Your Undivided Attention

Recent Episodes

Episode 56

Fighting With Mirages of Each Other with Adam Mastroianni

We often think our ideological differences are far greater than they actually are. Which means: we’re getting mired in polarization based on warped visions of each other. This week on Your Undivided Attention, we're talking with Adam Mastroianni, a postdoctoral research scholar at Columbia Business School who studies how we perceive and misperceive our social worlds.
September 22, 2022

Bonus

Addressing the TikTok Threat

TikTok is now the most popular app for teens in the United States, and is influenced by China — our main geopolitical rival. This week on Your Undivided Attention, we bring you a bonus episode about TikTok. Co-hosts Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin explore the nature of the TikTok threat, and how we might address it.
September 8, 2022

Bonus

How might a long-term stock market transform tech? (ZigZag episode)

Social media companies are stuck in classic multipolar traps. They must compete for our attention, so that when TikTok introduces an even-more addictive feature, Facebook and Twitter have to mimic it in order to keep up, sending us all on a race to the bottom of our brainstems. One experiment in enabling companies to transcend multipolar traps is the Long Term Stock Exchange — a U.S. national securities exchange serving companies and investors who share a long-term vision. This week on Your Undivided Attention, we’re airing ZigZag’s conversation with Long Term Stock Exchange founder, Eric Ries.
August 25, 2022

Episode 55

The Invisible Cyber-War with Nicole Perlroth

What happens when our most critical infrastructure can be deactivated and controlled simply through bugs in its software? Cyber-security expert Nicole Perlroth guides us in an exploration of the global cyber arms race.
August 4, 2022

Episode 54

An Alternative to Silicon Valley Unicorns with Mara Zepeda & Kate “Sassy” Sassoon

What’s the alternative to the Silicon Valley unicorn? What might it look like to design an ownership and governance model that incentivizes humane technology? This week on Your Undivided Attention, we're talking with Mara Zepeda and Kate “Sassy” Sassoon of Zebras Unite.
June 30, 2022

Bonus

Conversations With People Who Hate Me with Dylan Marron

A few weeks ago, we aired an episode with Dylan Marron — creator and host of the podcast, Conversations With People Who Hate Me. This week on Your Undivided Attention, you’re getting a full episode of Conversations With People Who Hate Me.
June 16, 2022

Episode 53

How Political Language Is Engineered with Drew Westen & Frank Luntz

Democracy depends on our ability to choose our political views. But when the language we use to talk about political issues is designed to influence our beliefs, are we choosing our views, or is our language choosing them for us? This week, Your Undivided Attention welcomes two Jedi Masters of political communication — Drew Westen and Frank Luntz.
June 2, 2022

Episode 52

Transcending the Internet Hate Game with Dylan Marron

The social media game must be radically transformed. And, we can also decide to step out of the game, and do something different. Our guest on this week’s Your Undivided Attention is a master at doing just that. Dylan Marron has been called by Jason Sudeikis "a modern Mr. Rogers for the digital age."
May 19, 2022

Episode 51

How To Free Our Minds with Cult Deprogramming Expert Dr. Steven Hassan

In an era of likes, followers, and echo chambers, how can we become aware of undue influence and gain sovereignty over our minds? Our guest this week is Dr. Steven Hassan, an expert on undue influence, brainwashing, and unethical hypnosis.
May 5, 2022

Bonus

A Bigger Picture on Elon & Twitter

If Elon Musk owns Twitter, what are the risks, and what are the opportunities? In order for Twitter to support democracy — and Musk’s goal of becoming a multi-planetary civilization — we need a radical redesign that goes beyond free speech. Note: this conversation was recorded on April 21, 2022, 3 days prior to an official announcement that revealed Elon Musk and Twitter reached a purchase agreement for $44 Billion.
April 25, 2022

Episode 50

What Is Civil War in the Digital Age? with Barbara F. Walter

What are the generator functions for civil war in the digital age, and how do we prevent them? This week on Your Undivided Attention, we're joined by Barbara F. Walter — ​​one of the world's leading experts on civil wars, political violence, and terrorism, and the author of How Civil Wars Start: And How To Stop Them.
April 21, 2022

Bonus

What Is Humane Technology?

How do we develop the wisdom we need to responsibly steward exponential technology? This week on Your Undivided Attention, we're introducing one way the Center for Humane Technology is attempting to close the wisdom gap — our new, free, online course, Foundations of Humane Technology.
April 7, 2022

Rerun

Digital Democracy is Within Reach with Audrey Tang

Audrey Tang, Taiwan's Digital Minister, helps us imagine a world where every country has a digital minister and technologically-enabled legislative bodies.
March 24, 2022

Episode 49

The Dark Side Of Decentralization with Audrey Kurth Cronin

These days, there's enthusiastic talk about the possibilities of decentralized technologies, like cryptocurrencies and 3D printing. But decentralization is cast in a different light when we're talking about decentralized weaponry. This week on Your Undivided Attention, security expert Audrey Kurth Cronin guides us in an exploration of decentralized weaponry throughout history, how social media is a new decentralized weapon, and how to wisely navigate these threats.
March 10, 2022

