Attention Economy: the Internet's Original Sin



The internet finances itself through advertising, not direct billing. This has advantages, mostly in accessibility, but comes at a grave cost. It's not just that percentage of time and attention that is sucked into watching increasingly ads, it's that everything we consume is designed to funnel us towards ads, rather than our own benefit. This leads to clickbait and dopamine hacking; Facebook algorithms that show us things that enrage us rather than make us happy.

I say this as someone who loves and has really benefited from social media. I've made multiple friends and more than one job interview has gone "yeah, we read your blog. When would you like to start your trial?" Imagine how much the internet could do if it for us if it was designed to our benefit instead of advertisers.

This article covers how we got to this state and what it costs, as well as a few of the benefits.