@hmswaffles articulate and clear as usual.
Here are my notes, likely long winded as usual
I loved the personal intro by Aza.
I’m Concerned that introducing the meditation session may turn off some to the real message and indeed instigate some backlash, perhaps even putting the movement in the “California hot tubber” category, and many will use that to establish the “flakiness” of the movement and wind up as a scene just like in the HBO show “Silicon Valley”.
I say that as a California hot tubber who also meditates.
I would prefer calling this amplification of our reactive natures. “Downgrading” implies a golden age of humanity prior to computers, and humanity has always been downgraded and suppressed, there is probably no other time in history when humanity had so much opportunity to “upgrade” our potential, so it would have been nice to see that represented.
Technology has amplified the best and worst of us, and I think we’re just seeing human nature as it is because of it, and we don’t like what we see or what it says about us.
Our reactive natures have been exploited before technology came into play.
Are humans really this evil/bad/horrible? Is this what social media is showing us?
His answer to his own question was no. I admit I was a bit disappointed by that. Was he suggesting that it was social media that created the urge for genocide?
I wish his answer was “yes”, our reactive natures can definitely be that bad and have always been this bad if not far worse, we’ve just never had the tools to amplify them as we do now. Love it or hate it, technology and social media is forcing us to reflect on ourselves, and my experience has been most of us do not like to do that, we tend to just want to make the “other” wrong, and not look at the unintended consequences of our own individual choices. Tech is also amplifying that too.
Everyone cheered social media in the early days when it was exposing corrupt governments, companies, “them” etc…yet we have to accept that social media has also exposed how crappy we can be to each other. Social Media is bringing light to society more now than ever before, the problem is we don’t like what it is showing us about ourselves and our society.
The influence of Wall Street and Finance on the evolution of technology is what is also being revealed by the unintended consequences of technology, but was missing from this talk.
Facebook just posted HUGE profits this quarter. With all the mass awareness of this problem, none of that has changed Facebook’s profit potential. (it probably made their advertising engine more attractive to advertisers most likely, making it more seductive)
We have to create a better business model that can outcompete this problem by creating a more efficient ecosystem that will make the third party aggregator obsolete.
There needs to be a revolution against the tech giants, and that revolution can only come in the form of better business models and better technology, no?
Attention Extraction, Extracation incentives
I’m not sure why Tristan is discouraging the “free” model, because the only other option is either a paid subscription model (which cuts off the internet to the poor) or a government utility that is paid for by tax dollars (which turns the internet into PBS).
These services he is criticizing for their advertising models are not traditional publishers, they are aggregators of content. (facebook, twitter, etc)
Meanwhile, the real genuine publishing world, which includes news and education, are suffering in the “attention economy” that Tristan is criticizing and it is the publishers of content that could face extinction, yet this was not mentioned. If you remove the attention economy, you lose news, sports broadcasts, niche bloggers, etc. What about them?
“Throwing pennies” to people for their data is meaningless when their attention has already been devalued at scale by the platforms, not the publishers of genuine content. I think this was a poor phrase for him to use
I would have liked to have seen Tristan show a bigger understanding of what the “attention economy” means outside of the social media platform aggregators.
The free model just doesn’t have adoption, it has complete and utter saturation. I believe we need to work within this framework if we are to address this as an urgent problem. It is too late to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
I believe that if we are truly going to make a change here, we have to challenge the big platforms, who are just aggregators of content, and offer an ecosystem that genuine content publishers can use without relying on those platforms.
I enjoyed his phraseology, “attention extraction”. He’s right, on this environment, we are truly being robbed of our natural value. However, the model Tristan employs is that of a passive user, a victim, a “voodoo doll” that can have pins stuck in it without having any power.
I do believe 100% that the solution to this problem is turning the passive user into an “active user” and create a true “attention exchange” that is the owned and shared as the natural wealth of all citizens.
Attention is our natural currency. It is something that we own, and that others want. This is what the numbers and the data shows, it is not controversial to even suggest this.
Tristan danced around that yet didn’t seem to acknowledge the face value reality of what he was saying - attention is hijacked because attention is valuable.
Attention is the gas that runs the entire engine. If attention is focused and not distracted, it is more valuable.
Want to talk about an upgrade? How about the upgrade to humanity where all people own the inherent value of their attention and have a stake in the ecosystem that requires it to survive?
Tristan declared an urgency to this problem (which I agree with), but what solutions did he offer?
What’s the solution? Ban Straws, blockchain, what are we gonna do?
I’m not sure why he shrugged the blockchain community, while there are loads of issues there too, at least there is lots of innovation and a genuine intention to create better systems. Although I don’t believe the blockchain can be applied to the attention economy, it can be applied to the startup funding economy, a way for startups to work outside of the influence of VC’s and IPO’s, so that would be a good thing to highlight.
He mentioned, vaguely, other “solutions” that people have thrown out there, but he didn’t really say “why” they won’t work, only that there is urgency so we need a solution to emerge now. To me, this seems like a conversation that may have been had in a “bubble” within Silicon Valley.
Yes, give internet users the “agency” to solve this problem, the audience is the solution to the problem. The third party has removed human agency.
Tristan mentioned the urgency, yet I had a hard time seeing what he was offering was an immediate solution instead of an abstraction with only the hope of influence on others to make some change.
But I dig the abstractions. I dig that he is really encouraging social gamification, yet these ideas need business models to launch…what are they?
This was wonderful to hear from him. Although I’ve spent most of my time on this forum focusing on the problems with ad tech, online consensus building is my true passion and creating a shared language is the key to all consensus building from my experience.
Collaborating on building a shared narrative, and dialling it down to users creating a shared language and set of truth values I believe is indeed the next wave of social media innovation - but the problem Tristan missed with this is how do these new innovative platforms get funded?? How will they get adopted without funding??
If there is urgency, what is the plan of action?
I understand he was giving the talk to all the tech CEO’s, but is he expecting them to abandon their shareholders and turn into subscription models?
Okay, Ima go jump in my hot tub now