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  • Before I start I just want to say that this video discusses politics. While my

  • main goal is specifically to explore the United States presidential hopeful

  • Andrew Yang, and his lesser-known proposal of creating a department of

  • attention economy, I realized my own political opinion will no doubt reflect

  • itself in the video. So I will take a moment at the end to share my take on

  • Andrew yang and my personal position on some policies. If you would prefer to see

  • that segment first, please skip ahead. It should be titled as politics. The

  • Democratic primary debate stage is packed.

  • Each candidate seems to be leaning heavily on signature policies to stand

  • out in the crowded field. Because of this, we, as potential voters run the risk of

  • seeing the candidates as single issue politicians. I think it's important to

  • dig a little deeper and to see what else each candidate has to offer. While

  • learning about the different candidates, Andrew Yang's website stood out. Unlike

  • most campaign websites, Andrew Yang's has a large page of listed

  • policy proposals from his platform which are worth taking a look at. While I won't

  • explore all of them in this video, I want to give a short introduction to Andrew

  • Yang and then dive into one specific policy proposal I find particularly

  • important: the creation of the Department of Attention Economy. In 2017 long before

  • most politicians even decided they would enter the next presidential race, a

  • relatively unknown entrepreneur filed for his run as a Democrat in the 2020

  • elections. Andrew Yang, having never held political

  • office and previously having very little name recognition, managed to get an

  • hour-long primetime CNN Town Hall in April 2019 and secured spot in the first

  • round of the Democratic primary debates. Being in the startup sector since the

  • 90s Andrew yang had an insider's view of the space and in turn the future of the

  • American job market. He recognized that with technologies rapid rate of

  • development there came the risk of severe automation. Yang's nonprofit,

  • Venture for America, created thousands of jobs over the years but he recognized we

  • needed a bigger approach to meet the challenge of technological unemployment.

  • One major potential solution, Yang's signature proposal, is called the Freedom

  • Dividend a form of universal basic income or UBI for short. Universal basic

  • income is a system where the government issues a set amount of money on a

  • recurring schedule to the citizens of the country unconditionally except for

  • age. In Andrew Yang's freedom dividend would be $1,000 a month starting at age

  • 18. Now this is a big idea and when taken seriously prompts a ton

  • of questions and in-depth discussion. You can read a lot about UBI, listen to

  • countless discussions about the pros and cons, and I encourage you to do so. But

  • this is where I would like to take a turn and discuss another issue that Yang

  • addresses and that I believe deserves our attention. On Yang's website under

  • the policy link titled "reduce harm to children caused by smartphones", Andrew

  • yang elaborates that social media and other online apps are currently being

  • developed to capture our attention with little regard to the mental health of

  • the person using them. This is an alarming development that becomes very obvious

  • when you begin to track the amount of time spent on mobile devices. Our

  • attention is actively being fought for. With the attention economy the concept

  • begins with the idea that time, our 24 hours in a day, is the scarcest commodity

  • we have. As other resources such as information and material possessions

  • become less scarce, this contrast becomes more extreme. Companies are now vying for

  • our engagement and attention to run ads or gather our information. Twitter,

  • YouTube, Snapchat, Amazon, Reddit, Facebook. All competing for your eyes and ad

  • dollars. they are researching and designing their products to better

  • compete with everyone else for our time. The result? Devices and applications

  • which at their extreme addict us and monopolize our time and attention with

  • little regard to our health or well-being. And as of right now we do not

  • have the framework in place to appropriately respond to the concept

  • of an attention economy. The writer Matthew Crawford does a great job of

  • explaining this issue... "The peculiar challenge of our present (one of them

  • anyway) I think is that we find ourselves at a new stage of capitalism. One that's

  • predicated on the ever more aggressive appropriation of our attention. Often by

  • mechanized means. This makes cultivating the habits and pleasures of deep slow

  • thinking a difficult matter. A new frontier of capitalism

  • has been opened up by our self-appointed disruptors. It's one where

  • you win competitive advantage by being the most aggressive in digging up and

  • monetizing every bit of private headspace." Andrew Yang's solution is the

  • formation of a department of attention economy. By creating a department Andrew

