“Ban Russian Bots.” The words shone brightly projected across Twitter headquarters. Not long after, a listener of NPR’s 1a wrote: “Wish there was a national movement, like a Quit Facebook day. If they lost a million plus U.S. users in 1 day, it would give reformers inside the company the momentum they need.” Then came the medical community. At a research summit on how technology affects kids, a health policy expert issued a call to action: “Urge companies to first Do No Harm.”
It’s happening. People are finally realizing technology doesn’t always operate in our best interests and they’re doing something about it.
“Facebook builds in operant conditioning and wants you to use it ten hours a day,” declared Dr. Dimitri Christakis, Director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Also speaking at the research summit, the policy expert, Georgetown University’s Kathryn Montgomery, took it a step further: “Woven into the business model is not just engagement, but engagement for the purposes of advertising and data collection. They need to put a limit on the information that can be collected and the way information can be used to target individuals.”
Even Tony Fadell, who created the iPod and oversaw rollout of the iPhone, called out personal technology Continue reading
Now that he has kids of his own, Tony Fadell is thinking about the unintended consequences of the tools he helped create. “We allow this stuff in our lives in a way that may not be working for us,” Fadell told co-host Anderson Cooper and the crowd at Mindfulness in America, the first Wisdom 2.0 tech-in-perspective summit held in New York.
Bear in mind that Fadell is not your average everyday person, but a true living legend who dreamed up some of the world’s most-used consumer products, including the iPod, Nest thermostat, and world-changing, beloved, attention-grubbing iPhone. But there he was, saying, “We need to pull control back to ourselves.”
To help us gain that control, Fadell thinks our gadgets should Continue reading
If you were lucky enough not to be blown away by disasters like Harvey or Irma, you might feel powerless in the face of all the suffering and destruction. But you can flip that attitude into action by brandishing your human-only superpower of generosity.
Consider the Houston Independent School district. Harvey’s rain was still pounding when district officials decided every one of their 215,000 students could eat breakfast and lunch for free the entire school year. They knew returning to normalcy would take time and, if students were to continue to grow and learn, they needed regular nutritious meals.
In Texas, the display of durability was stunning on the part of the Cajun Navy and other just-plain-folks freely giving of their time and skills. That’s why, in the days before Irma, Florida’s governor made an explicit pitch for volunteers. Within 36 hours, 8,000 residents had signed up with VolunteerFlorida.
That’s the thing about generosity. It takes effort.
Philosopher C.S. Lewis wrote:
If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small.
Donating an old, stained coat may count as “generosity,” but it can actually be a relief to pitch it. True generosity hurts, if only a little.
Generosity for The World
Considering our overall state of busy-ness, to feel the pinch of generosity may be a matter of Continue reading
By now you probably have the feeling your new year’s resolutions were not nearly enough. With so much change a-comin’, you need to retool for a whole new era.
Wherever you stand relative to the political fence, here are five steps to take now so you have the stamina to stay informed (but not overwhelmed), to care for your self, and to be there for the people who need you.
MOVE ENOUGH: With the tsunami of news, you’ll tend to be Continue reading