Jan 232013

Bitsy Knox’s interview, In conversation with Michael Goldhaber: Everything you need to know about the Attention Economy is an edited version of what follows:  -How would you define now the Attention Economy now as opposed to when you first spoke about it in 1997, given its current multiple interpretations and recent mainstream popularization? Let me put this in context. I actually came up with the Attention Economy idea in 1983 or 84 —nearly thirty years ago. At that point [...]

Dec 222012

Esther Dyson briefly discusses the Attention Economy here http://bit.ly/U26kBN Here’s my comment: Esther, I’m a bit surprised you didn’t credit me with the Attention Economy idea.  Twenty years ago, you asked me to and I did write most of an issue of your “Release 1.0” on this topic. You had learned about it from my ill-distributed “Letter on Post-Industrial Issues.” I had already been referring to the Attention Economy since the mid-80’s, when the thought [...]

Jan 092012

(this is a draft of a paper I’ve recently submitted for publication) Where did the Occupy Wall Street movement gather its strength, and where might it be going? Starting from a handful of people, it has captured worldwide attention in a very short time, and has had remarkably rapid effects on the political scene. While it took both the Civil Rights Movement of the 50’s and 60’s and the movement against the Viet-Nam war in [...]

Jan 082010

I just sent the following  comment to the NYTimes: “The presumed perpetrator on the plane [i.e., the 12/25 incident on the Amsterdam -Detroit flight ] is now set to be arraigned tomorrow for “attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction”. This is an absurd and unnecessary conflation of terms. “WMD” originally meant something like a nuclear weapon, which could have killed many thousands of people. Now, setting off an explosive on a plane is [...]

Dec 192009

[Note: I recently took part in a conference in New York at the New School University on "The Internet as Playground and Factory," chiefly organized by Trebor Scholz, a professor there. What follows are my reflections afterward.] As with others, if a bit belatedly, I join in offering kudos to Trebor Scholz and everyone else involved in bringing about and running the conference, handling the complex logistics, volunteering their time, etc. The conference was a [...]

Sep 082009

Paul Krugman in Sunday’s NYT has an article entitled “How Did Economists Get it so Wrong?” It’s fine as far as it goes, I think, but it misses so much, since it just focuses on financial economics. No mention of the growing wealth inequality in the US and its effects, such as forcing people to buy on credit, or using their homes a piggy banks (as long as the price was supposedly rising). No mention [...]

Jul 092009

I wrote this years ago, and just stumbled on it: You can be a big star, or a successful achiever in any field, but still feel that no one really understands you, that no one pays attention to what you really are or what you really want to express, perhaps because you are afraid to express it. In that case you get very little attention, or so it must feel. Your life is meaningless, since [...]

Jul 092009

The war between Google and Microsoft is really heating up with Google’s promise of a new operating system and Microsoft’s new bing or ping or whatever it is. Out of sheer lazniness in trying Ping, I searched an article I wrote a decade ago in Wired. In both google and bing I found a Polish article referring to my work. Each search engine allowed a translation. bing’s was “As Michael Goldhaber: the importance of our [...]

May 112009

I am not a big fan of the numerical sociologists of the Internet , Fang Wu and Bernardo A. Huberman., but I thought for a bit they had finally come up with something interesting with their paper “Persistence and Success in the Attention Economy”. Their data reveal a seeming paradox: the more videos a person uploads on YouTube, the less likely the video will be an attention success, that is will garner more than 1% [...]

May 012009

In earlier posts I noted that even if “Wall Street” is temporarily saved and more carefully regulated, it will be difficult to prevent a meltdown similar to the current one from happening soon again. The reason is that it will be impossible to prevent new risky ways of playing tricks to obtain high returns by manipulating digital money streams. This is under way already. Banks have found apparently legal ways to cook their books to [...]