Tuesday, January 02, 2018

The Great Attention Heist - Los Angeles Review of Books

A book review worthy of your attention

"These revelations confirm what at least one writer has been telling us: that our attention is increasingly treated as a commodity for profit. In his 2016 book The Attention Merchants, recently released in paperback, Tim Wu, a professor of law at Columbia University, shows us how attention, a crucial human function, became the common currency of propagandists, media executives, and internet moguls. The compulsion to prey on eyeballs, Wu argues, long predates our digital gizmos and virtual realms. The advent of mass marketing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries spawned sophisticated advertising techniques geared to arrest and hold the attention of prospective buyers. Eventually, it occurred to American entrepreneurs that information about newspaper readership could be sold to those seeking access to consumers in order to market products. Throughout the 20th century, merchants learned to harvest and barter our attention using ever newer and more efficient media. Attention became one of the hottest commodities on the planet."
The Great Attention Heist - Los Angeles Review of Books
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