Playing Into the Attention Economy

“Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer.” So wrote the philosopher Simone Weil in Gravity and Grace, a book that compounds her aphorisms and notes, most of which contend with a search for spiritual purity. Gravity and Grace was published posthumously in 1947, well before the advent of the term “attention economy,” which emerged over twenty years ago and refers to the imbalance between the massive amount of information available on the internet and the limited amount of attention (and time) humans have to offer. In 2019, this disparity is more pronounced than ever: practically every online media platform is designed to apply the logic of scarcity to our minds, to treat our attention as a commodity to be harvested and manipulated. One of the cruel paradoxes of modern life is that the companies that abuse our attention treat is as much more precious than we do.

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A Quick [Anderson] .Chaat about “Ventura”

By Jared Dickerson

Anderson .Paak is one of those artists, you know what I mean? No? Well, what I mean is he’s on a trajectory going nowhere but *Upwords* (nice), dropping incredible music that only improves exponentially. If you don’t know a lot about .Paak, I recommend his interview at The Breakfast Club in 2016. He speaks about his tumultuous childhood, his brief bout with homelessness alongside his pregnant wife, and his experience with the good old fashioned artistic doubt we all face.

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This Is Why We SX

By Alex Eggleston

The other night, I had one of those magical SXSW experiences that fuel the dreams of the thousands of non-industry folks that pour into Austin every spring hoping for an intimate brush with their favorite bands. The night before, I got a text from a friend who had just moved into town saying “Hey, what are you doing tomorrow night? I got us on the list for HATH” HATH is apparently an abbreviation for the Head and the Heart that no one uses, so I had to think on that for a second, but once I realized that he was referring to the major label indie folk band of “Rivers and Roads” fame, I was no less skeptical, and I told my friend so…

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Introduction

By Alex Eggleston

HI, I’m Alex, and I’m a folk-music devotee, turned student of the music industry, turned cybersecurity salesperson. The Upnote is a podcast and media platform run by bright, talented, young working classical musicians, and I’m the music industry dropout that they’ve agreed to let write stories for them every once in a while.

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