ellen rhymes
Jun 24 · 1 min read

Ask any addict who drinks, bets or smokes:
you think you can stop anytime you decide,
& that’s why you probably haven’t yet tried.

Free markets run on supply & demand,
so CEOs want that phone stuck to your hand.
Expert psychologists help them design
chimes, bells & whistles that mold to your mind:
see that round bubble, shiny, bright red,
urging you not to leave that thing unread?
See how your apps feel so pleasing & clear?
That’s not by accident! That’s engineered
to make things so easy you don’t have to think — 
calming, habitual, just like a drink.

*

This poem could not have been written without the help of engineering student Michael Tollman in the Farnam Street Learning Community.

Image via The Zero Theorem.

ellen rhymes

Written by

Writing coach, writer, optimist. My home base is ellenrhymes.com.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade