Capitalism in the attention economy limits our sense of possibility

Tags: Social Change

According to Matthew Crawford, one of the modes in which capitalism operates is by "jigging" our experience such that our attention is focused only in certain directions. Capitalism, he argues, strives to capture our attention and direct it in a limited range of directions that serve its own ends, forestalling our sense of what is possible in any given moment. Crawford compares this to the situation of a compulsive gambler caught at a slot machine, and to a kind of collective autism where we're unable to cope with the sheer volume of stimuli around us and effectively experience a kind of cognitive short-circuit.


Crawford 2015