The Verge - 11 Dec 2017
Many pundits warn that social media is inflicting a lot of harm to civil society around the world, but rarely has such a scathing attack come from a powerful insider. The former vice-president for user growth at Facebook just caused a huge stir when he said at Stanford Business School that he felt “tremendous guilt” over his work at Facebook because social media is in the business of exploiting vulnerabilities in human psychology. Most notably, he said: “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works” (reads in 4-5 min).
Published in Weekly selection 15 December 2017
The New York Times - metered paywall - 18 Nov 2017
The author of “Revenge of the Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter” argues that the love affair we once enjoyed with digital technology is now over. Not only the analog world will survive, he says, but in many cases will also thrive. For example, printed books, face-to-face education, and local shops are making a strong comeback. Simply put, anything that encourages human interaction - crucial to our physical and mental wellbeing – will do better than most people think. The future is not a binary choice between digital and analog, but about how to strike the right balance between the two (reads in 6-8 min).
Published in Weekly selection 24 November 2017
Wired - 11 Nov 2017
For those still unconvinced that a big reputational / regulatory backlash is coming for big tech, this article will do the trick. In a recent speech, the Senator made the case that it is necessary to better police the market power of dominant online platforms. Privacy, not fake news or other issues, will be at the core (reads in 4-5 min). It should be read in conjunction with Martin Wolf’s great “Taming the masters of the tech universe” in the FT of Nov. 14 (sadly behind a paywall).
Published in Weekly selection 18 November 2017