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 [...]

Mar 052009

To continue my study of the causes and possible cures of the meltdown, I want to discuss how there have seemed to be three different routes to making money. I do this in the context of my general prediction for  over a decade, which  has been that the attention economy will eventually replace the money-industrial economy, in all variants, including capitalism. This means that money will eventually be outmoded. For an early version of this [...]

Feb 272009

Re blogged from Wednesday, August 30th, 2006 with very slight changes: This blog focuses on the coming of the Attention Economy. Every so often, I shall remind new (and even old) readers of what I mean by this term. The basic idea is that we are moving toward a new kind of economy, wildly different from any before. An economy in this sense is system of actions and transactions of some kind involving scarce but [...]

Feb 192009

[Note: this is another entry in my attempt to make sense of the crash and see how it is tied to the Attention Economy. Some earlier entries are here, here, here, here and here.] I attended an informative, thought-provoking and amusing talk by Prof. Brad DeLong of UC Berkeley on Tuesday on the financial crisis “of 2007-2009” (he expects the crisis to have diminished by the end of this year). (The talk was part of [...]

Feb 132009

Item: In certain places, bar and bat mitzvah celebrations had become intensely competitive, with parents generally responding to kids’ needs to up the ante by spending ever-more money on more lavish and far-out parties. According to a recent report on the public radio program, Marketplace, that included having the celebrant jump through a hoop of fire or be escorted thorough a Polynesian -themed entrance by scantily clad dancing girls. In this competition for attention, the [...]

Jan 232009

There has been much discussion of leadership at Apple recently. Is Steve Jobs indispensable? Short answer: “yes” In fact: “absolutely.” Jobs is the star we pay attention to through all Apple outpourings. Even in the unlikely even that an Apple user or would-be user, or even hater, has not heard Jobs’s name, or seen him on video or in a photo, what that person would most likely align to as special behind Apple products is [...]

Jan 122009

How should companies operate when appearing to be an attention payer as well as being an attention getter is crucial for their survival. Not this way. A service that shall remain nameless sent me a notice that I would soon be billed for year’s worth of service I had already paid for. The very lengthy “chat”  recorded   here ensued.  Here are some observations of how not to pretend to pay attention that this expereince [...]

Dec 312008

Thoughts emerging from a conversation with Sandra Luft of San Francisco State U (who bears no responsibility though): “Who am I?” Or, “Who are you?“ How we answer such questions clearly changes over time. One of the main ways, though, has been with a narrative, a personal story that describes how one ended up where one is and who one is now. The story takes in the key experiences that seemed to cause one to [...]

Dec 292008

In yesterday’s (12/28/08) NY Times “Week in Review” section, two articles (on the same page) are worth comment. “Boobs” The first is “Contemplating the Boobs We Were” by Peter Applebome. He argue correctly that Americans don’t understand enough about economics. Then he suggests that this topic should be taught in high school, or at the very least students should be taught of the joys of compound interest in savings, and the pitfalls of it as [...]