• We Are Hopelessly Hooked | The New York Review of Books (Jacob Weisberg, 25 février 2016)
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/02/25/we-are-hopelessly-hooked

    Some of Silicon Valley’s most successful app designers are alumni of the Persuasive Technology Lab at #Stanford, a branch of the university’s Human Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute. The lab was founded in 1998 by B.J. Fogg, whose graduate work “used methods from experimental psychology to demonstrate that computers can change people’s thoughts and behaviors in predictable ways,” according to the center’s website. Fogg teaches undergraduates and runs “persuasion boot camps” for tech companies. He calls the field he founded “captology,” a term derived from an acronym for “computers as persuasive technology.” It’s an apt name for the discipline of capturing people’s #attention and making it hard for them to escape. Fogg’s behavior model involves building habits through the use of what he calls “hot triggers,” like the links and photos in Facebook’s newsfeed, made up largely of posts by one’s Facebook friends.

    (…) As consumers, we can also pressure technology companies to engineer apps that are less distracting. If product design has a conscience at the moment, it may be Tristan Harris, a former B.J. Fogg student at Stanford who worked until recently as an engineer at Google. In several lectures available on YouTube, Harris argues that an “attention economy” is pushing us all to spend time in ways we recognize as unproductive and unsatisfying, but that we have limited capacity to control. #Tech_companies are engaged in “a race to the bottom of the brain stem,” in which rewards go not to those that help us spend our time wisely, but to those that keep us mindlessly pulling the lever at the casino.

    Harris wants engineers to consider human values like the notion of “time well spent” in the design of consumer technology. Most of his proposals are “nudge”-style tweaks and signals to encourage more conscious choices. For example, Gmail or Facebook might begin a session by asking you how much time you want to spend with it that day, and reminding you when you’re nearing the limit. Messaging apps might be reengineered to privilege attention over interruption. iTunes could downgrade games that are frequently deleted because users find them too addictive.

    A propos de quatre bouquins :

    Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, by Sherry Turkle

    Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, by Sherry Turkle

    Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters, and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web, by Joseph M. Reagle Jr.

    Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, by Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover

    #écrans #conversation #commentaires #addiction #critique_techno #temps #déconnexion via @opironet

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  • Get Rich U. - The New Yorker (avril 2012)
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/04/30/get-rich-u

    If the Ivy League was the breeding ground for the élites of the American Century, #Stanford is the farm system for #Silicon_Valley.

    (…)

    In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who were graduate students, showed Hennessy their work on search software that they later called #Google. He typed in the name Gerhard Casper, and instead of getting results for Casper the Friendly Ghost, as he did on AltaVista, up popped links to Gerhard Casper the president of Stanford. He was thrilled when members of the engineering faculty mentored Page and Brin and later became Google investors, consultants, and shareholders. Since Stanford owned the rights to Google’s search technology, he was also thrilled when, in 2005, the stock grants that Stanford had received in exchange for licensing the technology were sold for three hundred and thirty-six million dollars.

    In 1999, after Condoleezza Rice stepped down as provost to become the chief foreign-policy adviser to the Republican Presidential candidate George W. Bush, Casper offered Hennessy the position of chief academic and financial officer of the university. Soon afterward, Hennessy induced a former electrical-engineering faculty colleague, James Clark, who had founded Silicon Graphics (which purchased MIPS), to give a hundred and fifty million dollars to create the James H. Clark Center for medical and scientific research. Less than a year later, Casper stepped down as president and Hennessy replaced him.

    Hennessy joined Cisco’s corporate board in 2002, and Google’s in 2004. It is not uncommon for a university president to be on corporate boards. According to James Finkelstein, a professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, a third of college presidents serve on the boards of one or more publicly traded companies. Hennessy says that his outside board work has made him a better president. “Both Google and Cisco face—and all companies in a high-tech space face—a problem that’s very similar to the ones universities face: how do they maintain a sense of innovation, of a willingness to do the new thing?” he says.

    #tech_companies #startups #université

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  • This free online #encyclopedia has achieved what #Wikipedia can only dream of - Quartz
    http://qz.com/480741/this-free-online-encyclopedia-has-achieved-what-wikipedia-can-only-dream-of
    https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/rtr35pzs.jpg?quality=80&strip=all&w=1600

    Another benefit of the [#Stanford_Encyclopedia_of_Philosophy] SEP’s not being #crowdsourced is that minority views get more exposure. Wikipedia’s overview of feminist philosophy is hopelessly short. The SEP has dozens of meticulously researched entries. A 2012 survey by Wikimedia, Wikipedia’s parent organization, found that about 90% of its volunteers were men. “Its entries on Pokemon and female porn stars are comprehensive, but its pages on female novelists or places in sub-Saharan Africa are sketchy,” said the MIT Technology Review in its article The Decline of Wikipedia, which criticizes its byzantine editing hierarchy. The same goes for an important idea in philosophy: feminism. Wikipedia’s overview of feminist philosophy is hopelessly short. The SEP, on the other hand, is home to dozens of meticulously researched entries on the topic.

    So the SEP model works, and it has 1,500 fact-checked, peer-reviewed entries to prove it.

    (...)

    The #internet should look more like the SEP

    The SEP is a highly rare case of knowledge being separated from the trash heap. The question is, can we make more of the internet like this?

    #open_access avec un business model très intéressant (les bibliothèques universitaires investissent dans une fondation qui offre la promesse de mises à jour ad vitam eternam, promesse soutenue par la fondation-mère de Stanford).

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