Attention is money, money is attention


  • Fundamentally: money is “the thing that is scarce”
    • Social fiction that is used to represent scarcity
  • Historically, scarce things looked like: land, gold, food, clothing, information
  • Now:
    • land doesn’t matter
    • goods are cheap due to manufacturing
    • services are replaced by software
    • information is transmitted and replicated infinitely
  • What’s left? The attention of other humans

  • In cyberpunk VR utopia the only thing that matters is other people

  • Other candidates for scarcity:
    • Time
    • Health
    • Power
    • Reputation
    • (are these other ways of describing attention?)
    • What goods are positional?

v0 braindump

Ads are a fee in attention space

Fees make the world go around

Taxes are fees

Economist should study attention

Attention is the scarce thing M$ represent (cf attention is the scarcest resource)

Legitimacy vs attention??

Paying for a top spot on Manifold/leaderboard - bank account determines what the site does

Anyone digging through the site sees top 10 markets

If the money determines what they are - what does it mean about what the site does

Quadratic funding

Even if someone's willing to dig through and find markets they want, have to think of offering spots in the top 10. If we sell those, then what our site does is predict on the kind of markets people pay to promote

Don't know what they are, don't know if that makes us happy. Might be good, trying to surface politically consequential info

Or: incentive structure will cause top markets to be questions about corporations, and you want to answer delicate questions about history

If we offered it, who woudl buy it


Internet is already quadratic funding

Getting to the frontpage is very valuable

People who had a low probability before, now has a really high chance

If Ida makes a video and has 1 share, it won't get the clout for sorting, even if the person watched it, maybe it changes their life, but no traction

But making stupid content that no one cares about it, if many people cares, sorting algos will promote it, and people

On the internet you make money by being popular, has the backoff, many creators, only the top portion makes a huge amount

Long-tail? Quadratic payment system: if a small number of watch, make a bit, if 10x watch, make

Skip preroll ads in Youtube - pay more money if you are willing to watch more

People are contributing to your ability to show the ad for longer. If people like the ad, they will allow you to pay a marginally lower cost

Guy knocks on door, "oh my god", do you want to skip

Positive externality - good commercials, mayhem, favorite piece of advertising media. Some actor, painted up to be covered in bruises, always pretending to be an inanimate object that destroys. Tree branch - never predict mayhem, insurance

Community classes for the arts - highest qualitiy for money, hiring a designer is relatively cheap; if Ida wanted to take a CS/programming class, CS makes excellent money, if someone works for bottom of barrel prices.

But music is oversaturated, good people > good jobs, all the good jobs are taken by people who are amazing.