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Kanye West and Donald Trump and the rise of human clickbait • NY Mag
Max Read:
<p>The point, anyway, isn’t that Kanye’s seeming manic episodes are “actually” publicity stunts — or, for that matter, that his publicity stunts are “actually” manic episodes. The point is that, on Twitter, it was impossible for people to distinguish between the two. The connection between eccentricity, erratic behavior, celebrity, and attention is not, obviously, a new dynamic — think of Tom Cruise or Charlie Sheen. But social media, and the news its dominance incentivizes, has created an environment in which the quickest and surest way toward blanket coverage of you and your output is acting in a way consistent with mental illness, regardless of whether or not you would be diagnosed as ill in a clinical setting. This is as true in business, where erratic behavior and market manipulation are two sides of the same coin — just ask Elon Musk — or in politics, where a particularly obsessive set of theories about Donald Trump can net you tens of thousands of followers, as it is in entertainment. What’s necessary to succeed in an economy where attention is the reserve currency is a set of attributes that appear with no small frequency in the DSM.</p>


(The DSM is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, used by the American Psychiatric Association.)
attention 
2 days ago by charlesarthur
To survive our high-speed society, cultivate 'temporal bandwidth' | Alan Jacobs
"Donald Trump is a creature of the instant, responsive only and wholly to immediate stimulus – which is why Twitter is his exclusive medium of written communication, and why when he speaks he cannot stick to a script. In this respect he differs little from anyone who spends a lot of time on social media; the social media ecosystem is designed to generate constant, instantaneous responses to the provocations of Now.

We cannot, from within that ecosystem, restore old behavioral norms or develop new and better ones. No, to find a healthier alternative, we must cultivate what the great American novelist Thomas Pynchon calls “temporal bandwidth” – an awareness of our experience as extending into the past and the future.

In Pynchon’s 1973 novel Gravity’s Rainbow, an engineer named Kurt Mondaugen explains that temporal bandwidth is “the width of your present, your now … The more you dwell in the past and future, the thicker your bandwidth, the more solid your persona. But the narrower your sense of Now, the more tenuous you are.”

If we want to extend our bandwidth, we begin with the past, because exploring the past requires only willingness. Recently, I was teaching the Epistles of the Roman poet Horace to a group of undergraduates. Though Horace comes from a world alien in so many ways to ours – and though he would surely fail any possible test of political correctness of the left or right – we found ourselves resonating powerfully with his quest for “a tranquil mind”. Indeed, Horace recommends just what I am arguing for now: “Interrogate the writings of the wise,” he counsels his friend Lollius Maximus:

“Asking them to tell you how you can

Get through your life in a peaceable tranquil way.

Will it be greed, that always feels poverty-stricken,

That harasses and torments you all your days?

Will it be hope and fear about trivial things,

In anxious alternation in your mind?

Where is it virtue comes from, is it from books?

Or is it a gift from Nature that can’t be learned?

What is the way to become a friend to yourself?

What brings tranquility? What makes you care less?”

(This from David Ferry’s marvelous translation.) Horace doesn’t tell you that you need to delete your social media accounts or somehow stop worrying about economic precarity. He’s asking questions here – but they are the right questions, questions that re-orient us to other possibilities for living than the ones handed to us each morning when we pick up our smartphones. “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there,” in LP Hartley’s famous line, which of course doesn’t mean that what “they do” is always right – but awareness of it is always illuminating.

To read old books is to get an education in possibility for next to nothing. Watching the latest social media war break out, I often recall Grace Kelly’s character in High Noon, a Quaker pacifist, saying: “I don’t care who’s right or who’s wrong. There’s got to be some better way for people to live.” (That by the end of the movie she abandons her pacifism only emphasizes, if ironically, the importance of her point.) The suspicion that there’s got to be some better way has the welcome effect of suppressing the thoughtless, kneejerk reflexion that is a byproduct of our age."
via:ayjay  human.flourishing  culture  attention 
2 days ago by lukemperez
Good, Better, Best - Dallin H. Oaks
Consider how we use our time in the choices we make in viewing television, playing video games, surfing the Internet, or reading books or magazines. Of course it is good to view wholesome entertainment or to obtain interesting information. But not everything of that sort is worth the portion of our life we give to obtain it. Some things are better, and others are best. When the Lord told us to seek learning, He said, “Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom” (D&C 88:118; emphasis added).
lds  study  focus  attention 
3 days ago by craniac
Using Smartphone Cameras to Track Alertness
"Cornell researchers have developed a tool that tracks alertness by measuring pupil size, captured through a burst of photographs taken every time users unlock their smartphones.
...
"When people are alert, the sympathetic nervous system causes the pupils to dilate to make it easier to take in information. When they're drowsy, the parasympathetic nervous system causes the pupils to contract.
...
"the AlertnessScanner could be particularly useful in health care, since medical professionals often work long hours doing intricate and important work. For example, clinicians typically look at devices during surgery, and a front-facing camera on the devices could track their alertness throughout procedures.

