Your Undivided Attention

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Technology companies are locked in an arms race to seize your attention, and that race is tearing apart our shared social fabric. In this inaugural podcast from the Center for Humane Technology, hosts Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin will expose the hidden designs that have the power to hijack our attention, manipulate our choices and destabilize our real world communities. They’ll explore what it means to become sophisticated about human nature, by interviewing hypnotists, magicians, experts on the dynamics of cults and election hacking and the powers of persuasion. How can we escape this unrelenting race to the bottom of the brain stem? Start by subscribing to our new series, Your Undivided Attention.

The Dark Side Of Decentralization 48:19
do 10 mrt 2022

The Dark Side Of Decentralization

Is decentralization inherently a good thing? These days, there's a lot of talk about decentralization. Decentralized social media platforms can allow us to own our own data. Decentralized cryptocurrencies can enable bank-free financial transactions. Decentralized 3D printing can allow us to fabricate anything we want.But if the world lives on Bitcoin, we may not be able to sanction nation states like Russia when they invade sovereign nations. If 3D printing is decentralized, anyone can print their own weapons at home. Decentralization takes on new meaning when we're talking about decentralizing the capacity for catastrophic destruction. This week on Your Undivided Attention, we explore the history of decentralized weaponry, how social media is effectively a new decentralized weapon, and how to wisely navigate these threats. Guiding us through this exploration is Audrey Kurth Cronin — one of the world’s leading experts in security and terrorism. Audrey is a distinguished Professor of International Security at American University, and the author of several books — most recently: Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow’s Terrorists.Clarification: in the episode, Tristan refers to a video of Daniel Schmachtenberger's as "The Psychological Pitfalls of Working on Existential Risk." The correct name of the video is "Psychological Pitfalls of Engaging With X-Risks & Civilization Redesign."RECOMMENDED MEDIA Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow's TerroristsAudrey Kurth Cronin's latest book, which analyzes emerging technologies and devises a new framework for analyzing 21st century military innovationPsychological Pitfalls of Engaging With X-Risks & Civilization RedesignDaniel Schmachtenberger's talk discussing the psychological pitfalls of working on existential risks and civilization redesignPolicy Reforms ToolkitThe Center for Humane Technology's toolkit for developing policies to protect the conditions that democracy needs to thrive: a comprehensively educated public, a citizenry that can check the power of market forces and bind predatory behaviorRECOMMENDED YUA EPISODES22 – Digital Democracy is Within Reach with Audrey Tang:  28 – Two Million Years in Two Hours: A Conversation with Yuval Noah Harari: – Is World War III Already Here? Guest: Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster:

The Invisible Influence of Language 40:18
do 24 feb 2022

The Invisible Influence of Language

One of the oldest technologies we have is language. How do the words we use influence the way we think?The media can talk about immigrants scurrying across the border, versus immigrants crossing the border. Or we might hear about technology platforms censoring us, versus moderating content. If those word choices shift public opinion on immigration or technology by 25%, or even 2%, then we’ve been influenced in ways we can't even see. Which means that becoming aware of how words shape the way we think can help inoculate us from their undue influence. And further, consciously choosing or even designing the words we use can help us think in more complex ways – and address our most complex challenges.This week on Your Undivided Attention, we're grateful to have Lera Boroditsky, a cognitive scientist who studies how language shapes thought. Lera is an Associate Professor of Cognitive Science at UC San Diego, and the editor-in-chief of Frontiers in Cultural Psychology.Clarification: in the episode, Aza refers to Elizabeth Loftus' research on eyewitness testimony. He describes an experiment in which a car hit a stop sign, but the experiment actually used an example of two cars hitting each other.RECOMMENDED MEDIA How language shapes the way we thinkLera Boroditsky's 2018 TED talk about how the 7,000 languages spoken around the world shape the way we thinkMeasuring Effects of Metaphor in a Dynamic Opinion LandscapeBoroditsky and Paul H. Thibodeau's 2015 study about how the metaphors we use to talk about crime influence our opinions on how to address crime Subtle linguistic cues influence perceived blame and financial liabilityBoroditsky and Caitlin M. Fausey's 2010 study about how the language used to describe the 2004 Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction" influence our views on culpabilityWhy are politicians getting 'schooled' and 'destroyed'?BBC article featuring the research of former Your Undivided Attention guest Guillaume Chaslot, which shows the verbs YouTube is most likely to include in titles of recommended videos — such as "obliterates" and "destroys"RECOMMENDED YUA EPISODES Mind the (Perception) Gap: Your Reality Turn on a Word?: the Rabbit Hole by Design:

