Talent in the Age of Abundance

If you are the most talented one per a thousand people, then there are almost 8 million people like you in the world. And in such a world talent itself doesn’t already mean almost anything, as the value created by any single author is negligible comparing to the aggregate value that is created at this moment by the entire humanity. An amateur poet posting haiku at a writers’ forum could be more talented than Basho… along with millions of other authors whose creations will never reach the mass reader.

This is the end of art as we knew it: content no longer matters, because we live in the age of abundance of information and talent.

The question is how to continue creating intellectual value when its offer far exceeds the limited attention span we humans have.

While in the pre-information era talent was a rare commodity able to attract more than enough attention, now it’s the other way round: we’ve got the excess of talent and the lack of attention. Attention is becoming an increasingly expensive commodity and the main object of trade (the recent Facebook story is an illustrative example of this). By the way, there is also a positive example, namely how one can get paid for paying attention: Brave browser with its Basic Attention Token just approaching to the release of the «get paid» portion of the platform.

The attention economy is replacing the content economy. But if time put in content creation no longer equals money, then it is necessary to find a way to reduce the global competition for attention while letting content creators earn rewards for their effort. Because society still needs people who produce intellectual value if it doesn’t want to degrade.

One of the solutions could be self-governing niche communities that allocate roles, attention, and rewards. Because if a community counts one thousand people and you are the most talented of them in specific aspect (and there is a role for everyone in a community), then things fall into their places again. From mass culture pretending to universality, we are moving on to a conglomerate of many niche cultures.

Steem made such a model possible, and this is only beginning. Soon we will see the flowering of niche blockchain communities which will go much further, setting their own standards and rules of the game. Culture ceases to be centralized, and this is very good news.

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