Information in attention

Diagram redrawn from Van de Velde, 2003

Selective (in)attention

Attention poverty

In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.

Even as a contemporary colloquialism, the term “eyeballs” for the site of control repositions human vision as a motor activity that can be subjected to external direction or stimuli. The goal is to refine the capacity to localize the eye’s movement on or within highly targeted sites or points of interest. The eye is dislodged from the realm of optics and made into an intermediary element of a circuit whose end result is always a motor response of the body to electronic solicitation.

Information in action

we represent an interest as a data structure with a measurable satisfaction function defined on it. An interest represents the pursuit of a resource for behavior, but it leaves in the middle what that behavior is. Thus, an interest is neither a goal nor a task. It is not limited in time, neither is it something reachable.

Conclusion: A computational dialectic

At the level of social processes, information can be seen at least as: (a) patterns of communication, broadly understood; (b) forms of control and feedback; (c) the probability of a message being transmitted through a channel; (d) the content of a cognitive state; (e) the meaning of specific linguistic forms

corporate success will also be measured by the amount of information that can be extracted, accumulated, and used to predict and modify the behavior of any individual with a digital identity

Notes

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