The Attention Economy, Weinstein and Living a Baddass Life

This is my first week of publishing my “what I’m reading” articles list.  I can’t promise the topics will be in the same field each week as my interests are broad, but you might find a slight skew to tech, science and the outdoors.  If you enjoy these articles share them, share this page and  if you come across something you think I should read drop it in the comments. Thanks.

This Week’s Reads

  1.  The Attention Economy Is Screwing Us – The people who made our smartphones so addictive are now grown ups and more of them are questioning their creations. Among the less than surprising facts, is the great lengths that some of these persons go to to protect themselves and their kids from their own creation. What does that leave for the rest of us  that don’t realize what is happening?The negative effects of these tech inventions are broad. Concerns includes techs contribution to limiting peoples ability to focus and even lowering IQ. Then there is  the “psychologically manipulative advertising” which causes one to question how soon technology, through it’s ability to manipulate, will undermine democracy. Or it might already have.
    If the attention economy erodes our ability to remember, to reason, to make decisions for ourselves – faculties that are essential to self-governance – what hope is there for democracy itself?
    Side note I saw this study mentioned in the article a while ago that shows the effects that the mere presence of a smart phone does to your cognitive capacity. Even when the phone is turned off. I’ve since gone most nights to bed leaving my phone in another room and I can say I’ve noticed the difference in how well I sleep.
    See Article here [Paul Lewis for The Guardian]
  2. Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent – A woman who has the financial means, or weather the lack of income, is more likely to come forward against the very man that could put her in “economic exile”. This explains why Weinstein got away for so long being a sleazeball. The author says it best:
    Because consent is a function of power. You have to have a modicum of power to give it. In many cases women do not have that power because their livelihood is in jeopardy and because they are the gender that is oppressed by a daily, invisible war waged against all that is feminine—women and humans who behave or dress or think or feel or look feminine.
    See article here [Brit Marlin for The Atlantic]
  3. The key to a badass life was learning to listen to a different voice –  Kimi Werner is a spearfisher, freediver, shark whisperer, chef, artist, and entrepreneur. That’s quite a bit of stuff for one person. There’s so much good in this profile but here are some of my favorites: 
    the real risk is in becoming a “zombie who doesn’t ever think about where their food comes from,” helpless in the absence of a Safeway. “Our world is so based on efficiency and convenience,” she says. “I think something in your life is really missing if you decide to just shut off your brain and consume.” About 80 percent of everything Werner eats, or cooks for others, comes from hunting, growing, foraging, or trading.
    “I hate it when they say ‘man and the ecosystem,’ ” Werner says. “Because we’re part of the ecosystem.” And, she adds, “we’re not necessarily at the top of the food chain.” 
    As always, people had plenty of advice: Get a real job or you’re headed for failure. You’re not getting any younger, you know. No one can make a living this way. Werner recalls the stricken face of one woman who’d asked about her career plans: “It was such a look of concern and confusion. And I just started laughing, because I didn’t know what else to do.”
    See article here [Susan Casey for Outside Magazine]

That’s it for my first week. A short list but it was a busy week so there’s that. Thanks for following along.

Cheers,
Bill

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