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How a handful of tech companies control billions of minds every day | Tristan Harris

How a handful of tech companies control billions of minds every day | Tristan Harris

I want you to imagine walking into a room, a control room with a bunch of people, a hundred people, hunched
over a desk with little dials, and that that control room will shape the thoughts and feelings of a billion people. This might sound like science fiction, but this actually exists right now, today. I know because I used to be
in one of those control rooms. I was a design ethicist at Google, where I studied how do you ethically
steer people’s thoughts? Because what we don’t talk about
is how the handful of people working at a handful
of technology companies through their choices will steer
what a billion people are thinking today. Because when you pull out your phone and they design how this works
or what’s on the feed, it’s scheduling little blocks
of time in our minds. If you see a notification,
it schedules you to have thoughts that maybe you didn’t intend to have. If you swipe over that notification, it schedules you into spending
a little bit of time getting sucked into something that maybe you didn’t intend
to get sucked into. When we talk about technology, we tend to talk about it
as this blue sky opportunity. It could go any direction. And I want to get serious for a moment and tell you why it’s going
in a very specific direction. Because it’s not evolving randomly. There’s a hidden goal
driving the direction of all of the technology we make, and that goal is the race
for our attention. Because every news site, TED, elections, politicians, games, even meditation apps have to compete for one thing, which is our attention, and there’s only so much of it. And the best way to get people’s attention is to know how someone’s mind works. And there’s a whole bunch
of persuasive techniques that I learned in college at a lab
called the Persuasive Technology Lab to get people’s attention. A simple example is YouTube. YouTube wants to maximize
how much time you spend. And so what do they do? They autoplay the next video. And let’s say that works really well. They’re getting a little bit
more of people’s time. Well, if you’re Netflix,
you look at that and say, well, that’s shrinking my market share, so I’m going to autoplay the next episode. But then if you’re Facebook, you say, that’s shrinking
all of my market share, so now I have to autoplay
all the videos in the newsfeed before waiting for you to click play. So the internet is not evolving at random. The reason it feels
like it’s sucking us in the way it is is because of this race for attention. We know where this is going. Technology is not neutral, and it becomes this race
to the bottom of the brain stem of who can go lower to get it. Let me give you an example of Snapchat. If you didn’t know,
Snapchat is the number one way that teenagers in
the United States communicate. So if you’re like me, and you use
text messages to communicate, Snapchat is that for teenagers, and there’s, like,
a hundred million of them that use it. And they invented
a feature called Snapstreaks, which shows the number of days in a row that two people have
communicated with each other. In other words, what they just did is they gave two people
something they don’t want to lose. Because if you’re a teenager,
and you have 150 days in a row, you don’t want that to go away. And so think of the little blocks of time
that that schedules in kids’ minds. This isn’t theoretical:
when kids go on vacation, it’s been shown they give their passwords
to up to five other friends to keep their Snapstreaks going, even when they can’t do it. And they have, like, 30 of these things, and so they have to get through
taking photos of just pictures or walls or ceilings just to get through their day. So it’s not even like
they’re having real conversations. We have a temptation to think about this as, oh, they’re just using Snapchat the way we used to
gossip on the telephone. It’s probably OK. Well, what this misses
is that in the 1970s, when you were just
gossiping on the telephone, there wasn’t a hundred engineers
on the other side of the screen who knew exactly
how your psychology worked and orchestrated you
into a double bind with each other. Now, if this is making you
feel a little bit of outrage, notice that that thought
just comes over you. Outrage is a really good way also
of getting your attention, because we don’t choose outrage. It happens to us. And if you’re the Facebook newsfeed, whether you’d want to or not, you actually benefit when there’s outrage. Because outrage
doesn’t just schedule a reaction in emotional time, space, for you. We want to share that outrage
with other people. So we want to hit share and say, “Can you believe the thing
that they said?” And so outrage works really well
at getting attention, such that if Facebook had a choice
between showing you the outrage feed and a calm newsfeed, they would want
to show you the outrage feed, not because someone
consciously chose that, but because that worked better
at getting your attention. And the newsfeed control room
is not accountable to us. It’s only accountable
to maximizing attention. It’s also accountable, because of the business model
of advertising, for anybody who can pay the most
to actually walk into the control room and say, “That group over there, I want to schedule these thoughts
