This conference has its feet in two paradigms – one is the attention economy, and the other is the old economy. Michael thinks we don’t know which world we’re in – butterflies (or moths) that still think we’re caterpillars – but maybe we’re ready to sip the nectar and live in a new way of being.
A new level in the game known as Western Culture
An economy most generally…
is a massively multiplayer
single level game
that involves some kind of passing
Economic History is a multilevel game:
The first level: Fuedal (800-1200)
Knights and their vassals – winning through fighting, aligning with other lords, or by marriage.
Second level: Market-Money-Industrial – 1650-1980
Nothing changed externally (1200 – 1650 was a transition period)
Coming next and already very powerful – the Attention Economy – a new level, a new kind of system. Can’t think of it in the old terms any more than you can think about stock markets or unemployment in a feudal system
When enoguh players reach their implicit goals, we reach a new level. Each level has new rules, goals, moves, values BUT – there is no game designer. The new level emerges from basic human proclivities and gaps in old level.
Feudal – provided security to Western Europe (from external raiders). Success in MMI is material abundance. The openings in feudalism ungoverned city spaces, safe travel, mostly no slavery. Our current openings – large high schools, broadcasting, publishing, internet.
Lack in feudal system was material goods. MMI lacks – chance to get attention and personal uniqueness and self expression.
Goals – fuedal: loyalty, fiefdomes, security
MMI – material goods, money, jobs
Attention – Attention from others
Roles: Feudal – Kinights, Serfs; MMI- owner, worker/consumer; Attention – star, fan
Different moves too.
Different cycles and structures.
So what is attention?
Attention – is scarce, very desirable, nothing limits the amount of attention you could absorb (if you could get it). There will be an intensifying competitiion for attention. Paying attention amounts to temporarily (and therefore permanently) allowing another to shape how your mind works.
It’s not about time. Who owns your attention? You own part, but the person you’re paying attention to also owns part. Attention is a kind of property located in the minds of those who have paid attention.
Finding meaning in life comes from sharing meanings with others – that can only happen if you get some of their attention.