Leslie DEven 9 years ago it was far subtler than this article indicates. We could identify people by their unique browser settings, geolocate using IP addressesSee more, store every site visited and most purchases made at certain companies and build profiles of people’s behavior that leads to purchase. We could have matched to names because there are obscure companies that store your name with all identifying information such as browser settings or other obscure identifiers, plus everything in every cookie. The only limit to the data collected is computing power and the technical know how to manipulate massive data. Without privacy laws, we will never know the massive amount of data stored about our online and offline lives and how it is used to manipulate and control us, so far just for consumer behavior and election engineering- but what will someone think up next?
Niklas PivicI wish that people wouldn't turn into consumers so easily, but we all too dearly wish to follow the flood without caring much for consequences before we do. Solipsism must die.
Andreas BatsisWhen electricity made it to the household for the first time, people used to put their fingers in the socket and die. Nowadays we know exactly how to See moreuse electricity.
I believe that the same procedure is gonna take place with internet and smart phones as well in the near future.
The one that I'll give you is this one: Consumerism is a serious problem and it seems to resist for many years now.
Stowe Boyd> I've spent many years referencing Wikipedia’s list of cognitive biases whenever I have a hunch that a certain type of thinking is an officialSee more bias but I can’t recall the name or details. It’s been an invaluable reference for helping me identify the hidden flaws in my own thinking. Nothing else I’ve come across seems to be both as comprehensive and as succinct.
> However, honestly, the Wikipedia page is a bit of a tangled mess. Despite trying to absorb the information of this page many times over the years, very little of it seems to stick. I often scan it and feel like I’m not able to find the bias I’m looking for, and then quickly forget what I’ve learned. I think this has to do with how the page has organically evolved over the years. Today, it groups 175 biases into vague categories (decision-making biases, social biases, memory errors, etc) that don’t really feel mutually exclusive to me, and then lists them alphabetically within categories. There are duplicates a-plenty, and many similar biases with different names, scattered willy-nilly.
> I’ve taken some time over the last four weeks (I’m on paternity leave) to try to more deeply absorb and understand this list, and to try to come up with a simpler, clearer organizing structure to hang these biases off of. Reading deeply about various biases has given my brain something to chew on while I bounce little Louie to sleep.
> I started with the raw list of the 175 biases and added them all to a spreadsheet, then took another pass removing duplicates, and grouping similar biases (like bizarreness effect and humor effect) or complementary biases (like optimism bias and pessimism bias). The list came down to about 20 unique biased mental strategies that we use for very specific reasons.
> I made several different attempts to try to group these 20 or so at a higher level, and eventually landed on grouping them by the general mental problem that they were attempting to address. Every cognitive bias is there for a reason — primarily to save our brains time or energy. If you look at them by the problem they’re trying to solve, it becomes a lot easier to understand why they exist, how they’re useful, and the trade-offs (and resulting mental errors) that they introduce.
Chantelle OliverJehu I completely agree. I am gen-x but have always preferred digital. I read so much more so much more often than I ever did before the internet. AllSee more everyone does is read. I spent a decade in university reading fast because I had to and I can read very quickly and get everything. I think this skim perhaps applies to people who are not fully literate in the digital realm and just need to work on their reading skills.
JehuIn many ways, that is exactly my case, Chantelle, but something tells me that the 'skimming' that the article is hinting at is a sort of seeminglySee more undesirable "shallowness" that seems inherent to this immaterial medium (the screen). In many ways, a physical book implied a tangible transaction, a formal commitment in space and time and mindset to a specific kind of object whose "affordances" in many ways imposed certain interactions/modes of consumption: you needed to mechanically search, to place a separator, to feel the weight, to smell its pages, context switching was costly, etc.
The screen makes all of these operations trivial, and enables many others practically impossible in a material object; but it is also true that the potential ability to do this usually creates in us the illusion that we are exhausting the possibilities of the content much in the same way that people feel "smarter" simply because they are a Google search away from knowing virtually anything.
I believe the superficial consumption of the text reflects, at least partially, the modern demand for immediate gratification and the implicit expectation that insights should emerge out of the medium and be somehow exhausted by the multiple consumption modes/viewpoints enabled by the technology as they enter our brain.
It is the dialogue with the ideas that matters, and conversations, specially the good ones, happen at their own pace and, often times, rather slowly.