What The Tech?


I haven’t shared any new podcasts in a while but this recent episode of Waking Up with Sam Harris—“What is technology doing to us?”—was sent to me recently and it really opened my eyes to a lot of things (which seems to be the point of the show, go figure). In it, Sam Harris interviews Tristan Harris, founder of Time Well Spent, the site I linked to in Issue 78 that shared some great tips on reclaiming our attention. Carve out about two hours of your time this week and listen to learn more about how and why technology companies compete for your attention, what needs to be done about it, how the ads we see factor into the equation, and much more.

“The thing I’m so interested by with our phones and with Facebook, is that these are things people live by,” Tristan Harris says. “I mean, 50 percent of the U.S. population, basically the number one news source for 50 percent of the U.S. is Facebook. So this is something that people are checking everyday and runs their beliefs about the world. It’s so invisible, the way you just take a breath and look out where we are at the beach, that’s a very different phenomenological experience than the beliefs that get put inside me by looking at Facebook. And we just don’t talk about this.”

A version of this post first appeared in the morning shakeout, my weekly email newsletter covering running, writing, media and other topics that interest me. If you’d like for it to land in your inbox first thing on Tuesday mornings, subscribe here.

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