"The general principle is simple enough, though: stop paying attention to irrelevant online fluff that does not matter, and start paying attention to what goes on around you. There is more of it than you might suspect, and it is more possible to change than you might imagine."

The ontology of the attention economy, explained by means of cat pictures
by @sargoth

@ultimape @sargoth I was mislead and expected cat pictures in the post.

Jokes aside, the equation isn't that simple. Paying attention to complicated things is a lot more draining than looking at cute cats. The effort it takes to talk with the strangers in your neighborhood is not comparable with boosting posts on the Fediverse.

@uint8_t @ultimape cat pics are the apex predators of the attention economy. their mere promise inspires and provokes ^^

that said, it is (if we extrapolate) ever so slightly unrealistic to expect someone to go straight from online cats to (say) running for local city council in one swoop. it's a process. it takes time. one must go through all the steps one at a time, effort all the way

the first step on this process, however, is paying attention to attention. what gets it, what doesn't?

@ultimape @sargoth the other thing I missed from the article is how every so often those accounts with collection of cute cat pictures and millions of followers are sold for advertising companies, where they quickly spread some ads before people realize what was going on. Twitter is so guilty of this since you can change not just your display name, but also your handle.

@uint8_t yeah, that sound about right. I'll admit to skimping on the details re what happens to big accounts in the interest of keeping things imaginably short

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