doc searls and accidental lessons

Via doc searls – accidental lessons: reflections on the challenger tragedy

I wonder, how has the monetize-attention-with-targeted-ads environment we’ve wound up in changed how we perceive the world and events around us. If the ISS blew up, it’d be big news, but only until the president tweeted something, or some giant company was caught doing something stupid. Or some president tweeted something stupid. News of major events used to bring people together. Physically. I remember watching updates from the original Gulf War, on TVs in hallways on campus. People – students, profs, staff – gathered around, paused together, before moving on and returning later. Now, we glance at a phone, nod, and repeat. It started with the 24-hour news cycle, which really came to become a real thing during that first Gulf War, and has now grown to become endless, individualized, targeted and hyper-tribalized news feeds, optimized not for communication or information, but for maximizing advertising revenue.

2 Replies to “doc searls and accidental lessons”

  1. My mind wanders back to elementary school when we’d assemble in the gym to watch Apollo rockets taking off or splashing back to the ocean on return, the technology was TV sets on carts, probably half the dimensions of a typical home screen now.

    Reading your comment added an element of the feeling we were in that moment together, which ironically is what we may thinks we are doing on our phones watching a news event play out in social media that others are watching too (Maybe a “you know you are old when” when you start sounding like Sherry Turkle).

    Heard this on the radio (terrestrial signal) today, “In Defense of Boredom” —
    thought at first it was another “look at me I gave up my phone for a week” columns, but
    had some good moments http://www.wnyc.org/story/defense-of-boredom/

    1. Boredom is a wonderful thing. I have my best ideas when I’m doing nothing at all, or doing something repetitive (long bike ride? One part excitement, one part boredom. Best thoughts ever, with no way to write them down 😉 ) Fidget spinners and phone notifications and constant updates kill the magic that happens when we let ourselves get bored.

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