Like cats mesmerised by laser pointers, our attention is easily hijacked. Not surprisingly, given the kind of world we live in, it’s a trait which often gets exploited. The three-card trick; bared flesh on a magazine cover; rumours of immigrant takeover. As the internet commercialized it quickly diagnosed our readiness to give and call for attention, and accelerated the exploitation process (cunningly disguised) to supernatural speed and intensity. We hardly even had to pay for the privilege, except in something called personal data which we barely knew we had in the first place. But something else is going on too, massively amplified by the internet though not necessarily created by it.