Tom The Architect

Technology and other Interesting Stuff

Tag: attention-trust

Cognitive Economy: The role of Attention

In the cognitive economy the role of attention is primarily that of an abstract currency. Attention (in all of its forms) like Dollars, Euros and Pounds will have a value that is ubiquitous and easily measured by all parties. Markets can be created (think something like Root Markets) to speculate upon and trade attention. In the early stages of the cognitive economy attention exchange will be the primary source of revenue for all parties.

An interesting thing about attention is, as a currency it requires more collaborative valuation and regulation processes. Traditionally currency is created, regulated, and valued by a centralized authority and its designated markets. The fact that attention is created and valued in a distributed system by individuals, means there will be no one regulatory body to control it. This in my opinion is both a strength and weakness of attention.

Some strengths of attention are:

  • it allows for a very customizable valuation model, depending on the parties involved and the context.
  • flexible transaction structures and terms.
  • it retains value over time.
  • it can be traded multiple times.
  • it is highly portable.
  • is independant of borders and governments (this is not completely true, think China and the middle east).
  • its supply is only limited by our imaginations and our time on this earth.

Some weaknesses of attention are:

  • an individual can have control of their attention co-opted by third parties.
  • value models can poisoned and manipulated by monopolies and governments.
  • it can be shared without authorization.
  • one can be overwhelmed with the amount created and its complexity.

Some day we will have to claim on our tax returns the value received from exchanging our attention since most of the value will be in a non-traditional form (not dollars).

We as individuals must work to assert control over our attention, it’s our currency. The Attention Trust is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help the individual own and benefit from their attention. So, if you want understand more about attention and your rights go to www.attentiontrust.org and look around. (disclosure: I am member of the Attention Trust)

Links:

Root Markets

The Attention Trust:
Mission
The Blog and RSS feed

Identity, Reputation, Trust, then Attention

I was reading Ed Batista’s blog over at Attention Trust. He commented on a post by James Governor from RedMonk on Respect as it relates to attention. James points out:

Respect is what matters. Trust emerges from respect.

Respect can underpin attention but attention shouldn’t underpin respect. Make a contribution. Don’t obsess about inbound links, column inches or TV appearances.

I agree with James, respect and trust are critical components in an attention economy. Identity and reputation (includes respect) are the foundations of an attention economy and underpin trust which sustains attention. Identity, reputation and trust are regulators of my attention. Caller ID exemplifies the role of identity and reputation, once the callers identity is know or not know (aka private call) one can determine based on the callers reputation or lack there of if the caller is worthy of attention.

I agree there are limits to attention just like there were limits to space flight in the 1950’s, we have some technical, economic, social and political issues to resolve. These issues if not resolved will cripple the attention economy and leave consumers as poor sharecroppers on corporate information farms.

Links:
James Governor’s RSS Feed
Respect Is More Important Than Attention.

Ed Batista at Attention Trust RSS Feed
Respect!