into their minds.” So you can target, you can precisely target a lie directly to the people
who are most susceptible. And because this is profitable,
it’s only going to get worse. So I’m here today because the costs are so obvious. I don’t know a more urgent
problem than this, because this problem
is underneath all other problems. It’s not just taking away our agency to spend our attention
and live the lives that we want, it’s changing the way
that we have our conversations, it’s changing our democracy, and it’s changing our ability
to have the conversations and relationships we want with each other. And it affects everyone, because a billion people
have one of these in their pocket. So how do we fix this? We need to make three radical changes to technology and to our society. The first is we need to acknowledge
that we are persuadable. Once you start understanding that your mind can be scheduled
into having little thoughts or little blocks of time
that you didn’t choose, wouldn’t we want to use that understanding and protect against the way
that that happens? I think we need to see ourselves
fundamentally in a new way. It’s almost like a new period
of human history, like the Enlightenment, but almost a kind of
self-aware Enlightenment, that we can be persuaded, and there might be something
we want to protect. The second is we need new models
and accountability systems so that as the world gets better
and more and more persuasive over time — because it’s only going
to get more persuasive — that the people in those control rooms are accountable and transparent
to what we want. The only form of ethical
persuasion that exists is when the goals of the persuader are aligned with the goals
of the persuadee. And that involves questioning big things,
like the business model of advertising. Lastly, we need a design renaissance, because once you have
this view of human nature, that you can steer the timelines
of a billion people — just imagine, there’s people
who have some desire about what they want to do
and what they want to be thinking and what they want to be feeling
and how they want to be informed, and we’re all just tugged
into these other directions. And you have a billion people just tugged
into all these different directions. Well, imagine an entire design renaissance that tried to orchestrate
the exact and most empowering time-well-spent way
for those timelines to happen. And that would involve two things: one would be protecting
against the timelines that we don’t want to be experiencing, the thoughts that we
wouldn’t want to be happening, so that when that ding happens,
not having the ding that sends us away; and the second would be empowering us
to live out the timeline that we want. So let me give you a concrete example. Today, let’s say your friend
cancels dinner on you, and you are feeling a little bit lonely. And so what do you do in that moment? You open up Facebook. And in that moment, the designers in the control room
want to schedule exactly one thing, which is to maximize how much time
you spend on the screen. Now, instead, imagine if those designers
created a different timeline that was the easiest way,
using all of their data, to actually help you get out
with the people that you care about? Just think, alleviating
all loneliness in society, if that was the timeline that Facebook
wanted to make possible for people. Or imagine a different conversation. Let’s say you wanted to post
something supercontroversial on Facebook, which is a really important
thing to be able to do, to talk about controversial topics. And right now, when there’s
that big comment box, it’s almost asking you,
what key do you want to type? In other words, it’s scheduling
a little timeline of things you’re going to continue
to do on the screen. And imagine instead that there was
another button there saying, what would be most
time well spent for you? And you click “host a dinner.” And right there
underneath the item it said, “Who wants to RSVP for the dinner?” And so you’d still have a conversation
about something controversial, but you’d be having it in the most
empowering place on your timeline, which would be at home that night
with a bunch of a friends over to talk about it. So imagine we’re running, like,
a find and replace on all of the timelines
that are currently steering us towards more and more
screen time persuasively and replacing all of those timelines with what do we want in our lives. It doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of handicapping our attention, imagine if we used all of this data
and all of this power and this new view of human nature to give us a superhuman ability to focus and a superhuman ability to put
our attention to what we cared about and a superhuman ability
to have the conversations that we need to have for democracy. The most complex challenges in the world require not just us
to use our attention individually. They require us to use our attention
and coordinate it together. Climate change is going to require
that a lot of people are being able
to coordinate their attention in the most empowering way together. And imagine creating
a superhuman ability to do that. Sometimes the world’s
most pressing and important problems are not these hypothetical future things
that we could create in the future. Sometimes the most pressing problems are the ones that are
right underneath our noses, the things that are already directing
a billion people’s thoughts. And maybe instead of getting excited
about the new augmented reality and virtual reality
