Dec 082008
 

I have long maintained that paying attention to someone (or that person’s expression) amounts to aligning your mind to that someone’s. In seeing the world from their point of view, you partially “become” them. This can be through listening to and trying to understand their sentences, through reading something they have written, through looking at a picture or work of art that they have created, through watching them play a game such as golf or [...]

Nov 252008
 

We can expect our ever-greater immersion in the web and the Internet to alter our psyches —and so, our world. [These thoughts were engendered by my nearly simultaneous reading of Jaques Lacan’s Ecrits and the book, “The Hyperlinked Society” that I mentioned in earlier posts Michel Bauwens had asked me to read, as well as an article by Clive Thompson that I alluded to earlier. Each book/article was only vaguely suggestive at best, so don’t [...]

Oct 312008
 

Having discussed the new strangeness of money as such, I will now turn the most money-dependent sector— finance. But before getting into details, let me make a point about banks and attention. Money flows in the same direction as attention does, and so, right now stars — that is, large scale attention getters — generally have high monetary incomes. But having money incomes doesn’t lower the net attention they have, because attention itself can be thought of [...]

Oct 232008
 

In the previous post, I pointed out that money is of great importance  only when the world is dominated by standardized goods and services. One essential of standardization is  that goods or services of a certain type are interchangeable. This ton of wheat equals that one, this 100 watt lightbulb equals that one, this kwh of electricity equals that one, and so on. In some cases (actually even in these cases) one has to specify [...]

Oct 152008
 

SUCCESS REACHES ITS LIMITS In my previous post on the crisis, I claimed that we are suffering from too much savings and not enough consumption. The worldwide pool of money seeking growth investments is too large to be sensibly invested in any sort of production or service-providing corporation. The reason for that is that consumption is just too low, and is not likely to be able to rise to the levels needed to sustain such [...]

Oct 092008
 

As I write, the stock market is flatlining, credit has seized up, no one seems to know what to do, and bad times seem in store. What caused it? Not what you think. Not, basically, greedy Wall Streeters, ordinary consumers taking on loans they could not pay off, bad accounting requirements, faulty credit ratings, failures of regulators to regulate, nor a formerly too rosy outlook from the Fed. These were all surface phenomena. What lay [...]

Oct 022008
 

While a money-economic downturn would have happened anyway, it need not have hit with the precipitousness it did. That has to be blamed quite substantially on the combination of cupidity and stupidity of the elite bankers. Here’s why. The sub-prime mortgage meltdown began months ago. As more foreclosures are instigated, the adjacent homes lost value, helping lead to still further foreclosures — thus lowering the value of the collateralized debt obligations that include “tranches” of [...]

Sep 292008
 

It seems to me unlikely that the financial crisis now will not lead to a full-fledged economic crisis, nor that there is much the government can really do about it. The Paulson plan was at best a Hail-Mary  pass that incidentally preserves much of the hyper-inflated Wall Street which gave him his own half-billion dollar nest egg. I will write more about all this and its connection with the rising Attention Economy soon. Meanwhile here [...]

Sep 272008
 

In response to my comment on Kelly’s  blog post he asked: “Michael, do you have a sense of under what conditions attention does not pull money along? You mentioned infants and terrorists. Don’t infants eventually get money from their parents, and wouldn’t terrorists get money if there was an easy way to pay them?” I replied Kevin, in reply to your question about when money does not follow attention: when money is not especially wanted [...]

Sep 262008
 

Kevin Kelly’s blog recently cited my work, in piece called “Where Attention Flows, Money Follows” My comments: “HI Kevin, “Thanks for the citation of my work. You always find neat ways to put things. As the old adage goes ‘Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.’ People who want to see more recent thoughts of mine can start with my blog http://www.goldhaber.org  Details on what attention is and [...]