“Attentional Serfdom”

In the inaugural episode of Tricky, Emily Bell and Heather Chaplin look at perhaps the greatest challenge facing journalism today: the fight to capture your attention.

Journalism may be a pillar of democracy, but how can it compete with the persuasive design tactics that serve up everything from Instagram posts to dating apps? Examining persuasive design through the lenses of psychology, anthropology, ethics and history, Emily and Heather try to unpack what the attention economy is doing to journalism and to society. This week’s show features excerpts from a discussion about the “dark side of design,” starring  some outspoken critics of social networks.

Our hosts speak with Natasha Schull, author of Addiction by Design and James Williams, co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology and try to identify a framework for change. Who’s responsible for the effects of persuasive technology? Is regulation of Big Tech reasonable, or even the right approach? Where does personal responsibility begin and end?

From Jim Carrey divesting from Facebook, to ad-blocking as an act of revolt to suing Mark Zuckerberg for that time you’ve wasted, they cover all the issues.