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How Your Brain Is Getting Hacked


Tristan Harris




Casinos, magicians, and the makers of social media platforms all know something about you: your mind is very vulnerable to influence. Just as the magician relies on limitations in your short term memory or visual acuity to accomplish sleight of hand, online software engineers leverage the limits of your mind to make their product addictive. From the sonorous ping of mobile phones to Facebook's highly nuanced algorithm, product makers understand that frequent reward is what keeps you coming back. And just like slot machines, the easier those rewards are to access, the more frequently we'll want them.


Well, one thing we don't talk about is that, um, it's sort of hard to talk about this. Our, our minds have these kinds of back doors. There's just, there's kind of, if you're human and you wake up and you open your eyes, there is a certain set of dimensions to your experience that can be manipul. When I was a kid, uh, I was a magician.

And you learn all about these limits. You know that short term memory is about this long, and there's different reaction times, and if you ask people certain questions in certain ways, you can control the answer. And this is just the structure of being human. To be human means that you are persuadable in every single moment.

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