Listen: Donald Trump, America, United States discussed on Sean Carroll's Mindscape: Science, Society, Philosophy, Culture, Arts, and Ideas
"The business model of advertising data collection and so the internet not intrinsically but just because this is sort of i think just the the way our media landscape worked i mean it was just it was television also ran on ads right so did newspapers and now now the gloves are off for data collection and personalized <hes> <hes> behavioral targeting all of this stuff and so my blog will podcast. We'll be taking ads but they're not targeted companies. I'm i'm happiest yeah schilling for basically like i get to veto places that i'm not interested. I've already gotten details but people ask me for to advertise on the the podcast and i looked at what they're selling. You can't do that. Well i mean and then you know the things we're we're. We're all embroiled in the system and part of the point i'm trying to make to is that this isn't sort of you know if i had a podcast and i would also be two ads and you know maybe consider taking others but the point is that you know we're we're all in an advertising economy whether we want to or not because we're being offered ostensibly free services but actually were paying with our personal data so they have to be a tuned to the way that this business model is creating the kind of click bad economy right that we are seeing and that that is very detrimental for or a deliberation and debate because ultimately if what what the platform is more interested in serving you a bunch of headlines that you're just gonna like look at it and get to the next next one as opposed to being incentivized to give you a long the fact that even have the word long read now is the time but you know it. They'd rather have me click a lot and have me read something that takes an hour and so that's you know it's interesting because we kind of say like so hard to read something long online. Well isn't necessarily or is it because actually all of the research has been geared towards pushing us in the opposite direction. I mean there's a quote in my in the people's platforms like the greatest minds of my generation are all just figuring out how to make people click on ads so so i i you know so on the one hand. Obviously there's a human temperament to be distracted distracted and to believe falsehoods. This is why in the republic plato is basically talking about the fake news of his day right again democracy. It doesn't elevate the wise. People people believe believe lies the gossip their misguided but unfortunately we have this whole technological apparatus stratus that <hes> because its priorities are accumulating profits through data collection are really antithetical to our needs needs as citizens and human beings and you know it is basically the you know. It's a continuation of the the television model i mean. There's a reason that the former head of c._v._s. said trump's not good for america but he sure is good for business right. So i mean the implication seems to be vigilant and take active steps to make sure or that. This doesn't trampled underfoot in some sense yeah. I think though you know this is where you know. It's it's it's the economy stupid. It's like you know we we have to. I think it's really daunting task but like what what are the. How do we transform the the underlying incentives that are shaking that are shaping our media center right. I mean this. Is you know we see this is why i work in the education space and i see the difference between you know people go to a traditional for your public college. People go to predatory for profit college right. There's a difference and right now. There's almost no public media in the united states of america. It's just not something that existed in and you know in in there is no sort of intrinsic reason why we can experiment with other modes of subsidy. Eh online i mean in fact the internet was a commercial was a noncommercial academic invention and big business didn't give us the internet or the world wide web so and this is why you know there are lots of people were kind of nostalgic for the early the early days as of the internet before it was fully commercialized but i think <hes> you know so i i think we have to it's very heartening to me that people are finally having conversations about breaking up big tech <hes> but i think we need to go a step further and okay what what other ways could we fun things that aren't just to sort of advertising or patriot on donation model yeah but you know i'm canadian. Immediate impact what is democracy was funded by the national film board of canada and so you know i it's an in this is an anecdote often give but in two thousand and fourteen i went to my new york city literary agent very good lear agent and a fancy agency agency and i said i want to write a book on democracy and she said no way that is career suicide. It will never sell then. I went to the national film board of candidates said i wanna make a movie the about democracy which i think it should be harder. That sounds like a harder sell for right and they were like that's great. That's exactly what we're here. Therefore is for public debate about interesting things and so you know i couldn't get a democracy project off the ground until after donald trump was elected and then everybody was like well. Maybe we should think about this word but i think it says something about why were in the mess. We're in and also about funding structures that can hold different kinds of work in different kinds of thinking so that suggests so the final question that you're suggesting institute already ready but what makes you optimistic. What are the things we can do to. I take it that we're both on the side. That democracy is a good thing but it can be a flawed thing and and it is like the body is an open system that needs constant care and maintenance and improvement. So where do you see that coming from. I seeing hope in the attitudes of young people right now and i'm. I'm someone who's so against fantasizing young people you know this sort of because i think we need a meaning public engagement from people of all ages and backgrounds and so i'm in fact when i was in my twenties to joke that in opposition to the baby boomers like it's not don't trust anyone. It's not it's not that you shouldn't trust people over under under sorry. The baby boomer's basically don't trust anyone over thirty right like only the youth get. My attitude was like no. You shouldn't trust people. 'til they're over thirty pretty committed to this these ideas but i think you see. I mean we see people. <hes> <hes> this is a a generation has every reason on some of the be totally disgusted totally cynical. I mean look at the person who occupies the the white house. Look at what's happening with climate change. I mean people have known about climate change. Scientists have known about climate change. The leaders of the most powerful corporations on earth leaders in government have known since long before the kids were born and they chose to suppress it in deny it in actively we subsidize these industries and yet <hes> so they should have every reason to be completely disgusted and yet here they are you know striking for the climate going out week after week they are you know pushing for for <hes> gun control we see this wave eve of really idealistic people in their late twenties and early thirties running for office you know and this is a market shift because you you know i was part of occupy wall street that was only two thousand eleven and the attitude there was no way no engaging with the system on that level we refuse to even make demands ends up this government right <hes> and we can debate the pros and cons of that and and we can debate the serve the purpose occupy served because i think it was it was it was important even if it was ineffectual in many ways but i'm happy to see people going beyond that and saying no we're willing to get our hands dirty and step into the fray pray because we have eleven years and who's gonna who's and if we don't do it. Nobody will so that <hes> i. I never have trouble finding hope. I almost find hopelessness. Listen to be kind of trite because i think if you have a historical gays it's impossible to deny the fact that people had so much harder than us so so then it's like well you know here we are talking on skype actually squad cast sorry go. I mean you know oh and and <hes> you know you just have some. I have some perspective you know. It's it's been worse. It's been worse and <hes> and you know and in the book says let's. Let's try to be good answers. Let's try to be the people we would respect if we were looking back. Kina doesn't mean that we have to win but we have to try yeah. I mean click beatty media landscape notwithstanding. I get some optimism from the fact that <hes> remarkable number of people are interested in listening to our long conversations about the nature of democracy so i hope i think no easy answers but but i think this this book ends with this image of you know. Let's let's not aspire to be founding fathers but perennial midwives like this is something we just have to do over and over sprint over again and and what what it means to get involved in you know im- enlarging democracy deepening democracy it really does depend on where you are in your community and what the people around you care about you know there is sure we can say things like go vote or something like that but but that should take you know an hour of your time the other questions and you know have they have a lot of best efficency and and we have to <hes> and they're not questions can answer by ourselves so and this sort of the right way to think of this jeffersonian persona impulse not that throw overthrow the government every twenty years but to continually renew it by actually engaging with it. I i think i think there is i agree with you. The historical view gives us. I actually believe it or not some source of optimism. Oh yeah no things are bad. Things are worse but only if we do. It doesn't have automatically right. Yeah and things could be better so i think this is you know it's always i. I always recommend studying social movements and and think about all the other work that has done to get us where we are today so let's keep going all right. Let's keep going after taylor. Thanks so much for being on the podcast. Thanks for having me. It's really really fun <music>.."
Sean Carroll's Mindscape: Science, Society, Philosophy, Culture, Arts, and Ideas