5 votes

Why you (probably) won’t finish reading this story

9 comments

  1. TavisNamara
    Link
    Hari's personal issues aside- see wikipedia for some details- I'm so glad this went the way it did. I did, in fact, read all of it- mostly out of spite- and the key point is exactly what it needs...

    Hari's personal issues aside- see wikipedia for some details- I'm so glad this went the way it did. I did, in fact, read all of it- mostly out of spite- and the key point is exactly what it needs to be. It's not about TV. It's not about smartphones. It's not about the internet. It's about the commercial usage of it to infect, infest, monetize, profit, demonize, spread hate, anything and everything that will make the numbers go up, get your attention more often. Clickbait, clickbait, clickbait harder until you can't turn your eyes away and you're desperate for the next hit of dopamine. That's the issue. And we CAN build a system that doesn't require it, that doesn't demand it. Of course, the solutions aren't clean, aren't easy, and aren't necessarily nice- but they're a helluva lot nicer than Facebook.

    It reminds me of when I read Amusing Ourselves to Death, except Neil Postman got it wrong. He was so dead set on TV being the problem that he ignored the elephant in the room. It was never TV. Watch stuff that only ever airs on HBO and you'll eventually see TV isn't the issue, it's all those pesky commercials cutting everything into 7-minute segments with 30-second rapid-fire attention-grabbers in between. It's the money that's the problem. The love of money is the root of all evil.

    11 votes
  2. [2]
    cmccabe
    (edited )
    Link
    I finished it! (In fairness, it isn't that long.) It doesn't go very deep into solutions to attention mill as business model, but it does provide some interesting articulation of the problem. One...

    I finished it! (In fairness, it isn't that long.) It doesn't go very deep into solutions to attention mill as business model, but it does provide some interesting articulation of the problem. One topic I would like to see covered more on this subject is the disassociation between engagement with online content and actual, real-world action.

    The article also references Johann Hari's book, Stolen Focus, and links to a longer, audiocast version of Sean Illing's article. I hate pod/audiocasts, but I may listen to this one.

    Edit: Typo fix.

    5 votes
    1. lou
      Link Parent
      Saying I won't do something makes me wanna do that something :P

      Saying I won't do something makes me wanna do that something :P

      3 votes
  3. [5]
    pArSeC
    Link
    The main reason I didn't finish that story was because I saw the name "Johann Hari".

    The main reason I didn't finish that story was because I saw the name "Johann Hari".

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      What's the criticism there?

      What's the criticism there?

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        hungariantoast
        Link Parent
        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Hari Probably some of the stuff mentioned on his Wikipedia page

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Hari

        Probably some of the stuff mentioned on his Wikipedia page

        6 votes
        1. MimicSquid
          Link Parent
          That's a pretty damning set of things. I'm surprised he still gets work of any sort in media.

          That's a pretty damning set of things. I'm surprised he still gets work of any sort in media.

          5 votes
    2. cmccabe
      Link Parent
      I thought Sean Illing‘s ideas in the piece were more interesting than Hari’s, but after seeing the Wikipedia link someone added below, I understand your initial reaction. Still, I think it’s worth...

      I thought Sean Illing‘s ideas in the piece were more interesting than Hari’s, but after seeing the Wikipedia link someone added below, I understand your initial reaction. Still, I think it’s worth reading for Illing’s side.

      1 vote
  4. balooga
    Link
    Ezra Klein also recently interviewed Hari on his show, and in my opinion it was the better of the two conversations. (Interestingly, the Vox Conversations podcast was created to fill the void left...

    Ezra Klein also recently interviewed Hari on his show, and in my opinion it was the better of the two conversations. (Interestingly, the Vox Conversations podcast was created to fill the void left by the Ezra Klein Show when he left Vox to join the NY Times. I'm subscribed to both but frankly Ezra's on another level.)

    3 votes