I will do something a little unconventional, if you candy that about something that is only on it’s third installment, but I will only link one article this week. Why, you ask? Is it because I have lost interest and am stepping gradually down – absolutely not. Have I been unable to find more than this one article – not the case either. No the reason is actually that I think the topic/issue is so important that it needs to stand on its own feet. Shouldn’t I then have written a regular blog-post about it instead? – Perhaps. And maybe I will elaborate further on it in the future. I can feel that it is an issue that touches something deep inside of me and something that I have a very clear stand on and lots to say.
But for the exact same reasons it is hard for me to not bring it now that I read it and it just happened to fall right on my own deadline for this weeks LFK newsletter.
The article is written by a guy named Mark Manson. You may very well have heard of him and I would recommend for you to look though his archives. You can also be guaranteed that it is not the last time that I will mention him. He doesn’t write as often as others, but when he does it is usually something really interesting. An approach I really like.
At first glance the article may seem political and trying to pick sides in the American presidential elections, but keep with it as the issue it raises actually doesn’t relate to any one side in politics but more an underlying tendency/problem in our contemporary world.
The issue has to do with our “attention-economy”. I was going to start of with saying that it has both positive and negative sides to it, but to be absolutely honest with you, I am finding it very hard to find anything positive about it. Perhaps a lot of information/services that we would otherwise have to pay for is now free because of the fact that attention has turned into a currency. Then whether the quality of this information/these services is so low that if we were forced to pay for them we wouldn’t use them at all, is probably not missing the mark by much.
Distilling the problems of this “attention economy” is such a daunting task. There are so many ways to attack it, so many ways in and so many everyday things it affects. While the article I will link to does an absolutely brilliant job at highlighting the problems from the ankle he has chose to attack it, there are just so many more angles to left uncovered. But to be true to the article and not get carried away I will add a few words relating to the actual articles angle.
He highlights a very important problem with the media itself. Journalists, even extremely seasoned and recognised ones can end up coming across with a serious perception-related message. I am not accusing any of these of lying. They are probably conveying information that is very truthful and in line with their perception. But in that last word is much of the trouble. As a journalist you generally have to keep up with an enormous information flow. If you are one that gets asked about world politics and affairs you have to digest a hell of a lot of information about this. Read on newssites, follow other journalists, look through Twitter for the latest and most retweeted stories. But herein lies a giant trap. From your perspective the I wouldn’t doubt the slightest that the world seems in total chaos. Newssites needs clicks and attention so they bring stories that attract this, other journalists needs stories that can keep up their facade as people with a finger on the pulse, so again they can get recognition and attention. And Twitter is just the “attention-economy” on steroids with a side order of speed.
The problem is that this is nowhere near the actual reality of the world. Of course these stories happen. A lot of really bad things has happened the last couple of months all over the world. But the problem is that the “attention economy” totally distorts the picture and ends up projecting a picture of a world in total chaos where going outside your door is not just likely but absolutely certain to get you killed before even reaching the sidewalk. As billions of people has experienced this actually isn’t the case. In the world outside the “attention-economy” life is actually pretty damn good. Most people live far better lives than decades ago – but of course this won’t get anything near as much attention as war, horror and click-bait articles. If it was to be broadcasted you probably would want to read a story two days in a row saying that there is quite peaceful in the world. You might hear it one day, but then the next 30 it is back to armageddon.
As said I think it is a very important issue and I highly recommend you to read the article here: https://markmanson.net/crazy-world
Finally just to calm everybody down an breathtaking performance by Ben Howard.
Have a very good and relaxing weekend everyone. Give someone a big hug and remember that everything’s gonna’ be alright.