On a difficult balance between giving someone space and grabbing the attention

On a difficult balance between giving someone space and grabbing the attention

When I was a kid I was taught that every book, every film, and every piece of human creativity was of value and I should respect it. I was expected to read a book without destroying it. I was expected to know the biographies of authors or names of actors because I was told they were important. Later on in my life, the same presumption supported discussion on piracy because when people started to share culture on the Internet some of its authors claimed they were being robbed: they had invested some amount of work to produce something of value but they were not remunerated.

This specific approach to authors comes from times when most people didn’t create anything (because they were illiterate or too busy working for their overlords). It is in a way similar to the respect that in many cultures is paid to old people. Centuries ago an old person was only one of the thousands who survived and the only one who could store and pass on knowledge. Today most of the society in the West is ageing and it’s the young who catch up with knowledge and pass this up a generation. I definitely think we should respect old people as well as we should respect authors creating culture but I also want to spot that their roles have changed.

It takes time to sleep well, eat well, look after your beloved ones, work the way that produces something purposeful and there is little time left to learn something or to entertain yourself. Work is valuable but time is valuable as well – and in the age of automated work time is even more precious. Moreover, nowadays – thanks to mass education and mass access to technology like computers or cameras – anybody can produce something of value. I may be wrong but if supply goes up (as more and more people create) and demand is limited (because people’s time is limited) it is obvious that some of this work will not be paid. What is even worse – some of this work will receive neither money nor attention. Consequently, some good pieces of creativity will probably pass unnoticed!

There is so much media flooding us every day and it is easy to get distracted and miss what is important. That is why the ability to be selective while dealing with media becomes one of the most important skills that we need to learn. On the other hand, it happens so often that those who claim to be authors are too proud or too self-centered to consider the amount of time and attention they occupy, and to tailor their output accordingly. I want to stress here that I am aware of this problem and even though I am trying to grab a bit of your attention I promise to do it with care!







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