Corporate America is colonizing your mind. And you're letting them. Our momentary silences in public places are being colonized by corporate interests trying to harvest and monetize the last remaining bits of our attention that can still be captured. Think of the strange commercials on video screens at the gas pump. Or the television screens playing at all times in many corporate office waiting rooms, lobbies, elevators, and taxi cabs. The invasive, omnipresent stream of messaging takes away the sociability of public spaces, even public spaces that are mostly shared in silence. Some people simply endure the streams coming at them. Others (and put me in this category) tend to take control of the streams of media, escaping behind our ear buds and smartphones. The whole thing is laid out by Matthew Crawford in a beautiful little piece in The New York Times. And as if to heighten the drama for Times readers, Crawford points out that once ambient attention is monetized, the rich can more easily afford to buy it back: Silence is now offered as a luxury good. In the business-class lounge at Charles de Gaulle Airport, I heard only the occasional tinkling of a spoon against china. I saw no advertisements on the walls. This silence, more than any other feature, is what makes it feel genuinely luxurious. When you step inside and the automatic doors whoosh shut behind you, the difference is nearly tactile, like slipping out of haircloth into satin. Your brow unfurrows, your neck muscles relax; after 20 minutes you no longer feel exhausted. [New York Times] This fear of mind colonization by corporate America has long been taken up by fiction writers. Minority Report portrayed personalized advertising that addressed you by name in public. The British series Black Mirror portrayed a future in which people have to pay for the temporary privilege of not watching suffocating, room-sized advertisements for porn.