Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes Says Company Should Be Broken Up

In a nearly 6,000 word opinion essay published online Thursday in the New York Times, Mr. Hughes said the Facebook chief executive has gained power that is both “unprecedented and un-American.”

.. In 2017, Sean Parker, Facebook’s founding president, told Axios that the platform was designed around social validation.

Chamath Palihapitiya, the company’s former vice president of growth, took a harsher tone in a talk at Stanford University, saying “short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works.” He later softened his comments after being rebuked by Facebook.

.. In his essay, Mr. Hughes said he hasn’t seen Mr. Zuckerberg in person in nearly two years. He said his former Harvard classmate is a “good, kind person” whom the U.S. government needs to hold more accountable for the immense power Facebook wields.

“For too long, lawmakers have marveled at Facebook’s explosive growth and overlooked their responsibility to ensure that Americans are protected and markets are competitive,” Mr. Hughes wrote.

The real problem with Facebook is not a data leak

The little networking site is now a business colossus that’s affecting our minds and our relationships.

“Every publisher knows that, at best, they are sharecroppers on Facebook’s massive industrial farm.”

.. Indeed, Facebook has come to look a lot like the agricultural giants that control much of what we eat in this country. Recent documentaries have revealed the way “King Corn” or “Big Sugar” influences our eating habits, with little to no pushback or oversight.

.. Some former Facebook employees allege that “the platform’s features were consciously engineered to induce a dopamine hit to keep people hooked.” Author and professor Adam Alter compares these new technologies and smart devices to slot machines and other addictive substances in terms of their impact on our minds and physical well-being — as well as on our inability to turn away.

2017 Was Bad for Facebook. 2018 Will Be Worse.

The tech giant’s carefree years of unregulated, untaxed growth are coming to an end.

Facebook is projected to boost sales by 46 percent and double net income, but make no mistake: It had a terrible year. Despite its financial performance, the social media giant is facing a reckoning in 2018 as regulators close in on several fronts.

The main issue cuts to the core of the company itself: Rather than “building global community,” as founder Mark Zuckerberg sees Facebook’s mission, it is “ripping apart the social fabric.”

Those are the words of Chamath Palihapitiya, the company’s former vice president of user growth. He doesn’t allow his kids to use Facebook because he doesn’t want them to become slaves to “short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops.”

Palihapitya’s criticism echoes that of Facebook’s first president, Sean Parker: “It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other … God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

.. Facebook, like Google, books almost all its non-U.S. revenue in Ireland with its low corporate tax rate — and pays most of it to a tax haven for the use of intellectual property rights. The practice resulted in a 10.1 percent effective tax rate for Facebook in the third quarter of 2017.

.. On Tuesday, Facebook announced that it will start booking revenue from large ad sales in the countries they occur, not Ireland.

Are You a ‘Testosterone’ or a ‘Dopamine?’

Are You a ‘Testosterone’ or a ‘Dopamine?’

Why do we fall in love with one person and not another?

This question has vexed philosophers, psychologists and poets for generations. The theories—proximity, pheromones, timing—don’t fully explain the mystery. We can be in a room full of attractive, available strangers—and be open to love—and still choose one person over all others.

 .. She found them—and, in the process, she developed a broad personality test that, unlike many others, is based on brain science rather than psychology. The Fisher Temperament Inventory measures temperament, which comes from our genes, hormones and neurotransmitters.
.. She identified four systems, each with its own host of traits: the dopamine, serotonin, testosterone and estrogen systems. Dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters, govern our “stay or go” scale, which decides how comfortable we are exploring unknown risks or whether we prefer the familiar. Testosterone and estrogen are hormones and determine the extent to which our brains express male or female traits.
.. People high on the dopamine scale tend to be adventurous, curious, spontaneous, enthusiastic and independent. They have high energy, are comfortable taking risks and are mentally flexible and open-minded.
.. Serotonin types are very social, traditional, calm and controlled, conscientious and detail-oriented. They love structure and making plans.
.. Testosterone types are direct and decisive, aggressive, tough-minded, emotionally contained, competitive and logical. They have good spatial skills and are good at rule-based systems, such as math or music.
.. Estrogen types are intuitive, introspective, imaginative, empathetic and trusting. They’re emotionally intelligent.
.. People high in dopamine activity and people high in serotonin activity gravitate toward people like themselves.
.. People high in testosterone or high in estrogen tend to like their opposites.

‘We’re designing minds’: Industry insider reveals secrets of addictive app trade

The average Canadian teenager is on track to spend nearly a decade of their life staring at a smartphone, and that’s no accident, according to an industry insider who shared some time-sucking secrets of the app design trade.

CBC Marketplace travelled to Dopamine Labs, a startup in Venice, Calif., that uses artificial intelligence and neuroscience to help companies hook people with their apps.

Named after the brain molecule that gives us pleasure, Dopamine Labs uses computer coding to influence behaviour — most importantly, to compel people to spend more time with an app and to keep coming back for more.

Co-founder Ramsay Brown, who studied neuroscience at the University of Southern California, says it’s all built into the design.

Brown says he hopes by speaking to CBC, Canadians will be more informed about how they’re being manipulated to spend so much time using apps.

To make a profit, companies “need your eyeballs locked in that app as long as humanly possible,” he says. “And they’re all in a technological arms race to keep you there the longest.”

.. “Just by controlling when and how you give people that little burst of dopamine, you can get them to go from using [the app] a couple times a week to using it dozens of times a week.”

Why can’t we read anymore?

My daughter didn’t even dance, she just wandered around the stage, looking at the audience with eyes as wide as a two-year old’s eyes starting at a bunch of strangers. It didn’t matter that she didn’t dance, I was so proud. I took photos, and video, with my phone.

And, just in case, I checked my email. Twitter. You never know.

..

  • New information creates a rush of dopamine to the brain, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good.
  • The promise of new information compels your brain to seek out that dopamine rush.

With fMRIs, you can see the brain’s pleasure centres light up with activity when new emails arrive.

So, every new email you get gives you a little flood of dopamine. Every little flood of dopamine reinforces your brain’s memory that checking email gives a flood of dopamine. And our brains are programmed to seek out things that will give us little floods of dopamine.