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Attention Seeking Technology

Started by droqen, May 17, 2022, 09:16:22 PM

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"Attention seeking behavior is to act in a way that is likely to elicit attention."

The article 'Look at me' summarizes several expert opinions into the basic idea that "people have been shown to need [..] attention that is positive and accurate." In this case I'd like to emphasize need. It's absolutely crucial.

brittanica.com describes technology as "the application of scientific knowledge to the practical aims of human life," and in this case I'm identifying technology which is applied to the practical aim of acquiring attention that is positive and accurate, or as 'Look at me' calls it, 'belonging'.


Last night when I wrote this I was thinking about how much technology we have available to us which is capable of amplifying the amount of attention we can get. The gun onebuttonized death; the screen onebuttonized attention.

See how the television, bright-screened and noisy and containing multitudes of simulacra of life, is a device which at the press of a button one person can use to attract the attention of many, bind it within a shared magic circle. Attention seeking isn't all bad, necessarily.


Quote from: Look at me, Leo Benedictus[RE: mass shootings]
The truth is that if you want the world's attention badly enough, you can have it tomorrow.


This morning, while I lay in bed, I thought about connecting with people and in particular spending more time listening to and trying to help people, to give them what I already know they will appreciate rather than predict what people don't know they want. I am planning to run Masks for a few friends, and so much of GMing a TTRPG is about paying attention to the players. Giving attention. It feels good to give attention, and I find it quite easy to forget that. The 'like' button only works because people choose to give.

Art can make the artist feel seen, but it can also make the person appreciating the art feel seen. By nature, Attention-Seeking Technology's secret flipside may be Attention-Giving Technology.


Quote from: Look at me, Leo BenedictusLonely people lack attention that is positive and accurate, in short.

So why don't they ask for more? Because attention can be harvested only from the minds of other people, and high-quality attention won't come by force. "In anthropological terms, it's a gift economy," says Dr Amy Pollard of the Mental Health Foundation (MHF).


Quote from: droqen on October 27, 2021, 04:39:39 PM
Quote from: p40Like conjuring tricks in reverse, such instruments [as telescopes, as well as good explanations, all perhaps only through "sophisticated chain[s ] of theoretical interpretation"] fool our senses into seeing what is really there.

Attention technology is a tool- there are things we ought to pay attention to. Telescopes and good explanations, which help us see what was already there, have their counterparts... screens may show us what was never there in the first place and never was.