Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy

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Cambridge University Press, May 31, 2018 - Computers - 134 pages
Former Google advertising strategist, now Oxford-trained philosopher James Williams launches a plea to society and to the tech industry to help ensure that the technology we all carry with us every day does not distract us from pursuing our true goals in life. As information becomes ever more plentiful, the resource that is becoming more scarce is our attention. In this 'attention economy', we need to recognise the fundamental impacts of our new information environment on our lives in order to take back control. Drawing on insights ranging from Diogenes to contemporary tech leaders, Williams's thoughtful and impassioned analysis is sure to provoke discussion and debate. Williams is the inaugural winner of the Nine Dots Prize, a new Prize for creative thinking that tackles contemporary social issues. This title is also available as Open Access.


Preface page xi
The Faulty GPS 7
Bring your own Boundaries 17
Empires of the Mind 26
The Citizen is the Product 43
The Starlight 55
The Daylight 68
The Ground of First Struggle 87
Marginal People on Marginal Time 106
The Brightest Heaven of Invention 125

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About the author (2018)

James Williams is currently a doctoral candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute and Balliol College, University of Oxford, where he researches the philosophy and ethics of attention and persuasion as they relate to technology design. Prior to that he worked for over ten years at Google, where he received the Founders' Award - the company's highest honour - for his work on advertising products and tools.

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