The Attention Economy and the Trolling of Democracy

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The Attention Economy and the Trolling of Democracy

Postby Tom on Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:52 pm

"Social media are a mechanism for capturing, manipulating and consuming attention unlike any other. That in itself means that power over those media—be it the power of ownership, of regulation or of clever hacking—is of immense political importance. Regardless of specific agendas, though, it seems to many that the more information people consume through these media, the harder it will become to create a shared, open space for political discussion—or even to imagine that such a place might exist.

Years ago Jürgen Habermas, a noted German philosopher, suggested that while the connectivity of social media might destabilise authoritarian countries, it would also erode the public sphere in democracies. James Williams, a doctoral student at Oxford University and a former Google employee, now claims that 'digital technologies increasingly inhibit our ability to pursue any politics worth having.' To save democracy, he argues, 'we need to reform our attention economy.'”
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.

---Vernon Law
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