Mathematicians have confirmed that humanity's collective attention span is getting shorter. And it's not just social media that's to blame. They analysed historical book and movie ticket sales as well as Twitter data to show that people move on faster than ever before because increasing production and consumption of content leads to more rapid exhaustion of limited attention resources. "It seems that the allocated attention in our collective minds has a certain size, but that the cultural items competing for that attention have become more densely packed," says Sune Lehmann, from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). "This would support the claim that it has indeed become more difficult to keep up to date on the news cycle, for example." The study brought together researchers from DTU, University College Cork (UCC), Ireland, and Technische Universität Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, both in Germany. They studied Twitter data from 2013 to 2016, books...
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