-digital world, a matter of rote obligation in the service of intellectual catholicism - and news consumption has been a matter of the bundle rather than the atom - the web-powered world is creating a knowledge economy that spins on the axis of interest. Individual interest. The web inculcates a follow your bliss approach to learning that seeps, slowly, into the broader realm of information; under its influence, our notion of knowledge is slowly shedding its normative layers.
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