A Channeling in Attention
Have you ever recorded video on the street? Capturing the likeness of people in public is awkward because the purpose is not immediately clear to them. That's what awkwardness is, an asymmetry in perceived meaning for the parties involved. People are growing tolerant of the practice but you can still see it coming, the chance that someone will give you a strange look. And it would be only reasonable to show themselves bothered because when you take a photo or video of people for your own purposes, you're in a way imposing, even if you're doing it in good faith.
There's a few things you can try to blend in and go unnoticed. For example, you can try to pretend you're not recording. You can direct your attention directly to your recording device, pretending you're changing the settings pressing on the screen. You basically skip the mutual acknowledgement part. If you direct your attention elsewhere and avoid visual contact with people walking towards you, you merely become "something that happens" to them.
If you try this, you will notice something happens. As they walk towards you, people look where you're looking. It's as if they were trying to make sense of what you're holding and what you're doing with it. Your attention provides a cue for them to direct their's. A channeling in attention. They do as you do, a mimesis.
The value of attention is epistemological in recursion. When you deploy attention, you're attesting there's something worth making sense of wherever you're looking. That attestation is in turn a cue for others to deploy their attention in similar way. They have to figure for themselves what is it, that's worth your distraction. Is this making sense?
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