Herbert A. Simon: Attention Poverty

Posted by admin on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Herbert A. Simon Money Quote saying a wealth of information can require more attention than we can muster and overwhelms our capacity putting us in poverty of knowledge. Herbert A. Simon said:
A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention Quote

“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention” — Herbert A. Simon


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In this quote, Herbert A. Simon seems to be observing that in an age of immense information availability, one’s limited time and focus become more scarce resources. The “wealth of information” likely refers to the vast amounts of data, news, opinions and entertainment constantly vying for people’s attention across various media sources.

However, human attention spans have finite bounds. Thus, while access to information has never been greater on a societal level, the abundance of options can make it difficult for individuals to filter through and concentrate on any single topic or issue in depth.

The best interpretation is that Simon was warning of an “attention economy” where the proliferation of content risks diluting meaningful engagement due to our very human constraints in how much we can actually process at once.

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