God save the critic

What can the curation economy look like in a hyper-personalized world?

We live in and reap the attention economy. This is the consequence of a digital world, of an open internet intensely capitalized, connected, where 100K Instagram followers is as much as a Harvard degree. When attention networks are so optimized for attention, nuance, reflection on art, patience have been faded by the algorithmic.

Beyond the algorithmic anxiety is a decision fatigue, a distrust of the recommendations and personalizations, of algorithms predicting what will capture the most of our attention – connection, rage, memes, shiba inus, schadenfreude, insecurities, and porn. The 7 pillars of the attention economy, you could say.

I think there’s a space for a new kind of engine to emerge, beyond everything we think of recommendation engines. What can an algorithmic curation engine look like? If I make the effort, to update my list of Netflix shows, or my reading list, and it gets upvoted. And I get a ratio, of appreciation vs. neglect.

Let’s suppose I recommend My Brilliant Friend on HBO MAX, which I find a criminally underrated, and incredible TV series. Someone likes my recommendation, and it gets clustered with other people who watch or curate the show. Following which, my curations get pushed to their feeds. The more people who like my feed, and the more our feeds have in common, the more my feed gets pushed to their feeds. Knowledge Graphs update, sprawl across the kaleidoscopic interests of the critique. Allow for easy clustering of micro-genres, emerging trends, and leaderboards. Who’s getting upvoted, who’s recommending diversity.

Maybe the goal would be to avoid recommendation engines altogether. On one hand, the essence is Discovery, but on the other, recommendation engines are antithetical. We want the curators to create value – beyond the tweets, the followers, and glamour, the goal is to uplift the critique – the value of critique needs to be uplifted.

The critic is the most underappreciated role in society. It is of the essence of art – to create, to analyze, and ideally, to iterate the creation from the analysis. That is when art becomes its boldest, its most important, uplifting, form-shifting the neural net.

Anyway. To build the curation engine. Maybe that’s an opportunity for value in digital. Well the goal is to build a system that uplifts My Brilliant Friend, and its critics, to the top.

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