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our natural stupidity

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our natural stupidity

The platform monopolists and the surveillance capitalists are at conflict with us, residents of the world. They have engaged a few of the greatest minds — from psychology, cognitive science, usability, habit analysis, human components engineering, anthropology, and so on. — in order that our evolutionary developed cognitive biases are used in opposition to us to promote us extra crap. Some individuals name this ‘peak capitalism’. We have been marketed to for ages however now our each motion on-line is used to govern us to purchase one thing or consider one thing that may affect our actions. Monopolies are usually not good for democracy.

“The people can be successful only when they are right. When monopolies succeed, the people fail; when a rich criminal escapes justice, the people are punished; when a legislature is bribed, the people are cheated.”Henry Demarist Lloyd 1881

Individually, most of us are silly in a roundabout way. But many individuals are additionally ‘non-stupid’ in a roundabout way. According to the universal laws of human stupidity“The difference between societies that collapse under the weight of their stupid citizens and those who transcend them are the makeup of the non-stupid. Those progressing in spite of their stupid possess a high proportion of people acting intelligently, those who counterbalance the stupid’s losses by bringing about gains for themselves and their fellows.” The present vary of shopper social media are designed to extend the numbers of silly individuals by emphasizing the platforms’ dark sides.


Image from Twitter: Ian McCarthy

The solely strategy to deal with that is collectively. No particular person can combat Facebook or tackle Amazon. Legislators, educators, and residents must get collectively smarter. This is a conflict. A conflict for our minds — to make us collectively silly.

“Our world requires extra automation to run effectively and sustainably. The services and products that might be in demand are the merchandise that compensate for our inadequacies. The clear draw back of that is that with each help, the much less we train our already weak services.

The solely individuals sustaining their smarts are the few individuals prepared to continuously train their smarts. Meanwhile, we have now a inhabitants that’s turning into extra out of practice and lazy with their very own psychological colleges. We think about ourselves to being smarter as a result of we are able to multi-task extra. Yet, our brains haven’t developed to do multi-tasking properly. In truth, current analysis have proven that pigeons have higher multi-tasking capabilities than people. It is simply ironic that we’ve taken delight in our new discovered multi-tasking abilities solely to find that we’re dumber at it than pigeons!

However, there’s a far worse downside than automation making us dumber. The larger downside is that different people are conscious that it will possibly make us dumber and they’re opportunistically exploiting our natural stupidity to affect our conduct. Over the many years, the trade of promoting has spend trillions of {dollars} inventing new methods to ‘motivate’ us to do new issues with out us being conscious of its affect. The strategies to do that neatly falls underneath the exploitation of our cognitive biases. After all, if we have been certainly all completely logical, then we’ll doubtless spending our cash in probably the most environment friendly approach attainable and only a few corporations will like us to try this. If we scale back our spending, our economies would stall and there could be an financial melancholy! (BTW, one thing is actually mistaken after we should speed up our consumption in order to keep away from financial stagnation)” —Carlos E. Perez 2017-10-17

What can we do?

We can begin supporting world social actions that promote human values. Educators ought to give attention to creating social media literacies so that each one residents could be lively and engaged on-line. Sense-making and media literacy abilities are important for everybody. We may also begin constructing higher fashions to interchange the present ones. Why ought to we change market capitalism with its clone, platform capitalism, when platform cooperativism is a greater mannequin for humanity? In this world of world digital networks, we can be the media.

In Chaos: A User’s Guide, Bruno Marion exhibits the ability of people, in the event that they use it.

“Never within the historical past of humanity has a single human being had a lot energy. Never within the historical past of humanity have YOU had a lot energy!

Optimistic or pessimistic, it’s like being a spectator of a movie of which we appear to know the ending, whether or not completely satisfied or sad. Today one should stop to be a passive spectator however an actor on this fast-changing world.”

Our greatest hope for an aggressively educated citizenry would be the gamers & artists. Both the gamer and artist mindsets will help us navigate the community period. They can probe the programs, detect patterns, and create one thing new.

Image: Amy Burvall

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