  • Yang argues that we can focus on smartphones and social media, gaming and

  • chat apps, and how to responsibly design and use them. Also, to create a best

  • practices design philosophy for the industry to minimize the anti-social

  • impacts of these technologies on children (and I would argue everyone) who

  • are using them... "One of the things I'm going to do is I'm going to have a

  • department of the attention economy and say look, we got to clean up the slot

  • machines that are like hypnotizing and depressing our young people. Okay so what

  • we do is were going to change the guidelines on like the timing of the reward

  • mechanisms you have. Where it could even be that like you know a message pops up

  • and says: 'hey you've been staring at this phone or this app for three hours you

  • should find a human being or go outside'. " This would be a huge step forward in a

  • time where it seems like no major institution is doing anything to protect

  • the sovereignty of our attention. Yes, we can do what we can as individuals. We can

  • use time tracking apps or make our screens monochrome, for example. But that

  • still pits us busy people against the companies with teams of experts whose

  • job it is to maximize the amount of time we spend on their platforms. Experts who

  • have behavioral and technological tools that we don't have. It's not a fair

  • relationship. With government articulating and addressing these issues

  • we can at least have a chance at a level playing field.

  • Tristan Harris is the director and co-founder of the Center for Humane

  • Technology and co-founder of the time well-spent movement. He previously worked

  • at Google as a design ethicist but now has dedicated his efforts to sounding

  • the alarm about the concerns of companies hijacking our ability to focus

  • on what's best for us... "Because we don't talk about it a handful of people

  • working at a handful of Technology companies, through their choices will

  • steer what a billion people are thinking today. So the internet is not evolving at

  • random. The reason it feels like it's sucking us in, the way it is,

  • is because of this race for attention. And it becomes this race to the bottom

  • of the brainstem of who can go lower to get it. Just imagine there's people who

  • have some desire about what they want to do and what they want to be thinking

  • what they want to be feeling and how they want to be informed, and we're all

  • just tugged into these other directions. And you have a billion people just

  • tugged into all these different directions. Well imagine an entire design

  • Renaissance that tried to orchestrate the exact and most empowering time

  • well-spent way for those timelines to happen." It's clear Tristan Harris with

  • his background and mission would be a great person to bring on board to tackle

  • this problem. Andrew yang supports doing just that on

  • his policy proposal page. Just by looking at this one link on Yang's site I can

  • say it's apparent he has put some serious time into thinking about this

  • problem we face. One that has not gained widespread political attention. But one

  • that deserves it. Even though it is not his flagship proposal,

  • it makes me confident as a voter to see how he's aware of a vast array of issues

  • and is looking for solutions. A department of attention economy is a

  • great start to formulating discussion and action to protect our shared

  • attention spaces, and to apply guidelines to websites and apps.

  • It makes me optimistic that this issue has a chance of being addressed on the

  • debate stage. so a little background on my political perspective on Andrew yang

  • in the upcoming elections I never have, nor ever see myself supporting Donald

  • Trump due to his unpresidential behavior, awful

  • policies, and the vast majority of political decisions. Therefore I will

  • likely be voting Democrat no matter who the nominee is. I think Andrew yang

  • brings a unique voice to the Democratic field and he proposes a large number of

  • policies which I support. I'm especially interested in his policies regarding UBI,

  • medicare for all, global warming, and of course how technology is affecting our

  • mental health. That being said I'm looking forward to

  • listening to all qualifying candidates in the upcoming debates and hopefully

  • will help elect one of the Democratic primary candidates as president in 2020.

  • Thank you for watching, and I hope to see you soon. Until next time.

Before I start I just want to say that this video discusses politics. While my

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B1 INT US yang andrew yang andrew attention economy department

Department of Attention Economy? Andrew Yang's Unique Proposal

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    王惟惟   posted on 2019/04/28
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