Attention is Money

31 minutes

On the Internet there’s a never-ending, epic battle to catch – and keep – your attention. We don't really think about it much, but attention is a precious and personal resource, and these days the name of the game is to monetize your attention through clicks and shares. Today on the show, we talk to Tim Wu, author of "The Attention Merchants." He explains how attention is the essential currency of the Internet, and that the stakes are not merely an ad-filled online experience, but in fact our very ability to preserve and independently determine our own mental spaces. We also chat with Byron Reeves, a Stanford professor whose research involves taking a screenshot of participants’ laptops every – five – seconds. This unprecedented view into where we go when we go online, and how we move around, will make you wonder how we ever get anything done.

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