43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Focus is cash in the economics of attention

Metroactive Features | Techsploits ["Attention!"]

Annalee on overstimulation, bad soccer calls, and the new currencies that comprise "the attention economy:"

But the researchers found something far more interesting. Subjects who made incorrect decisions under "noisy" conditions tended to have extremely high confidence that their decisions were right. They were far more confident than the subjects dealing with a noncluttered image.

"These results have practical implications for perceptual decisions in everyday life," wrote the authors in their paper. "They predict an increase in high-confidence errors when decisions are made in cluttered environments...."

And, later:

Consumers and producers of the attention economy are the inverse of those in the cash economy. Attention producers are users, and attention consumers are companies.

Attention producers need software that works like the Federal Reserve. It should keep attention inflation low by making it easier to get the right information quickly.

Nicely put. Someday I hope to serve honorably on the Federal Attention Reserve Board.

Ed Furlong's picture

What does it say about...

What does it say about all of us that Annalee points to "spending far too much time reading Merlin Mann's blog" as a symptom of highly granularized attention?

I find this phenomenon (high confidence of decisions made in a cluttered environment) the single most damaging behavior that affects my work and productivity. Example: I deleted an email that provided directions to an off-site meeting I had to attend today. No problem--I mapquested the address. Turns out mapquest does not give you correct directions for this location--a 3+ year-long problem as it turns out. Result: 30 minutes late to my meeting, never mind the near stroke I had out of sheer frustration.

Solutions--not sure what they are, but disciplined ignoring of email and phone interruptions, coupled with a strong "No!" ethic for committments figure in prominently.





An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »