Your Undivided Attention

Your Undivided Attention

your-undivided-attention.simplecast.com
Technology companies are locked in an arms race to seize your attention, and that race is tearing apart our shared social fabric. In this inaugural podcast from the Center for Humane Technology, hosts Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin will expose the hidden designs that have the power to hijack our attention, manipulate our choices and destabilize our real world communities. They’ll explore what it means to become sophisticated about human nature, by interviewing hypnotists, magicians, experts on the dynamics of cults and election hacking and the powers of persuasion. How can we escape this unrelenting race to the bottom of the brain stem? Start by subscribing to our new series, Your Undivided Attention.


The Social Dilemma
Sep 9 • 4 min
A new documentary called The Social Dilemma comes out on Netflix today, September 9, 2020. We hope that this film, full of interviews with tech insiders, will be a catalyst and tool for exposing how technology has been distorting our perception of the…
Facebook Goes ‘2Africa’
Sep 2 • 35 min
This summer, Facebook unveiled “2Africa,” a subsea cable project that will encircle nearly the entire continent of Africa — much to the surprise of Julie Owono. As Executive Director of Internet Without Borders, she’s seen how quickly projects like this…
When Media Was for You and Me
Aug 6 • 37 min
In 1940, a group of 60 American intellectuals formed the Committee for National Morale. “They’ve largely been forgotten,” says Fred Turner, a professor of communications at Stanford University, but their work had a profound impact on public opinion. They…
Digital Democracy Is Within Reach
Jul 23 • 46 min
Imagine a world where every country has a digital minister and technologically-enabled legislative bodies. Votes are completely transparent and audio and video of all conversations between lawmakers and lobbyists are available to the public immediately.…
Beyond the Boycott
Jul 10 • 9 min
#StopHateforProfit is an important first step, but we need to go much further.
The World According to Q
Jul 8 • 59 min
What would inspire someone to singlehandedly initiate an armed standoff on the Hoover Dam, or lead the police on a 100-mile-an-hour car chase while calling for help from an anonymous internet source, or travel hundreds of miles alone to shoot up a pizza…
The Bully’s Pulpit
Jun 22 • 55 min
The sound of bullies on social media can be deafening, but what about their victims? “They’re just sitting there being pummeled and pummeled and pummeled,” says Fadi Quran. As the campaign director of Avaaz, a platform for 62 million activists worldwide,…
The Dictator’s Playbook Revisited
Jun 16 • 52 min
[This episode originally aired on November 5, 2019] Maria Ressa is arguably one of the bravest journalists working in the Philippines today. As co-founder and CEO of the media site Rappler, she has withstood death threats, multiple arrests and a rising…
The Fake News of Your Own Mind
Jun 2 • 49 min
When you’re gripped by anxiety, fear, grief or dread, how do you escape? It can happen in the span of a few breaths, according to meditation experts Jack Kornfield and Trudy Goodman. They have helped thousands of people find their way out of a mental…
The Stubborn Optimist’s Guide to Saving the Planet
May 21 • 52 min
How can we feel empowered to take on global threats? The battle begins in our heads, argues Christiana Figueres. She became the United Nation’s top climate official, after she had watched the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit collapse “in blood, in screams,…
The Spin Doctors Are In
May 7 • 52 min
How does disinformation spread in the age of COVID-19? It takes an expert like Renée DiResta to trace conspiracy theories back to their source. She’s already exposed how Russian state actors manipulated the 2016 election, but that was just a prelude to…
When Attention Went on Sale
Apr 28 • 45 min
An information system that relies on advertising was not born with the Internet. But social media platforms have taken it to an entirely new level, becoming a major force in how we make sense of ourselves and the world around us. Columbia law professor…
Changing Our Climate of Denial
Apr 22 • 66 min
We agree more than we think we do, but tech platforms distort our perceptions by amplifying the loudest, angriest and most dismissive voices online. In reality, they’re just a noisy faction. This Earth Day we ask Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale…
