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.

We’ll listen in on excerpts from a discussion about the “dark side of design,” which featured some outspoken critics of social networks.

And we speak with Natasha Schüll, author of Addiction by Design and James Williams, co-founder of the Center for Humane Technologyand 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 Carey divesting from Facebook, to ad-blocking as an act of revolt, to suing Mark Zuckerberg for all that time you’ve wasted, we uncover all the issues.