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Message posted on 10/09/2023

ESDiT online seminar - Yves Citton and Enrico Campo - From the Attention Economy to a Politics of Curiosity - Wednesday, September 20, 2023 1:30 PM-3:00 PM

ESDiT online seminar series on "Attending as practice in the attention economy"

From the Attention Economy to a Politics of Curiosity Yves Citton and Enrico Campo

Wednesday, September 20, 2023 1:30 PM-3:00 PM

Interested in attending? Please write to Secretariat.P& if you want to participate in this session (or others; see below).

Description: While studies devoted to the attention economy have proliferated since the 1970s, exploding after 1995, very few scholarly work had been devoted to curiosity until the mid-2010s. This presentation will attempt to resituate the attention economy within a triangulation evaluating the related powers and dangers of Attention, Distraction and Curiosity. Within such a triangulation, it will sketch what a politics of curiosity could look like within the current Capitalocene crisis.

Enrico Campo is Research Fellow in Sociology at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Milan (Italy). His main research interests are in the field of social theory, sociology of knowledge and in particular in the study of the relation between culture, technology, and cognition. He is author of Attention and its Crisis in Digital Society (Routledge 2022). Yves Citton is professor in Literature and Media at the Universit Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint Denis and co-editor of the journal Multitudes, and recently published Altermodernits des Lumires (Seuil, 2022), Faire avec. Conflits, coalitions, contagions (Les Liens qui Librent, 2021), Gnrations collapsonautes (Seuil, 2020, in collaboration with Jacopo Rasmi), Mediarchy (Polity Press, 2019), Contre-courants politiques (Fayard, 2018), The Ecology of Attention (Polity Press, 2016). His articles are in open access on his website

Aim: The online series aims to contribute, using philosophy and ethics, to constructively critique the attention economy (the tech industry's business model that treats human attention as a commodifiable resource).

Other sessions The upcoming sessions will be: When (CET) Who Title Wednesday, September 20, 2023 1:30 PM-3:00 PM CET Yves Citton and Enrico Campo From the Attention Economy to a Politics of Curiosity Wednesday, October 11, 2023 2:00 PM-3:30 PM CET Galit Wellner The co-shaping of attention and technologies Tuesday, October 31, 2023 4:00 PM-5:30 PM Gloria Mark Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity Tuesday, December 12, 2023 3:30 PM-5:00 PM Cor van de Weele How can attention seeking be good Friday, January 12, 2024 4:00 PM-5:30 PM Mark Fortney Loving Attention: Buddhaghosa, Katsuki Sekida, and Iris Murdoch on Meditation and Moral Development

We are looking forward discussing this with you. Gunter Bombaerts, Alessio Gerola, Andreas Spahn, Anna Puzio, Jeroen Hopster, Joseph Sta. Maria Madelaine Ley, Lavinia Marin, Lily Frank, Madelaine Ley, Matthew Dennis, Tom Hannes,

Last year's sessions Check the recordings of the session at the ESDiT website here. Who Title Peter Hershock Intelligent Technology, the Attention Economy, and the Risks of Consciousness Hacking: A Buddhist Perspective Silvia Caprioglio Panizza Grounding ethics through attention: Murdoch, Weil, and Zen Buddhism Soraj Hongladarom Toward an Ethics of Attention. Dan Nixon Just Perceive: How Phenomenology and the Arts Can Guide Us in the Tech Era. Sebastian Watzl And Katharine Naomi Whitfield Browne

The Commodification of Attention. An analysis and ethical assessment. Tom Hannes The attention of ethics. Matthew Dennis Repurposing Persuasive Technologies for Digital Well-Being.

Background The "attention economy" refers to the tech industry's business model that treats human attention as a commodifiable resource. The libertarian critique of this model, dominant within tech and philosophical communities, claims that the persuasive technologies of the attention economy infringe on the individual user's autonomy and therefore the proposed solutions focus on safeguarding personal freedom through expanding individual control. While this push back is important, it uncritically accepts the framing of attention as a scarce commodity, giving rise to incomplete assessments of the moral significance of attention, and obscuring richer sets of ethical strategies to cope with the challenges of the attention economy. We step away from a negative analysis in terms of external distractions and aim for positive answers, by approaching attention as practice. The series engages with speakers from all kinds of backgrounds (philosophy on authors like Iris Murdoch, Martha Nussbaum, Simone Weil, Merleau-Ponty, Harry Frankfurt, or Buddhist ethics ...; psychology; artificial intelligence; ...). Questions that will be central in the online series: 1-What do attention and related concepts mean in the "attention economy"? 2-How is attention a basis for or related to morality? 3-How can attention (and related concepts) be built in the design of the attention economy in a humane way? To answer this last question, we think the philosophical debate should turn from a negative to a positive focus:

  • From "What are the distractions?" to "How can wisdom practices, virtues, ... support a desirable form of attention?";
  • From "I must take back control of my attention" to "How can we use attention for flourishing, wisdom, ...?";
  • From reacting against "promising (false?) free comfort" to supporting "acceptance of necessary effort"; and
  • From "increasing individual needs in the attention economy" to support "collective or intentional joint attention in the attention ecology".

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