"But understanding alertness patterns could be helpful to people in many kinds of workplaces, Tseng said.

"If you want to get something very important done, then probably you should execute this task while you're at the peak of your alertness; when you're in a valley of your alertness, you can do something like rote work," he said. "You'll also know the best time to take a break in order to allow your alertness or energy to go back up again."
alertness  cognition  attention  pupil  biology  sleep  medical  biofeedback  eye 
3 days ago by Tonti
I Deleted My Twitter Accounts and Am Never Coming Back – Jon Mitchell, author and musician
I Deleted My Twitter Accounts and Am Never Coming Back. Last month, I deleted my primary* Twitter accounts. I’ve been looking forward to saying that for five years, but now I’ve finally had enough. * [ How can one…. https://ift.tt/2NE2ReE. via Instapaper. October 13, 2018 at 02:10PM
SocialMedia  overload  attention 
6 days ago by sjspires
It's Never Too Late to Be a Reader Again | WIRED
It's Never Too Late to Be a Reader Again. It was a book that drove me away from books. This wasn’t a trauma of distaste, or indulgence: not a literary bad mussel, not waking up on the floor of someone's…. https://ift.tt/2AygqLv. via Instapaper. October 13, 2018 at 04:20PM
reading  attention  distraction  anxiety 
9 days ago by sjspires
Why Doesn't Anyone Answer the Phone Anymore? - The Atlantic
No One Picks Up the Phone Anymore. Eric Thayer / Reuters The telephone swept into Americans’ lives in the first decades of the 20th century. At first, no one knew exactly how to telephone.…. https://ift.tt/2J60GPE. via Instapaper. October 13, 2018 at 04:20PM
communication  attention  overload 
9 days ago by sjspires
Mindful Ways To Stay Informed | A Considered Life
Mindful Ways To Stay Informed. News has a huge impact on us. It can shape our thoughts and actions; it can influence how we live our lives. The news affects us both mentally and physically.…. https://ift.tt/2PqLlwc. via Instapaper. October 10, 2018 at 04:50PM
mindfulness  attention  distraction  anxiety  news 
10 days ago by sjspires
Why can’t we read anymore?
Why can’t we read anymore?. Last year, I read four books. The reasons for that low number are, I guess, the same as your reasons for reading fewer books than you think you should have read…. https://ift.tt/1K5q7dD. via Instapaper. October 10, 2018 at 04:50PM
reading  culture  tech  ios  distraction  attention  screentime  ♥️ 
10 days ago by sjspires
Twitter
1/ Lemme do a 1-slide presentation since I'm feeling job sick. via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket  attention  management  media  scan  social  time 
10 days ago by ChristopherA
Useful thoughts on attention and information overload from 1971 (via Simon, Deutsch, Shubik) | Hapgood
“In an information-rich world, most of the cost of information is the cost incurred by the recipient. It is not enough to know how much it costs to produce and transmit information; we must also know how much it costs, in terms of scarce attention, to receive it. I have tried bringing this argument home to my friends by suggesting that they recalculate how much the New York Times (or Washington Post) costs them, including the cost of reading it. Making the calculation usually causes them some alarm, but not enough for them to cancel their subscriptions. Perhaps the benefits still outweigh the costs.”
attention  design  plainlanguage  2018 
11 days ago by handcoding
Being Cruised - Los Angeles Review of Books
Herein lies the complexity of cruising and being cruised. Cruising implies that we are just passing through, looking around, checking stuff out, window-shopping as it were. Will we or won’t we? Even if we are the ones doing the cruising, we might not ourselves fully know what we are looking for. Part of the pleasure comes out of the play of possibility, not always the follow through.
beauty  gay  lgbt  queer  queerselflove  attention  public  presence  aging  power  exercise  relationships  men  women  movies  film 
12 days ago by allaboutgeorge

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