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Brain Training

One day last week I drank too much tea too late in the day. Instead of going to bed at my normal 1:30-2am time, I went to bed after 3am. The next morning I woke up around eleven, feeling a bit slothful for sleeping in. Usually I make some nice green tea in the morning, but I skipped it that day, half because I had overdosed on tea the day before, and half because it was almost the afternoon. I sat down at my computer, but instead of doing my daily planning, I started researching Persian rugs.

By one in the afternoon I was still sitting at my computer in my skivvies, having done nothing more substantial than gain a comprehensive amateur understanding of what to look for in a Persian rug, and maybe answering a handful of medium-priority emails.

The day was off to a bad start. Not a horrific start, like the kind where you lose your arm in a grain combine, but the kind where you've gotten such a slow start that the day begins to feel like a waste.

I opened up Google Calendar to plan my day, but then closed it. What's the point, I thought, when I've already wasted so much time? There was no chance it was going to be an excellent day, so my brain was trying to steer me towards just writing the day off and refocusing on the next one.

The Rise of the Attention Economy

On Isaac Lewis

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I've been thinking recently about how time is being replaced with attention as the scarcest, and most important, economic resource. This trend is manifested in a few ways. For example, while twentieth century consumers bought time-saving products, twenty-first century consumers will buy attention-saving products. I'll talk more about the implications of this below, but first, how did we get here?

(Note: this article by Venkatesh Rao provided a lot of inspiration for the following post. He's more than a few levels above me in writing/thinking skills, so if you enjoy this post, I'd suggest checking out his).

The attention economy is a product of the information revolution. In their time, the industrial and agricultural revolutions also created new economic orders. There have been many revolutions, but these were the only three that changed the fundamental nature of wealth, scarcity, and growth. Between them, these three revolutions split economic history into four distinct phases.

"I store meat in the belly of my brother."

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