- July
Posted By : Adrian Chan
Is attention over time not identity?

I remember being at a creative commons mixer a while back here in the City (SF). The guy holding the mike, the floor, and everyone’s withering attention had overstayed his welcome and some of us were desperately trying to figure out if he was just too stoned to notice the audience cues (shifting, shuffling, coughing, and drink clinking figures along the bar) or what.
A slow panic then began to develop among some members of the audience when they realized that this Creative Commons mixer had not real organizing body or authority/decision-making at the event, and that he CC reps in back weren’t willing to stick their necks into the floor and bring the speaker to a graceful conclusion.
Organizers began to sense the panic and themselves panicked that overzealous steeltoe booted SF locals might reign in the speaker using his microphone cord and possibly also his neck, if they themselves didn’t step in.
This Mexican standoff lasted a precious ten minutes, becoming in and of itself a focus of attention for those who most definitely were stoned in the back of the room!
I, not stoned, joked that CreativeCommons and Attentiontrust ought to perhaps merge, the fact now being obvious that everyone at the CreativeCommons mixer was unwittingly, and not voluntarily, postponing the mixing part so that a reckless speaker might have their attention.
In short, the audience was granting the speaker its attention, and this “granting attention” was really the mirror reflection of the Creative Commons idea of granting permission for reuse/reproduction of works.

In other words, if:
Creative Commons organizes the willful permission to share/distribute what I produce, in other words, to reproduce…
Attention trust organizes my consumption of products and participation in production, insofar as it requires my time and directed attention

Each then describes my active participation (creativecommons) or passive participation (attentiontrust) in a participatory economy. Nothing new here. I just thought the idea that they merge in the back of a bar was kind of funny.

Now, I’d like to ask a question that popped to mind a minute ago: Is attention over time the same as identity? Should CC and AT merge into ID? Is what I make (CC), and what I pay attention to, over time, not, basically, my identity? That’s how an Amazon would look at it. The consistency of my choices over time is, well, it’s what I like, and therefore to any commercial enterprise, it’s who I am (as far as they care).

Perhaps we could use a CC/AT/ID mashupcamp. Call it EgoCamp?

creative commons | attentiontrust | Identity 2.0

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