and these cool things that could happen, which are going to be susceptible
to the same race for attention, if we could fix the race for attention on the thing that’s already
in a billion people’s pockets. Maybe instead of getting excited about the most exciting
new cool fancy education apps, we could fix the way
kids’ minds are getting manipulated into sending empty messages
back and forth. (Applause) Maybe instead of worrying about hypothetical future
runaway artificial intelligences that are maximizing for one goal, we could solve the runaway
artificial intelligence that already exists right now, which are these newsfeeds
maximizing for one thing. It’s almost like instead of running away
to colonize new planets, we could fix the one
that we’re already on. (Applause) Solving this problem is critical infrastructure
for solving every other problem. There’s nothing in your life
or in our collective problems that does not require our ability
to put our attention where we care about. At the end of our lives, all we have is our attention and our time. What will be time well spent for ours? Thank you. (Applause) Chris Anderson: Tristan, thank you.
Hey, stay up here a sec. First of all, thank you. I know we asked you to do this talk
on pretty short notice, and you’ve had quite a stressful week getting this thing together, so thank you. Some people listening might say,
what you complain about is addiction, and all these people doing this stuff,
for them it’s actually interesting. All these design decisions have built user content
that is fantastically interesting. The world’s more interesting
than it ever has been. What’s wrong with that? Tristan Harris:
I think it’s really interesting. One way to see this
is if you’re just YouTube, for example, you want to always show
the more interesting next video. You want to get better and better
at suggesting that next video, but even if you could propose
the perfect next video that everyone would want to watch, it would just be better and better
at keeping you hooked on the screen. So what’s missing in that equation is figuring out what
our boundaries would be. You would want YouTube to know
something about, say, falling asleep. The CEO of Netflix recently said, “our biggest competitors
are Facebook, YouTube and sleep.” And so what we need to recognize
is that the human architecture is limited and that we have certain boundaries
or dimensions of our lives that we want to be honored and respected, and technology could help do that. (Applause) CA: I mean, could you make the case that part of the problem here is that
we’ve got a naïve model of human nature? So much of this is justified
in terms of human preference, where we’ve got these algorithms
that do an amazing job of optimizing for human preference, but which preference? There’s the preferences
of things that we really care about when we think about them versus the preferences
of what we just instinctively click on. If we could implant that more nuanced
view of human nature in every design, would that be a step forward? TH: Absolutely. I mean, I think right now it’s as if all of our technology
is basically only asking our lizard brain what’s the best way
to just impulsively get you to do the next tiniest thing with your time, instead of asking you in your life what we would be most
time well spent for you? What would be the perfect timeline
that might include something later, would be time well spent for you
here at TED in your last day here? CA: So if Facebook and Google
and everyone said to us first up, “Hey, would you like us
to optimize for your reflective brain or your lizard brain? You choose.” TH: Right. That would be one way. Yes. CA: You said persuadability,
that’s an interesting word to me because to me there’s
two different types of persuadability. There’s the persuadability
that we’re trying right now of reason and thinking
and making an argument, but I think you’re almost
talking about a different kind, a more visceral type of persuadability, of being persuaded without
even knowing that you’re thinking. TH: Exactly. The reason
I care about this problem so much is I studied at a lab called
the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford that taught [students how to recognize]
exactly these techniques. There’s conferences and workshops
that teach people all these covert ways of getting people’s attention
and orchestrating people’s lives. And it’s because most people
don’t know that that exists that this conversation is so important. CA: Tristan, you and I, we both know
so many people from all these companies. There are actually many here in the room, and I don’t know about you,
but my experience of them is that there is
no shortage of good intent. People want a better world. They are actually — they really want it. And I don’t think anything you’re saying
is that these are evil people. It’s a system where there’s
these unintended consequences that have really got out of control — TH: Of this race for attention. It’s the classic race to the bottom
when you have to get attention, and it’s so tense. The only way to get more
is to go lower on the brain stem, to go lower into outrage,
to go lower into emotion, to go lower into the lizard brain. CA: Well, thank you so much for helping us
all get a little bit wiser about this. Tristan Harris, thank you.
TH: Thank you very much. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “How a handful of tech companies control billions of minds every day | Tristan Harris

