Attention Deficit: Alienation in Platform Capitalism (pages 79-88)

Samson Liberman

ABSTRACT: The aim of this paper is a socio-philosophical analysis of attention deficit phenomenon, which is being detected at the intersection of several subject areas (psychiatry, theory of journalism, economics). The main methodological instrument of the study is a Marxist principle of alienation. Alienation of attention, which, on the one hand, is being understood as a process of producing attention as a commodity, and on the other one – as the process of producing a person as a user of the platform, provides the methodological basis, necessary for a holistic view of the phenomenon. The main differences of attention alienation from alienation of labor and desire are considered within the paper. The possibility of a modern form of alienation is associated primarily with the emergence of the new forms of capital – platforms, providing infrastructure for the interaction of other users and aimed at collection and procession of large amounts of data. The main aspects of attention management: game, content sharing and design have been distinguished within the paper. The main consequences of alienation of attention for the structure of the individual and society have been spelled out. The effects of the spread of gaming techniques of attention management and content distribution techniques specific to social networks have been considered. It being is suggested that there is a correlation between the spread of ADHD diagnosis and the spread of attention management technologies, and, as well, between the distribution of attention management technology and the ‘renaissance’ of social in the social theory.

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