Matthew Crawford, author of The World Beyond Your Head, flies a lot for his work. He was surprised to find something new at the bottom of the airport security checkpoint tubs. He put his wallet, keys, and shoes on a woman’s face in an advertisement for makeup.
Crawford thinks we no longer live in an information economy. If the word economy refers to what is scarce and driving what’s valuable, then we are living in an attention economy. Media, businesses, and leaders compete for our attention, not just our information.
Attention can be goal-driven or stimulus-driven. An easy way to test what has your attention is to ask, “Is this in the service of my own will, or in the service of something else? Is this voluntary or involuntary?”
Today’s currency, though many seem unaware of it, is measured by our attention. Wealth may very well become the amount of power and control we have over the most precious resource: our own attention.
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