  1. Youtube's auto play sent me to this video. Of which, tells me that the platform this video was created on, is manipulating me. I think this is an open admission from TED that they Ethically manipulate people into watching their videos.

  2. This guy just spoke out against TED on a TED talk. I seriously agree with what he's saying though. I've seen multiple accounts of people engrossed with streaks, and if they are lost they will cry.

  3. Kinda explains why I get this creepy feeling like I'm being stalked every time I have to use any of the popular apps/services. Which is why I just use regular old e-mail for everything, and even that is too much sometimes.

  4. These are great ideas, but the big companies are addicted to one thing….money. its to late unfortunately.

  5. I recommend to watch Adam Curtis' "Century of the self" to understand how our brain works and how it is exposed since long even if in different ways. It is a long documentation thou. Curtis made a bunch of interesting docu. Especially the last "Hypernormalisation" also addresses the topic of new technology on us (Trailer called: Living in an unreal world). There is more to read or listen (Nicholas Carr, Manfred Spitzer – some in german some in english). But beware you need to spend attention and that is what it is about 🙂 cheers.

  6. Not a new issue—"Propaganda, an influential book written by Edward L. Bernays in 1928, incorporated the literature from social science and psychological manipulation into an examination of the techniques of public communication. Bernays wrote the book in response to the success of some of his earlier works such as Crystallizing Public Opinion and A Public Relations Counsel—Wikipedia"

  7. So what are the solutions for implementing the solutions? No way are the tech companies gonna give up their control and give us nice feeds because we ask politely.

  8. I have a YouTube Video Presentation of Mr Tristan Harris' work on #HumaneTech-Problem – It goes to more than just tools, it is a social breech of trust that is effecting the world order of The School Massacre Shootings, The #BlackLivesMatter Police against Unarmed Black Men Shootings.

    My presentation I offer is directed to the @FBI for not putting into society the proper meme messages for trust building. We are making thing way worse, as Tristan puts it best in the social media platforms in use. I have been writing about this subject and have a domain set of "tech tools" registered since 2005 on the adaptive choice how "intractable conflicts" play into one's loss of trust [ social break ] in what we are witnessing in these shootings. There is an alternative long old time preservation of words from 1750s that apply to secrets happiness and apply to conscience and excellence. You might not realize how important these #WordsToLiveBy are. They are imperative to write the future meme messages and to write the future technology tools from. I am here as a messenger of peace. These words should be incorporated into view of the world retrospective to re-grasp ourselves back to a more sanity presence world that we a driving insanity forward.

    To @FBI Community Cultural Health #DeleteFacebook Combined

  9. good information. the most liked lines by me "instead of colonizing other planets .we can make a better planet what we have now"…..

  10. let me ask a question how you would be able to introduce your ideas without these tech companies??????????????????????? overall the title was good …….

  11. 8:55: Though it would be an improvement to have an "empowering" timeline, I think it would be even better to not escape your uncomfortable emotion by going straight to your phone and instead of seeing, accepting and comming to terms with that emotion and staying present before doing anything else.

