How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist


  • area_can

    How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist

    I think there are some good points made in this article regarding people's online habits -- as someone who fiddles with their phone frequently, the slot machine analogy really resonated with me. I think I'm going to start using my phone less.



  • @bb36e said in How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist:

    I think I'm going to start using my phone less.

    Good news! The way that shitty SPA apps are design, you won't be ABLE to use your phone for web browsing soon enough.



  • @bb36e it's a good article, but I feel like a lot of it didn't apply to me. Not that I don't fall for those tricks, but that I don't see that as a bad thing. If I'm trying to waste time on my phone, I'm still gonna want to do it as efficiently as possible. The `bottomless bowl of content´ is great for that, because I can get straight into the next thing without dicking around in menus. I wish nodebb had the option to infiniscroll the next unread topic in whenever I got to the bottom of the current one.

    As for the `slot machine´ stuff, not entirely sure what they think the solution would be? Guarantee that you receive a fixed number of emails per day?

    Honestly, the thing that I found more addicting than any other was likes (both giving and receiving). Even two years after deleting my account, I would still get a big hit of endorphins every time I would get a notification with the ringtone my twitter app used to have (wp seems to assign notification tones to woods at random?). But I still don't see it as a bad thing, I'd rather say that it's a bug in real life that there's no low friction way to acknowledge that I liked something slightly more than the surrounding stuff, or having that acknowledged about something from me.

    Anyway, if Facebook wants to talk about ethics, how about they address the associations of malicious dishonesty (that they're manipulating trends as displayed on their site with biased political content) instead of proposing a `social media bill of rights´ or whatever.



  • @Buddy said in How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist:

    Guarantee that you receive a fixed number of emails per day?

    Scheduled delivery. Default option prevents user from being able to immediate refresh.

    We seriously need to get to the point where immediacy isn't important.

    @Buddy said in How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist:

    (that they're manipulating trends as displayed on their site with biased political content)

    To be honest, I only ever notice that in related articles sublinks.
    Even then, I've noticed that when I have a friend post a liberal article, the related article sublinks tend to be conservative. Meaning, at least for me, the related links are playing devil's advocate.

    As far as what trends? It's all according to my friend and following list.

    I kept watching Robert Downey because he's all about Iron Man and charities. Tried to watch Mark Ruffalo, and it was ALWAYS liberal activism. I had to stop.



  • LinkedIn and autoplay really get on my nerves. But, I have sporadic thinking patterns and I often need to take breaks from my work to let my mind compute things in the background, and all these digital distractions are the perfect foreground task for me: not so demanding so as to make me forget my work, and not so boring so as to let me get stressed and anxious. But not everyone works this way.



  • @xaade said in How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist:

    Scheduled delivery. Default option prevents user from being able to immediate refresh.
    We seriously need to get to the point where immediacy isn't important.

    Latency is always important. Maybe from an individual perspective, caring too much about it looks like impatience, but from a systems perspective, the effect of not caring enough about it looks like shit that could've been over in minutes instead spiralling out into a whole big thing because the missing piece of the puzzle was sitting in someone's inbox.


  • Dupa

    @xaade said in How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist:

    I kept watching Robert Downey because he's all about Iron Man and charities. Tried to watch Mark Ruffalo, and it was ALWAYS liberal activism. I had to stop.

    Pro tip: actors tend to be extremely stupid IRL. It's worse for them, because of all the attention they receive. So yeah, I found that almost always when an actor/director/musician I value opens their mouth, I get disappointed. Doesn't happen with writers and poets that often, for obvious reasons.


  • area_deu

    @Buddy said in How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist:

    As for the `slot machine´ stuff, not entirely sure what they think the solution would be? Guarantee that you receive a fixed number of emails per day?

    In an interactive community website I designedhacked together in PHP at school as a teenager, I did limit posting messages to just one message per user per day. Both in order to increase quality of the posts and to prevent users from spending much time on flamewars. But of course that's entirely against modern commercial interests of keeping people as long as possible and make as much money as possible from advertising.



  • @Grunnen did it work?


  • area_deu

    @Buddy I've browsed through the archives a bit. Many postings are still part of a discussion, and sometimes also quite outraged. However, almost all posting had at least three paragraphs of about two full sentences each. So I guess in that sense the answer can be "yes".



  • @xaade said in How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist:

    We seriously need to get to the point where immediacy isn't important.

    Or better yet: that we learn to distinguish between things that need to be done now and things that can wait, as well as between situations in which looking at that phone isn’t a problem and situations in which you can (or should) just leave the damned thing where it is and look at it later.

    (FWIW, I can do the first thing perhaps too well — that’s to say, postponing things I should really do right now else I’ll forget — and I can't commit the second.)



  • @Grunnen it sounds really cool



  • @xaade woops, I've just noticed that the article was by Google’s ethics magician, not Facebook's. That makes a bit more sense, I guess. Still think their in-house ethicist could be doing something more important than writing thinkpieces about how bad social media is.



  • @Buddy The bottom of the article page has an author bio, it seems to say there that he no longer works for Google?

    Could he have tricked us?



  • @JBert oh shit, yeah, I see that now. Looks like it was just a good article then; I've got nothing left to complain about.


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