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Programmable Attention

A concept detailing systems which orchestrate time across many smaller tasks

note-taking spaced-repetition

Programmable attention is a term that comes from Andy Matuschak. It is defined as a a system which ‘orchestrates your repeated attention over time across hundreds of tiny tasks, too many to manage by hand’. A key example is spaced repetition, through an inbox and Twitter are both other examples.

Todoist strikes me as an example I use daily—a way to chunk tasks within a single application. How could such a system be applied to something like reading? Something like an RSS reader seems a clear example also, as within a single application where you draw attention, a list of content comes up in an algorithmically-sorted order (even if it is only reverse chronological).