Episode 48

The Invisible Influence of Language with Lera Boroditsky

One of the oldest psycho-technologies we have is language. How do the words we use influence the way we think? Further, how can we inoculate ourselves from their undue influence — and consciously design language that helps us meet our most complex challenges? This week on Your Undivided Attention, we're grateful to have cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky.
February 24, 2022

Episode 47

How Science Fiction Can Shape Our Reality with Kim Stanley Robinson

Science fiction can prepare us for the impending future, and empower us to shape it. Join us for a conversation with one of the greatest living science-fiction writers — Kim Stanley Robinson.
February 10, 2022

Episode 46

Here’s Our Plan And We Don’t Know with Tristan Harris, Aza Raskin, and Stephanie Lepp

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?
February 3, 2022

Episode 45

Is World War III Already Here? Guest: Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster

The nature of warfare has changed so fundamentally, that we're currently in a war we don't even recognize. It's the war that Russia, China, and other hostile foreign actors are fighting against us — weaponizing social media to undermine our faith in each other, our government, and democracy itself. Here to shed some light on what might be considered WWIII is General H. R. McMaster, who served as the 26th National Security Advisor of the United States.
January 13, 2022

Episode 44

A Fresh Take on Tech in China with Rui Ma and Duncan Clark

Who do you think the Chinese government considers its biggest rival? The United States, right? Actually, the Chinese government considers its biggest rival to be its own technology companies. This week on Your Undivided Attention, Rui Ma and Duncan Clark join us for a surprising conversation about technology in China.
December 10, 2021

Episode 43

Behind the Curtain on The Social Dilemma with Jeff Orlowski-Yang and Larissa Rhodes

How do you make a film that impacts more than 100 million people in 190 countries in 30 languages? On the heels of The Social Dilemma‘s 1-year anniversary, we’re going behind the curtain on the film — with Director Jeff Orlowski-Yang and Producer Larissa Rhodes.
November 11, 2021

Episode 42

A Conversation with Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen

We are now in social media's Big Tobacco moment. And that’s largely thanks to the courage of Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen.
October 18, 2021

Bonus

A Whirlwind Week of Whistleblowing

In seven years of working on the problems of runaway technology, we’ve never experienced a week like this!
October 6, 2021

Episode 41

Making Meaning in Challenging Times with Jamie Wheal

What helps you make meaning in challenging times?
September 30, 2021

Bonus

The Facebook Files with Tristan Harris, Frank Luntz, and Daniel Schmachtenberger

On September 13th, the Wall Street Journal released The Facebook Files, an ongoing investigation of the extent to which Facebook's problems are meticulously known inside the company — all the way up to Mark Zuckerberg.
September 21, 2021

Episode 40

The Power of Solutions Journalism with Tina Rosenberg and Hélène Biandudi Hofer

What is the goal of our digital information environment? Is it simply to inform us, or also to empower us to act?
September 3, 2021

Episode 39

Do You Want To Become A Vampire?

How do we decide whether to undergo a transformative experience when we don’t know how that experience will change us? This is the central question explored by Yale philosopher and cognitive scientist L.A. Paul. 
August 12, 2021

Episode 38

You Will Never Breathe The Same Again. Guest: James Nestor

When author and journalist James Nestor began researching a piece on free diving, he was stunned. He found that free divers could hold their breath for up to 8 minutes at a time, and dive to depths of 350 feet on a single breath.
July 22, 2021

Episode 37

A Facebook Whistleblower: Sophie Zhang

In September 2020, data scientist and Facebook employee Sophie Zhang posted a 7,900-word memo to the company's internal site, describing the anguish and guilt she experienced in attempting to rein in fake activity on the platform.
July 9, 2021

Episode 36

A Problem Well-Stated Is Half-Solved with Daniel Schmachtenberger

We’ve explored many different problems on Your Undivided Attention — addiction, disinformation, polarization, climate change, and more. But what if many of these problems are actually symptoms of the same meta-problem, or meta-crisis? And what if a key leverage point for intervening in this meta-crisis is improving our collective capacity to problem-solve?
June 25, 2021

Episode 36

[Unedited] A Problem Well-Stated Is Half-Solved with Daniel Schmachtenberger

We’ve explored many different problems on Your Undivided Attention — addiction, disinformation, polarization, climate change, and more. But what if many of these problems are actually symptoms of the same meta-problem, or meta-crisis? And what if a key leverage point for intervening in this meta-crisis is improving our collective capacity to problem-solve?
June 25, 2021

Episode 35

Mr. Harris Zooms to Washington

Back in January 2020, Tristan Harris went to Washington, D.C. to testify before the U.S. Congress on the harms of social media. A few weeks ago, he returned — virtually — for another hearing, Algorithms and Amplification: How Social Media Platforms’ Design Choices Shape Our Discourse and Our Minds.
May 10, 2021

