Renowned quantum physicist Richard Feynman once wrote, "It is our capacity to doubt that will determine the future of civilization."
In that spirit, this episode is a little different – because we're talking openly about our doubts, with you, our listeners. It's also different because it’s hosted by our Executive Producer Stephanie Lepp, with Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin in the hot seats.
How have we evolved our understanding of our social media predicament? How has that evolution inspired us to question the work we do at Center for Humane Technology? Join us as we say those three magic words — I don't know — and yet pursue our mission to the best of our ability.
Tristan Harris started his career as a magician. He studied persuasive technology at Stanford University, and used what he learned to build a company called Apture, which was acquired by Google. It was at Google where Tristan first sounded the alarm on the harms posed by technology that manipulates attention for profit. Since then, he's spent his career articulating the insidious effects of today’s social media platforms, and envisioning how technology can serve humanity. Today, Tristan is the president and co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology.
Aza Raskin was trained as a mathematician and dark matter physicist. He took 3 companies from founding to acquisition before co-founding the Center for Humane Technology with Tristan and Randima Fernando. Aza is also a co-founder of the Earth Species Project, an open-source collaborative non-profit dedicated to decoding animal communication. Aza’s father, Jef Raskin, created the Macintosh project at Apple — with the vision that humane technology should help, not harm, humans.
Stephanie Lepp started her career as a bar/bat-mitzvah dancer, and studied Science, Technology, and Society at Stanford. As a producer and futurist, her work strives to hold up a mirror — inviting us to grow from what we see. She won two Webbys for Deep Reckonings, a series of explicitly-marked deepfake videos that imagine morally courageous versions of our public figures. Stephanie is the Executive Producer of Your Undivided Attention. Be in touch with her on Twitter @stephlepp.
Systems theorist Donella Meadows' seminal article, articulating a framework for thinking about how to change complex systems.
The Future Thinkers podcast with Daniel Schmactenberger, where he explores how to mitigate natural and human-caused existential risks and design post-capitalist systems.
The Center for Humane Technology's research on elaborating the many externalities of our technology platforms' race for human attention.
CHT's forthcoming course on how to build technology that protects our well-being, minimizes unforeseen consequences, and builds our collective capacity to address humanity's urgent challenges.