Stowe nails it on Attention Overload (Shmoverload)

Great post by Stowe today Overload, Shmoverload on this messy business of treating attention as a commodity. I’m coming around to this way of thinking myself that attention is not the scarce commodity.

Time is a scarce commodity. The number of days in the week, the body’s troublesome need to sleep every once in awhile.

Physical context is a scarce commodity. We can’t physically be in more than one place at a time and neither can our “buddies” (to reference Stowe’s mantra the Buddylist is the Centre of the Universe). The rich bandwidth of face to face interaction with our buddies is wonderful but we can’t all be in the same place and anywhere else at the same time. And that’s why we have media.

Media is simply about leveraging scarcity of human place, time and context (McLuhan eat your heart out). And with social media it’s not just leveraging my own scarcities of time and context, but that of my buddies, and that of the “network” of all of us). But — in all of this, lets leave attention out of it for just now.

Let’s not underestimate the human brains capacity for attention. Filtering and pattern recognition is what we do. And just think the potential for filtering, contextualizing and mutual awareness of all of these brains in your buddy list. And every day better and better tools are coming that will make this happen for you.

-or- how I learned to stop worrying and love the overload. cheers Stowe.