1/ I just watched 'The Social Dilemma' on Netflix & also started reading 'Calling Bullshit' some days ago. Everybody should watch the film, understand how our 'attention is being extracted', how dangerous this can be and think about how we can change things... Image
2/ "..never before in history have 50 designers 20-35 yr-old white guys in California made decisions that have an impact on 2 billion people...who will have thoughts that they didn't intend to have because a designer at Google said, "This is how notifications work on that screen
3/ ..that you wake up to in the morning." So do I realize that I am in very real danger of not being myself any more, of not thinking my own thoughts? That the machine stands to gain from "addiction, polarization, radicalization, outragification, vanitification.."
4/ "A magician shows you a card trick
and says, "Pick a card, any card." What you don't realize
was that they've done a set-up, so you pick the card
they want you to pick. And that's how Facebook works.
Facebook sits there and says,
5/ "Hey, you pick your friends. You pick the links that you follow."..that's all nonsense. It's just like the magician. FB is in charge of your news feed. We all simply are operating on a different set of facts. When that happens at scale, you're no longer able to reckon with ...
6/ or even consume information that contradicts with that world view that you've created. That means we aren't actually being objective, constructive individuals. And then you look over at the other side, and you start to think, "How can those people be so stupid?
7/ Look at all of this information that I'm constantly seeing. How are they not seeing that same information?"
"They're not seeing that same information."

So do we realize we are in echo chambers and who gains from keeping us in these echo chambers?
8/ The film suggests various things to address the issue e.g. regulation like taxing companies on the data assets
that they have. Give them a fiscal reason to not acquire every piece of data on the planet. That may help, but then politicians very much want to use these tools..
9/ "If we don't agree on what is true or that there is such a thing as truth, we're toast. This is the problem
beneath other problems because if we can't agree on what's true, then we can't navigate out of any of our problems.", the film says, but I don't agree...
10/ While we are occupied with trying to figure out 'what the truth is', politicians & big business will accelerate polarization & radicalization. For us to be our selves, we need think simply & clearly...we need to understand if something is divisive & serves vested interests...
11/ "If it seems like it's something designed to really push your emotional buttons", be very suspicious. If we remain 'our selves', we will survive & buy ourselves time to 'call bullshit' & figure out the truth. Even the specific truth though is often not important..
12/ Does leading a rich life require us to know the facts of where 'Rama was born', 'How SSR died' etc.? Yes, the truth about certain things needs to be known & we cannot be naive... but are we being manipulated into becoming 'the crowd' by this so called 'search for truth'?

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More from @vishnu_agni

14 Jun
1/A ban on online classes doesn’t make sense. We’ve seen several positives in the 30+ courses we have conducted @GenWise_ so far- great peer discussions, the quietest students engaging with teachers on chat and even real world explorations! Examples later in this thread
2/As with anything else- the quality of the experience and the ‘quantity of consumption’ decides whether it is good or bad. The lower the age, the more wary we should be of screen time. Educating parents will work far better than regulating schools. #righttolearn @nimmasuresh
3/After all, it is the parent who is the systems integrator- he/ she knows how much time has been spent on phones, TV, computer screens etc., how much physical play has been there, the uniqueness of his child, and can make the best choice. #righttolearn @HRDMinistry @PMOIndia
Read 18 tweets
21 Jan
1) A 14 tweet story about a lake that exploded suddenly and mysteriously without warning... with important takeaways for education. (Some pictures inside this thread)
2) In 1986, Lake Nyos in Cameroon erupted killing 1800 people + 3500 livestock in a 19 km radius. Bodies were burnt; survivors had eye lesions, neurological problems, paralysis of lower limbs. Similar events at nearby Lake Monoun on a smaller scale in 1984
3) Eyewitnesses of Lake Nyos disaster reported- very hard rain that stopped at 930 PM; rumbling sound & smell like gunpowder + rotten eggs; people ran around and dropped dead; many lost consciousness for 6-16 hours
Read 15 tweets
1 Jan
1/ A friend's 23 yo girl looking to find a marriage partner, asked me for tips. Here's what I said.... Please comment/add your tips. Be as clear as possible on why you want to get married. Everybody doesn't need to get married. Don't get married because everyone else is...
2/ If you are going the 'arranged' marriage route, meet prospects who interact directly with you (not through their parents or relatives), spend time and decide... If you or your prospective partner cannot take responsibility for evaluating partners themselves, it's a red flag...
3/ Never interact with multiple prospects at the same time. You cannot/ should not compare people. If one doesn't work out, wait a while and meet the next person. Your attitude of commitment to one person (not comparing) changes the other person and you
Read 8 tweets
25 Dec 19
1/ Much to chew on in this brilliant episode bit.ly/2QijqQL of @sfiscience podcast where @rajivatbarnard is interviewed on the complex system of bias, crime, and criminal justice in the US. Some insights for me...
2/ Stereotyping is a cognitive necessity, but we can become more aware of the process and can be more willing to question the stereotypes that we hold. e.g. 'Pseudosecular' and 'Bhakts' are buckets we put people into.. but does it capture the tapestry of thoughts in these groups?
3/ People who are negatively stereotyped face a lot of dangers in our society. Thus police may use more force against blacks. e.g. Was Jamia at the receiving end perceived as a 'Muslim protest'? See what Mukul Kesavan says- bit.ly/2ZmmqzM
Read 12 tweets

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