Stranger than Fiction
Mar 30 • 62 min
How can tech companies help flatten the curve? First and foremost, they must address the lethal misinformation and disinformation circulating on their platforms. The problem goes much deeper than fake news, according to Claire Wardle, co-founder and…
Mr. Harris Goes to Washington
Jan 30 • 42 min
What difference does a few hours of Congressional testimony make? Tristan takes us behind the scenes of his January 8th testimony to the Energy and Commerce Committee on disinformation in the digital age. With just minutes to answer each lawmaker’s…
Trust Falls
Jan 14 • 51 min
We are in the middle of a global trust crisis. Neighbors are strangers and local news sources are becoming scarcer; institutions that used to symbolize prestige, honor and a sense of societal security are ridiculed for being antiquated and out of touch.…
The Cure for Hate
Dec 19, 2019 • 41 min
“You can binge watch an ideology in a weekend,” says Tony McAleer. He should know. A former white supremacist, McAleer was introduced to neo-Nazi ideology through the U.K. punk scene in the 1980s. But after his daughter was born, he embarked on a…
Rock the Voter
Dec 5, 2019 • 52 min
Brittany Kaiser, a former Cambridge Analytica insider, witnessed a two day presentation at the company that shocked her and her co-workers. It laid out a new method of campaigning, in which candidates greet voters with a thousand faces and speak in a…
The Dictator’s Playbook
Nov 5, 2019 • 50 min
Maria Ressa is arguably one of the bravest journalists working in the Philippines today. As co-founder and CEO of the media site Rappler, she has withstood death threats, multiple arrests and a rising tide of populist fury that she first saw on Facebook,…
The Opposite of Addiction
Oct 22, 2019 • 48 min
What causes addiction? Johann Hari, author of Chasing the Scream, travelled some 30,000 miles in search of an answer. He met with researchers and lawmakers, drug dealers and drug makers, those who were struggling with substance abuse and those who had…
Pardon the Interruptions
Aug 14, 2019 • 43 min
Every 40 seconds, our attention breaks. It takes an act of extreme self-awareness to even notice. That’s why Gloria Mark, a professor in the Department of Informatics at University of California, Irvine, started measuring the attention spans of office…
From Russia with Likes (Part 2)
Aug 1, 2019 • 28 min
In the second part of our interview with Renée DiResta, disinformation expert, Mozilla fellow, and co-author of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation, she explains how social media platforms use your sense of identity and personal…
From Russia with Likes (Part 1)
Jul 24, 2019 • 45 min
Today’s online propaganda has evolved in unforeseeable and seemingly absurd ways; by laughing at or spreading a Kermit the Frog meme, you may be unwittingly advancing the Russian agenda. These campaigns affect our elections integrity, public health, and…
Down the Rabbit Hole by Design
Jul 10, 2019 • 54 min
When we press play on a YouTube video, we set in motion an algorithm that taps all available data to find the next video that keeps us glued to the screen. Because of its advertising-based business model, YouTube’s top priority is not to help us learn to…
With Great Power Comes…No Responsibility?
Jun 25, 2019 • 55 min
Aza sits down with Yael Eisenstat, a former CIA officer and a former advisor at the White House. When Yael noticed that Americans were having a harder and harder time finding common ground, she shifted her work from counter-extremism abroad to advising…
Should’ve Stayed in Vegas
Jun 19, 2019 • 39 min
In part two of our interview with cultural anthropologist Natasha Dow Schüll, author of Addiction by Design, we learn what gamblers are really after a lot of the time — it’s not money. And it’s the same thing we’re looking for when we mindlessly open up…
What Happened in Vegas
Jun 10, 2019 • 40 min
Natasha Dow Schüll, author of Addiction by Design, has spent years studying how slot machines hold gamblers spellbound, in an endless loop of play. She never imagined the addictive designs which she had first witnessed in Las Vegas would go bounding into…
Launching June 10: Your Undivided Attention
Apr 16, 2019 • 3 min
Technology has shredded our attention. We can do better.