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Educator, instructional technologist, tinkerer, musicmaker, hauler of bootstraps

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Grant Potter

The Age of Distraction: reclaiming our attention from technology’s hands

"digital technologies now privilege our impulses over our intentions. As information technologies have enveloped our lives, they have transformed our experiential world into a never-ending flow of novel attentional rewards. "

"Like clickbait or so-called fake news, the design goal of Trump is not to inform but to induce. Content is incidental to effect."

"the largest, most standardised and most centralised form of attentional control in human history ... is also one that is structured to undermine our higher values by design."

"The effect is much closer to that of a religion: it involves the installation of a worldview, the habituation into certain practices and values, the appeals to tribalistic impulses, the hypnotic abdication of reason and will, and the faith in omnipresent and seemingly omniscient forces that we trust, without a sliver of verification, to be on our side."

Grant Potter

Grant Potter

Grant Potter

Grant Potter

Grant Potter

https://www.wired.com/story/free-speech-issue-tech-turmoil-new-censorship "The freedom of speech is an important democratic value, but it’s not the only one. In the liberal tradition, free speech is usually understood as a vehicle—a necessary condition for achieving certain other societal ideals: for creating a knowledgeable public; for engendering healthy, rational, and informed debate; for holding powerful people and institutions accountable; for keeping communities lively and vibrant. What we are seeing now is that when free speech is treated as an end and not a means, it is all too possible to thwart and distort everything it is supposed to deliver."

"Creating a knowledgeable public requires at least some workable signals that distinguish truth from falsehood. Fostering a healthy, rational, and informed debate in a mass society requires mechanisms that elevate opposing viewpoints, preferably their best versions. To be clear, no public sphere has ever fully achieved these ideal conditions—but at least they were ideals to fail from. Today’s engagement algorithms, by contrast, espouse no ideals about a healthy public sphere."

"By this point, we’ve already seen enough to recognize that the core business model underlying the Big Tech platforms—harvesting attention with a massive surveillance infrastructure to allow for targeted, mostly automated advertising at very large scale—is far too compatible with authoritarianism, propaganda, misinformation, and polarization. The institutional antibodies that humanity has developed to protect against censorship and propaganda thus far—laws, journalistic codes of ethics, independent watchdogs, mass education—all evolved for a world in which choking a few gatekeepers and threatening a few individuals was an effective means to block speech. They are no longer sufficient."

Grant Potter

Grant Potter

https://hapgood.us/2017/09/05/students-as-creators-and-the-capitalist-impulse/ "the most subversive idea you could have at a university these days is that you might think a few connected thoughts without throwing them into either publication or the attention economy."

Grant Potter

"A new form of information manipulation is unfolding in front of our eyes. It is political. It is global. And it is populist in nature. The news media is being played like a fiddle, while decentralized networks of people are leveraging the ever-evolving networked tools around them to hack the attention economy." https://points.datasociety.net/hacking-the-attention-economy-9fa1daca7a37#.mp6jtf3dw

Grant Potter

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads https://books.google.ca/books?id=STJbCwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false