  12. I make a conscious effort to control what goes into my mind, but I acknowledge the barrage of information that is headed my way – constantly. It gives me great pleasure to have adblock on all of my devices, but that is only a portion of the messages I receive daily. Still- it is one thing I would not ever do without.

  13. It is in human nature to learn by paying attention ,,,, but this goes way different direction, as you cannot learn life thru gadgets. That is it! If I have a child he will live in India and learn in Isha Foundation school :))

  14. This is so wrong it hurts. Do not try to keep changing things. Leave them how they are and try to understand it better. Restricting things just to make your mark or advancement, isn't necessarily a good thing.

  15. At the very end he mentions the Persuasive Technology lab at Stanford. I really wish he'd gone into more detail about this education and techniques being taught, so we could be more aware of when and how they're used.

    I also didn't really follow the shade he through on elon musk. I don't know why space exploration and utilitarian social engineering have to be mutually exclusive

  16. No rational person should be surprised or awed by this. Much social media is produced to drive animalistic responses. Almost all MSM (including the entire range from left- to right-leaning) is tuned right into animalistic vibes.

  17. A big portion of technopanic here. If we put "media" instead of "internet" in this talk all the rest is the same. But can we imagine a modern world without media?

  18. The people against the censorship fascists need to go to Silicon Valley and literally physically destroy the people within and the buildings without. They are modern-day book burners and should be treated as such.

  19. The end during questioning; that people don't even know this exists is why it is important to start this conversation

  20. Why am I here?????im 13 but I don’t understand anything he was saying????am I the only one who dont understand?!🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔hmmmmm

  21. Notice too how he didn't use any fancy graphs or flashy presentation tools but still managed to perfectly deliver a powerful and important message? GOOD JOB! GREAT JOB!!!

  22. It's the same as situation with money/labor invention in 1700. Economic "system" was designed by the brightest minds of the century, to make people from lower classes work, contribute to "wealth of nations". It's the same with Facebook and Google now. Money and illusion of work didn't dissappear. People still don't understand it. Facebook, love and crack cocaine have the same impact on the brain, I suppose money works the same. It's just evolutionary direction.

  23. Dos the initial intention have anything to do with the final outcome? Remember 2YK when all computers were to stop. Technology money for a few from directing herd mentality. All this remind us were are still only animals Small mouth…Big Stomach…built on greed.

  24. It's evolution. Companies who don't maximize time you spend using their service will cease the exist. So only companies who do it will survive. The only person interested not to use this service and not allow them to hijack your attention is YOU.

  25. If the problem is 'steering thoughts', I don't like the idea of anyone, no matter how well meaning, deciding where to steer things. Perhaps it would be better to insure that suggestion algorithms are somehow randomized. Google and Facebook might not be happy, but perhaps the experience would be more human.

  26. I love the point on outrage 😏
    And as usual, those last 2 minutes where Chris steps up to ask a few questions help distill the key points from the entire talk 👍

  27. Unfortunately, we aren't getting any realistic solutions here. Big companies that are compelled by simple economics to be in a race to the bottom aren't about to sacrifice their profits for the good of the world. That's not how capitalism works. If we want them to change, we literally have to make them change. This is a market failure that only legislation can correct.

  28. Really really love your idea but I dont see that happening. the people in that tech room do not necessarily have our best interest in mind.

  29. I found this video through the book Future Ethics. Which I read because as I started to explore my career options as a programmer, I found myself disgusted at all the potential jobs out there which follow these unethical practices. My hope is that, once I start my career, I am in a job that is solving a real problem rather than focused solely on exploiting people for money (e.g., marketing analytics). Which is difficult. But worth pursuing.

  30. Social media exploits our instincts. We feed our appetites and passions in social media. Please like this comment :p

  31. Great talk, but I have to say that most of this is rallying people emotionally, but there are not solutions here, and no real statement of the problem. This is not in a digestible format for anyone who want to develop a model of what is wrong with the world, the world of tech, etc, and avoid it or do something about it.