How Science Fiction Can Shape Our Reality 40:38
do 10 feb 2022

How Science Fiction Can Shape Our Reality

The meta-crisis is so vast: climate change, exponential technology, addiction, polarization, and more. How do we grasp it, let alone take steps to address it? One of the thinking tools we have at our disposal is science fiction. To the extent that we co-evolve with our stories, science fiction can prepare us for the impending future — and empower us to shape it.This week on Your Undivided Attention, we're thrilled to have one of the greatest living science-fiction writers — Kim Stanley Robinson. His most recent novel is The Ministry for the Future, a sweeping epic that reaches into the very near future, and imagines what it would take to unite humanity and avoid a mass extinction. Whether or not you've read the book, this episode has insights for you. And if this episode makes you want to read the book, our conversation won't spoil it for you.Clarification: in the episode, Robinson refers to philosopher Antonio Gramsci's "pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will." This phrase was originally said by novelist and playwright Romain Rolland. Gramsci made the phrase the motto of his newspaper, because he appreciated its integration of radical intellectualism with revolutionary activism.RECOMMENDED MEDIA The Ministry For The FutureRobinson's latest novel and the subject of our conversation — which reaches into the near future, and imagines what it would take to unite humanity and avoid a mass extinctionA Deeper Dive Into the Meta CrisisCHT's blog post about the meta-crisis, which includes the fall of sense-making and the rise of decentralized technology-enabled power Half Earth ProjectThe project based on E. O. Wilson's proposal to conserve half the land and sea — in order to safeguard the bulk of biodiversity, including ourselvesClimateAction.techGlobal tech worker community mobilizing the technology industry to face the climate crisisRECOMMENDED YUA EPISODES18 – The Stubborn Optimist’s Guide to Saving the Planet: – The Stubborn Optimist’s Guide Revisited: – A Renegade Solution to Extractive Economics: Undivided Attention is produced by the Center for Humane Technology. Follow us on Twitter: @HumaneTech_  

Here’s Our Plan And We Don’t Know 35:46
do 3 feb 2022

Here’s Our Plan And We Don’t Know

Renowned quantum physicist Richard Feynman once wrote, "It is our capacity to doubt that will determine the future of civilization." In that spirit, this episode is a little different – because we're talking openly about our doubts, with you, our listeners. It's also different because it’s hosted by our Executive Producer Stephanie Lepp, with Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin in the hot seats.How have we evolved our understanding of what's generating our social media problems in the first place? How has that evolution in our thinking fueled doubt in the adequacy of the work we do at Center for Humane Technology? Join us for a different kind of episode.RECOMMENDED MEDIALeverage Points: Places to Intervene in a SystemSystems theorist Donella Meadows' seminal article, articulating a framework for thinking about how to change complex systems. Winning Humanity’s Existential GameThe Future Thinkers podcast with Daniel Schmactenberger, where he explores how to mitigate natural and human-caused existential risks and design post-capitalist systemsLedger of Harms of Social MediaThe Center for Humane Technology's research on elaborating the many externalities of our technology platforms' race for human attention Foundations of Humane Technology CourseCHT's forthcoming course on how to build technology that protects our well-being, minimizes unforeseen consequences, and builds our collective capacity to address humanity's urgent challengesRECOMMENDED YUA EPISODES 36 - A Problem Well-Stated Is Half-Solved: - A Conversation with Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen: - Behind the Curtain on The Social Dilemma: Undivided Attention is produced by the Center for Humane Technology. Follow us on Twitter: @HumaneTech_ 

Is World War III Already Here? 35:22
do 13 jan 2022

Is World War III Already Here?

