We’ve taken an opportunity for connection and distorted it to commodify attention.
Our generation is generally adverse to ideologies. I don’t have too much of a problem with this. I find that Ideologies often cause nothing but obstacles to those people who are actually getting things done. But as developers we are both close to the ground, and have real power. In his new short book “The new Kingmakers”, Stephen O’Grady very effectively makes the case that software developers are just that. It’s time we stopped making toys for quite rich people to make very rich people even richer.
As of May 2013, 15% of American adults ages 18 and older do not use the internet or email.
Asked why they do not use the internet:
- 34% of non-internet users think the internet is just not relevant to them, saying they are not interested, do not want to use it, or have no need for it.
- 32% of non-internet users cite reasons tied to their sense that the internet is not very easy to use. These non-users say it is difficult or frustrating to go online, they are physically unable, or they are worried about other issues such as spam, spyware, and hackers. This figure is considerably higher than in earlier surveys.
- 19% of non-internet users cite the expense of owning a computer or paying for an internet connection.
- 7% of non-users cited a physical lack of availability or access to the internet.
Taking cues from this research that posits blinking as a refresh button for our attention bandwidth, and the well-documented instances of mirroring in psychology (where you can sync your blink rate with the person you’re talking to), I’m defacing a number of internet attention sinkholes with blinking selfies culled from Tumblr. Here’s one prepared earlier: (via Break the internet | Dazed Digital)
it just keeps getting more and more wtf
To some critics, there’s something distinctly neocolonialist and off-putting about the spectacle of well-off do-gooders in the U.S. choosing which brown people live and die in the developing world based on who has a cuter picture on Watsi. Others wonder whether focusing donations on individuals, no matter how worthy, diverts funding and attention from efforts aimed at tackling the more systemic causes of inadequate healthcare in impoverished parts of the world. Watsi must also bear the misfortune of coming of age during a simmering backlash against Silicon Valley.
But the solutions are so complicated. You have these questions, should I be helping this person, should I even be in this country? Am I creating dependencies, am I doing more harm than good? There are all kinds of nasty questions that people have to deal with in the nonprofit space. And sometimes we try to do good and we end up doing more harm than good.
“What we liked about healthcare, is that to us it seemed like the answer was unequivocally right and unequivocally good, that if you have a 10-year-old in Nepal who is going to die for lack of a treatment that costs $1,000, and there is no other option, then I can’t understand an argument for why it’s wrong to save that 10-year-old’s life.”