  32. I've defeated Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. No longer addicted. I only need to defeat youtube now. So addicted to it.

  33. Two weeks ago I’ve deleted all my social webs, like Facebook and others except YouTube. I was surprised when my friends and coworkers were shocked about it like I’m going to move on Mars forever. They all looked so stressed out and tried to warn me like “OMG think twice before you do such thing!” Oh, really? I just didn’t expect that people can be so addicted to a simple stuffs like that, which for most of us is nothing but waist of time. Actually, my husband did the same about three years ago and I’ve never seen him regretting…

  34. Brain hacking and its results have remarkable parallels to the cigarette epidemic that began, often under Doctors’ orders, early last century and really took off as corporations recognized the potential for an ultimate in cash cows. The results were untold (and ongoing) misery for hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people around the world while hundreds of billions in profits were realized by the tobacco companies. Other than butts-in-the-gutters, nasty-looking ashtrays and overly stinky public spaces, the nice part of the ramifications in nicotine addictions were that at least they were somewhat quantifiable. How do you quantify the damage done to a girl (now millions) spending her (their) entire teen years staring at a free app? Or a parent that just chuckles at her daughter’s “new normal” behavior then experiences her own cortisol spike and immediately reaches for her free app? Whenever FaceBell rings, you MUST answer.

    Some years ago at the time of his most famous quote, the brain hackings’ free app poster-boy (sorry, poster-child) Mr. Z was probably not entirely aware of the power he had stumbled upon. But his simple words back then are just a sanitized version of the same he uses each time he appears in front a Senate Hearing Committee to pacify the Country for a while—it works like a charm. Read it here—hint: just search for the “f” word and I don’t mean “free”) https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mark_Zuckerberg

    Awareness of this issue is almost nonexistent. It needs skilled and effective activists. I am neither skilled nor effective  but I can yell pretty loud. Go here to read http://www.tristanharris.com/ and here to watch https://www.cbsnews.com/news/brain-hacking-tech-insiders-60-minutes/ . Brain Stems UNITE!

  35. Warners

    Einterteinmemt sickening weinstein metoo
    Industry spionage combined political phadofil
    Weinstein counterparts i EU

    Chris Stevens was killed by the Einterteinmemt 13 hours, Susanne bier dataspionage attack
    Leisner car hit, dataspy Susanne, cover up. Press spin. Hacked c mail

  36. No, it's not true, it's a. Elite, journalism, producers, that's strangled also see government
    Spin. Pr, adversity

  37. I'm addicted to you tube. BIG TIME. I have been able to avoid getting involved with any other social media mainly because I am afraid that it will cut into my you tube time. I find you tube more interesting than any human I know. It has become my best friend. I listen to videos while I brush my teeth, take showers, shave my face, while driving etc.etc. I have literally lost my desire to have a normal life. I now wonder if I will ever get married, have kids etc. Don't get me wrong, I love my life, as long as I have plenty of you tube time.

  38. I hate it when this happens…

  39. I clicked off this video half way through for a funny dog video I noticed in the recommended videos and then came right back to finish. Damnit, they got me.

  40. I'm on board with Harris' overall message; however, I find him very unengaging to watch or listen to. He just comes off as a Millennial twerp. Give him another ten years — hopefully he'll have lost the "tech geek" aura, and will be more compelling to listen to.

  41. The parents/adults are addicted too, so they have a tendency to not hold the children accountable for the amount of time spent on the social media. On top of that, it's the modern pacifier/babysitter. It is more effective at quieting a crying kid than discipline. The problem is, it creates a society that lacks Discipline.

  42. The conclusions are brilliant! I think there may be some viewers without technical background. If that was me, a lot of first part would seem like revealing somewhat secret aspects which are normally kept secret. And I would assume a lot of it is exaggerated, so it sounds more dramatic. I want to point out that nothing of it is secret. And nothing is exaggerated.

