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Monetize This!

The relationship between the merchant and the client in the capitalistic model in the era of the Economy of Attention has shifted. Previously the client had received a certain service and paid for it with money; today the client him/herself _is_ the payment for the service. Each time we consume something on the web, we give a piece of ourselves away, to be absorbed by the advertisement agencies, soaked up by their targeting databases, sold and resold and resold again, making routes inside a gigantic information-processing machine that receives no human attention. We'd like to think we are monetizing others, or those a bit more lucid would like to think that we are monetizing ourselves, but a more appropriate view is that a machine, impersonal and disaffected, is monetizing us.