Kara Swisher interviews Tristan Harris vox.com/recode/2019/5/6/185308

Tristan Harris is still one of the most clear-eyed thinkers in the whole "techlash." He's good at pulling together seemingly disparate phenomena and showing how they all stem from the incentives of the attention economy.

One thing I found interesting is that Tristan Harris seems to really lean on Apple as a potential white knight to come in and help clean up the ecosystem. He's right that they're well-positioned for that, since their business model isn't based on attention.

It makes me continue to wonder: is the open-source battle over? Is the new battle over privacy, attention, and well-being? Most tech critics these days (Tufekci, Lanier, etc) sound a lot more like Tristan Harris than like Richard Stallman.

Show thread


> It makes me continue to wonder: is the open-source battle over?

it's over and we lost, but i don't think this makes us _wrong_ that open code and open standards matter. it just makes the world worse and acknowledges the pragmatic reality that we are at the mercy of unaccountable corporations with the effective power of nontrivial governments.

to put it another way, i acknowledge this dynamic, but i don't expect privacy and well-being without free software.

@brennen @nolan RMS was ver focused on the personal computer, and the free software movement was about free personal software.

and then (as a result?) the corporations moved most software in to "the cloud", in to the mainframes that they control.

It might be open source! Reddit was, for a while.

But that doesn't matter if it's running on someone else's computer.

@ajroach42 @nolan an irony here, among many other bitter ironies, is that RMS's motivations actually proceeded originally from the perceived loss of a _shared and social_ computing environment.

at any rate, yeah, we lost the economic and social war by winning elements of the narrowly technical one. open code built the megacorps, and it'll be tactically useful to them indefinitely, but it will continue to matter less and less in the scope of their power and control.

@brennen @nolan

The hacker archetype traditionally believes that social problems can be solved with tech.

The opposite, I think, is actually true.

@ajroach42 thats weirdly formulated or I would say thats not true. tech problems need tech solutions. or make an example.

@Transflux @ajroach42 Software communities are people, and that's where the tech we are talking about comes from.

@clacke @ajroach42 sure. But that is true for anything. But then it sounds like, if you have a nice, happy community, they will solve any tech problem...

@Transflux @ajroach42 The thing is though with software, that the limitations (within reason) on what we do aren't physical. Anything is possible. The limitations are in what we choose to devote our time to, what priorities we have.
@Transflux @ajroach42 That's who holds the money or the spare time to make software, yes. That's part of the social problem.

@clacke @ajroach42 that's something else tho then. Technical problems have social solutions

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!