  43. should have been a great talk till he talked about solving the current earthly problems. cz why worry about space exploration when ur budget for military domination / defernse (having too much enemies causes paranoia) is extremely huge compared to social services, environmental rnd, the scientific community and worse, space exploration that actually depends so much currently from private donors. well, he surely knows how to manipulate, a psychologist indeed. but quite ignorant. he should talk with scientists and explorers more before he 'manipulate' the minds of the people. realistically, it is easier to launch a rocket to space to explore the universe than uniting all nations that powerful nations wants to control bcz of greed. suck it cz it's real! the point really is, we cannot expect to let our scientists wait for a united humanity to happen guys!!!! we might even need to have a few more world wars to finally seriously take the lesson. solve our current earthly problems? -dream on! if you can solve it in your own backyard, maybe there's hope.

  44. I'll always remember the day that I closed my Facebook account, around the year 2000. After receiving a reminder of a friend's birthday, that I shouldn't forget to pay attention to it. Or so it seemed. When I asked this friend about it, he said: "That's not me, Facebook does that". Fiddlesticks!! I'm done with it. When I tell others, who use Facebook, they turn glaze-eyed.

  45. Isn't saying that the goal of the persuader must be aligned with the goal of the persuaded, the same as taking persuasion out of the equation? So that we speak about offer and demand?

  46. The Climate Change agenda is an artificial persuasion to draw our attention to what's wrong in our world while exhaling Co2. It's a stealthlike program designed by those who feed on our emotions and drama. The drama we create collectively by knocking out other people's views who happen to be not on the same rained on page with us. Climate Change… the new religion?

    What's the benefit of frowns and anxiety, running around, recycling like mad, feeling worried?It's exactly as Tristan Harris says "We can improve our planet's condition we live in right now" For that to achieve, we need to stand up to corporations and industries and say "No more!". When you don't buy the content of the virtual marketplace, you're 1 step closer to that goal.

  47. Oh lala, how easy to feel persuaded to educate our kids, teaching them to pay attention to what counts and what's tangible, in touch with others, alive and kicking in real time. While sitting in this audience listening to Tristan Harris. And oh, how easy it is to feel persuaded by your 6 years old kid, when entering the house, yelling "Dad, you're blocking my WIFI!" After parking your car between your kid's computer and the source of his happiness.

  48. Instead of saying that we've got a problem, we'd better say "We've got a condition, a situation right now that I want to address" and as a second step act on it, as a conscious choice. So many of us get stuck in the bombardment of problems we face today, depleted of their energy, due to that awareness. It's a loop we need to pay attention too, we're never victims in our life.

  49. "You can turn it off?" – asked Winston Smith. Yes, you can turn it off. Avoid these traps/facebook/snap, autoplay, twatter, etc. Don't let them schedule YOUR time. You can still communicate via email y'know! Get the best of tech, don't get sucked into the worst. Most important, DON'T GET YOUR NEWS VIA FB!

  50. @12:26 -I first wrote "just keep hitting the blue numbers until the message sinks in" but a message to consume is inserted so that Google will profit, it played first.

  51. Controlling minds is a gross assumption, wouldn’t you say? Consumers can watch, think and ultimately decide for themselves how to digest information.. It’s a delusion to believe that tech companies are controlling the minds of millions of people. How did you ever come up with such a statement?????

  52. I feel like this is saying, " Heroin is really dangerous and addictive. Let's try to make it less dangerous so the addiction is not as harmful".
    I think knowing how our attention is hijacked and manipulated is important, but all the tools are already there to accomplish what he is advocating, to a degree.

  53. He's got the right idea. But, I don't think this guy's really well spoken. No wonder TED let this poor guy talk.

  54. This maybe the perfect example of virtue signaling or perhaps a better phrase would be best intentions. A standing ovation from the crowd and then little to no engagement with him or after that or a real effort to tackle the issues he mentions. There is just too much money involved and if his peers in the crowd keep getting paid the wages they currently are they will keep the status quo.

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