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How Your Brain Is Getting Hacked

Tristan Harris | 5:45


 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.

I mean, the thing about magic as an example, is that magic works on every. Slight of hand, right? It, it doesn't matter what language you speak, it doesn't matter how intelligent you are, it's not about what someone knows. It's about how your mind. Actually works. So knowing this, it turns out that, uh, there's this whole playbook of persuasive techniques that actually I learned when I was at the Stanford, uh, persuasive technology lab and that most people in Silicon Valley and the tech industry learned as ways of getting your attention.

So one example, um, is we are all vulnerable to social. We really care what other people think of us. So for example, you know, when you upload a new photo, a new profile photo of yourself on Facebook, uh, that's a moment where our mind is very vulnerable to knowing what other people think of my new profile photo.

And so when we get new likes on our profile photo, Facebook, knowing this could actually message me, uh, and, and say, oh, you have new likes on your profile photo, and we, it knows that we'll be vulnerable to that. Because we all really care about when we're tagged in a photo or when we have a new profile photo.

And the thing is that they control the dial. The technology companies control the dial for when and how long your profile photo shows up on other people's newsfeeds so they can orchestrate it so that other people more often end up liking your profile photo over a delayed period of time, for example, so that you end up, uh, having to more frequently come back and see what the new likes are.

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