Would you say that the US is in war-time or peace-time? How do you know? The truth is, the nature of warfare has changed so fundamentally, that we're currently in a war we don't even recognize. It's the war that Russia, China, and other hostile foreign actors are fighting against us — weaponizing social media to undermine our faith in each other, our government, and democracy itself. World War III is here, it's in cyberspace, and the US is unprepared — and largely unaware. This week on Your Undivided Attention, we're fortunate to be speaking with Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster. General McMaster was the United States National Security Advisor from 2017 to 2018. He has examined the most critical foreign policy and national security challenges that face the United States, and is devoted to preserving America's standing and security.

A Fresh Take on Tech in China 48:36
vr 10 dec 2021

A Fresh Take on Tech in China

Who do you think the Chinese government considers its biggest rival? The United States, right? Actually, the Chinese government considers its biggest rival to be its own technology companies. It's China's tech companies who threaten its capacity to build a competitive China. That's why the Chinese government is cracking down on social media — for example, by limiting the number of hours youth can play video games, and banning cell phone use in schools. China's restrictions on social media use may be autocratic, but may also protect users more than what we see coming from the US government.It’s a complicated picture.This week on Your Undivided Attention, we're having a surprising conversation about technology in China. Here to give us a fresh take are two guests: investor, analyst, and co-host of the Tech Buzz China podcast Rui Ma, and China internet expert and author of Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built, Duncan Clark.

Test Run! 01:43
di 30 nov 2021

Test Run!

This is a description of this episode of Your Undivided Attention.

Behind the Curtain on The Social Dilemma 43:40
do 11 nov 2021

Behind the Curtain on The Social Dilemma

How do you make a film that impacts more than 100 million people in 190 countries in 30 languages?This week on Your Undivided Attention, we're going behind the curtain on The Social Dilemma — the Netflix documentary about the dark consequences of the social media business model, which featured the Center for Humane Technology. On the heels of the film's 1-year anniversary and winning of 2 Emmy Awards, we're talking with Exposure Labs' Director Jeff Orlowski and Producer Larissa Rhodes. What moved Jeff and Larissa to shift their focus from climate change to social media? How did the film transform countless lives, including ours and possibly yours? What might we do differently if we were producing the film today? Join us as we explore the reverberations of The Social Dilemma — which we're still feeling the effects of over one year later. 

A Conversation with Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen 57:25
ma 18 okt 2021

A Conversation with Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen

We are now in social media's Big Tobacco moment. And that’s largely thanks to the courage of one woman: Frances Haugen.Frances is a specialist in algorithmic product management. She worked at Google, Pinterest, and Yelp before joining Facebook — first as a Product Manager on Civic Misinformation, and then on the Counter-Espionage team. But what she saw at Facebook was that the company consistently and knowingly prioritized profits over public safety. So Frances made the courageous decision to blow the whistle — which resulted in the biggest disclosure in the history of Facebook, and in the history of social media.In this special interview, co-hosts Tristan and Aza go behind the headlines with Frances herself. We go deeper into the problems she exposed, discuss potential solutions, and explore her motivations — along with why she fundamentally believes change is possible. We also announce an exciting campaign being launched by the Center for Humane Technology — to use this window of opportunity to make Facebook safer.

Bonus — A Whirlwind Week of Whistleblowing 04:55
wo 6 okt 2021

Bonus — A Whirlwind Week of Whistleblowing

In seven years of working on the problems of runaway technology, we’ve never experienced a week like this! In this bonus episode of Your Undivided Attention, we recap this whirlwind of a week — from Facebook whistleblower France Haugen going public on 60 Minutes on Sunday, to the massive outage of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp on Monday, to Haugen’s riveting Congressional testimony on Tuesday. We also make some exciting announcements — including our planned episode with Haugen up next, the Yale social media reform panel we’re participating in on Thursday, and a campaign we’re launching to pressure Facebook to make one immediate change. This week it truly feels like we’re making history — and you’re a part of it.