Tired moralizing can't obscure the fact that Silicon Valley bears some responsibility for our always-on culture. / Farhad Sadykov
The Baffler,  January 6

Daily Bafflements

Digital detox, professional millennials, and billion-dollar rationalizations

Tired moralizing can't obscure the fact that Silicon Valley bears some responsibility for our always-on culture. / Farhad Sadykov
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• Today in tech: Tristan Harris, a Silicon Valley stalwart with a résumé that includes the likes of Google and Apple, has begun running “digital detox experiments” designed to put an end to the practice of hacking human psychology. According to the Atlantic, Harris is leading a movement to change the fundamentals of software design. He is rallying product designers to adopt a “Hippocratic oath” for software that, he explains, would check the practice of “exposing people’s psychological vulnerabilities” and restore “agency” to users. “There needs to be new ratings, new criteria, new design standards, new certification standards,” he says. “There is a way to design based not on addiction.”

Baffler contributing editor Jacob Silverman took on the labor ramifications of technological “addiction” in his recent salvo on the workplace app Slack.

• Millennials are so bad at everything, apparently, that a millennial can’t even get a job as a professional millennial. Turns out, the most successfully quoted representative of this oft-maligned cohort is actually a fifty-five-year-old man. R.I.P., fact-checking?

• Inside the minds of billionaires: constitutional conflict edition.

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