Episode 34

Can Your Reality Turn on a Word? Guest: Anthony Jacquin

Can hypnosis be a tool to help us see how our minds are being shaped and manipulated more than we realize? Guest Anthony Jacquin is a hypnotist and hypnotherapist of over 20 years, author of Reality is Plastic, and co-runs the Jacquin Hypnosis Academy. He uses his practice to help his clients change their behavior and improve their lives.
April 29, 2021

Rerun

The Stubborn Optimist’s Guide Revisited with Christiana Figueres

[This episode originally aired May 21, 2020] Internationally-recognized global leader on climate change Christiana Figueres argues that the battle against global threats like climate change begins in our own heads.
April 22, 2021

Episode 33

Mind the (Perception) Gap with Dan Vallone

What do you think the other side thinks? Guest Dan Vallone is the Director of More in Common U.S.A., an organization that’s been asking Democrats and Republicans that critical question. Their work has uncovered countless “perception gaps” in our understanding of each other.
April 15, 2021

Bonus

Coded Bias with Shalini Kantayya

The film Coded Bias follows MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini through her investigation of algorithmic discrimination after she accidentally discovers that facial recognition technologies do not detect darker-skinned faces. Joy is joined on screen by experts in the field, researchers, activists, and involuntary victims of algorithmic injustice.
April 8, 2021

Episode 32

Come Together Right Now. Guest: Shamil Idriss

Shamil Idriss, CEO of the organization Search for Common Ground, shares the lessons of peacebuilding from his work in Niger, the Balkans, and Rwanda. Technology and social media are creating patterns and pathways of conflict that few people anticipated or even imagined just a decade ago. And we need to act quickly to contain the effects, but we don't have to reinvent the wheel.
April 1, 2021

Episode 31

Disinformation Then and Now. Guest: Camille François

Camille François, Chief Information Officer at the cybersecurity company Graphika and an affiliate of the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, and other disinformation researchers have been fighting two battles over the last decade: one to combat and contain harmful information, and one to convince the world that these manipulations have an offline impact that requires complex, nuanced solutions.
March 18, 2021

Episode 30

The Courage to Connect. Guests: Ciaran O’Connor and John Wood, Jr.

It’s no revelation that Americans aren’t getting along. But Braver Angels is working to address this problem. The organization brings Americans together to bridge the partisan divide, offering tools and running workshops that convince Republicans and Democrats to meet but not necessarily in the middle.
March 4, 2021

Episode 29

A Renegade Solution to Extractive Economics with Kate Raworth

Kate Raworth, the “renegade economist” and creator of Doughnut Economics, explores how we can transform the world by changing the models for how we value it. Check out our conversation.
February 11, 2021

Episode 28

Two Million Years in Two Hours: A Conversation with Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari is one of the rare historians who can give us a two-million-year perspective on today’s headlines. In this wide-ranging conversation, Yuval explains how technology and democracy have evolved together over the course of human history, before exploring nearly unimaginable possibilities for where we might go from here.
January 15, 2021

Episode 27

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? A Civic Vision for the Internet with Eli Pariser

Eli Pariser, co-director of Civic Signals, co-founder of Avaaz, and author of "The Filter Bubble," has been thinking for years about how to create more functional online spaces and is bringing people together to solve that problem.
December 23, 2020

Episode 26

Are the Kids Alright? Guest: Jonathan Haidt

Jonathan Haidt, NYU social psychologist, has spent the last few years trying to figure out why we are in the midst of a teen mental health crisis. He believes social media is to blame.
October 27, 2020

Episode 25

Your Nation’s Attention for the Price of a Used Car. Guest: Zahed Amanullah

Zahed Amanullah, counter-terrorism expert at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, explains how the very tools that extremists use to broadcast messages of hate can also be used to stop them in their tracks.
October 6, 2020

Bonus

The Social Dilemma

A new documentary, The Social Dilemma comes out on Netflix today, September 9, 2020.
September 9, 2020

Episode 24

Facebook Goes ‘2Africa.’ Guest: Julie Owono

Julie Owono, Executive Director of Internet Without Borders, discusses Facebook’s “2Africa” subsea cable project and the risks of tech companies leading us into an age of “digital colonialism.”
September 2, 2020

Episode 23

When Media Was for You and Me with Fred Turner

Fred Turner, a professor of communications at Stanford University, discusses how media can make us feel more reflective, more patient, and more tolerant.
August 5, 2020

Episode 22

Digital Democracy is Within Reach with Audrey Tang

Audrey Tang, Taiwan's Digital Minister, helps us imagine a world where every country has a digital minister and technologically-enabled legislative bodies.
July 23, 2020

Bonus

Beyond the Boycott

The #StopHateforProfit campaign is an important first step.
July 10, 2020

Episode 21

The World According to Q. Guest: Travis View

Travis View studies the cryptic appeal and cult-like dynamics of QAnon and what happens as Q followers leave their screens behind, arm themselves, and take their extremism into the real world.
July 8, 2020

Episode 20

The Bully’s Pulpit. Guest: Fadi Quran

Fadi Quran and his team at Avaaz go to great lengths to figure out exactly how social media is being weaponized against vulnerable communities, including those who have no voice online at all.
June 22, 2020