Stand out of our Light

Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy

eBook, 152 pages

English language

Published June 6, 2018 by Cambridge University Press.


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5 stars (1 review)

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.

1 edition

A must-read for anyone interested in the future of social media, advertising and the attention economy!

5 stars

This book does a great job at putting words to aspects of the attention economy that we as a society has lacked a collective understanding of. The author, James Williams, does not only explore the immediate and practical harms caused by today's algorithmically driven attention economy, he also does a deep dive into philosophical arguments and frameworks which paints a broader picture of the challenges we are facing in this brave new digital world we all find ourselves in.

Personally, I like the first part of his book the best, where he does a great job at framing the problem. In the last and shorter part of the book, he goes through possible solutions and ways of navigating humanity to calmer digital waters. Here, his background as an employee at Google seems to somewhat colour and limit his imagination.

Since the release of this book in 2018 the Fediverse has …


  • Internet
  • social media
  • attention economy