Rene Directa Rene, Tristan Harris, Rene Directa discussed on Waking Up with Sam Harris
How to meditate you can read my book on the top. Waking up or you can read any one of a thousand other books, but I just want to encourage you to look into this. If you haven't because you will not learn to meditate by accident, and you won't learn it by jogging or hiking or playing music or doing any of the other things you do to feel good paradoxically. Once you know, how to meditate you can experience the same insights into the nature of your mind, while jogging and hiking and play music and doing all the other things you like to do. But you are very unlikely to have these insights and experience the associated change in your perception of yourself and the world without explicitly learning the practice of meditation. So if you haven't explored in this area, and you're looking for a New Year's resolution I recommend adding that to the list. And now for today's podcast. Today. I'm speaking with Rene Directa Rene is the director of research at new knowledge and the head of policy at the nonprofit data for democracy, and she investigates the spread of hyper partisan and destructive narratives across social networks. She's co authored a recent report on the the Russian disinformation campaign both before and since the twenty sixteen presidential election. And we talk about all that she's advised politicians and policymakers members of congress State Department her work has been featured in the New York Times and the Washington Post and CNN and many other outlets. She's a member of the council on foreign relations and a Truman national security project security fellow. She also holds degrees in computer science and political science from SUNY Stony Brook as you'll hear Rene was recommended to me by my friend, and former podcast guest Tristan, Harris. Recommended hers authority on just what happened with the Russian influence campaign in recent years and Rene did not disappoint. So without further ado, I bring you Rene Directa. I am here with Rene Directa Rene. Thanks for coming on the podcast. Thanks for having me Sam, I was introduced you through our mutual friend Tristan Harris, had you Notre stone just done, and I met in mid twenty seventeen I had written an essay about Botts, and he read it and he shared it to Facebook funny enough, and we discovered the mid about sixty mutual friends, even though we've never met and we met for breakfast couple days later, and he wanted to talk about what I was seeing the things I was writing about and how they intersected with his vision of social platforms as having profound impacts on individuals. My research into how social platforms are having profound impacts on policy and society, and we had breakfast hit it off and think had breakfast again a couple of days later, so fast, friends, Tristan is great. He's so many people will recall he's been on the podcast. And I think he's actually been described as the conscience. Of Silicon Valley has just in terms of how he has been sounding the alarm on the toxic business model of social media in particular. So you touched on there for a second. But give us a snapshot of your background. And how you come to be thinking about the problem of bots and also just the specific problem. We're gonna be talking about if the Russian disinformation campaign and hacking of democracy. Yes, that's sort of a convoluted way that I got to to investigating Russian disinformation. Actually started back in twenty fourteen. I became a mom, and I was a just moved to San Francisco, but prior and I had to get my kid onto a preschool waiting list. Which is not always. Yeah. Not like a nice preschool, just like a preschool. And I and I and I I knew California had Samantha vacs problems. And I started googling for the data sets California to pub- part department public health has public data sets where they tell you the vaccine. Nation recent schools, anyway, I looked and I thought God this is a is a disaster waiting to happen. And lo and behold a couple months later, the Disneyland measles outbreak infected happen. And I reached out to my congressman is the first time I've ever done that. And I said, hey, you know, we should have a law for this..