Day: May 21, 2016

A taxonomy of unethical technology design patterns


Tristan Harris, formerly Google’s Design Ethicist and Product Philosopher, delves into the way that technology design can “hijack your attention,” by introducing casino-like intermittent reward; by framing a subset of possible actions as a comprehensive-seeming menu; by deliberately introducing a sense that you might miss out; by forcing you to move though a clickbaity newsfeed to access your friends’ updates; by paraphrasing one request (“where can we go for a quiet chat”) as another (“which nearby bars make good cocktails?”).


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JJ Abrams urges Paramount drop its lawsuit over fan Star Trek movie


Abrams directed the first two Star Trek reboot movies and is producing the third one for Paramount; he says he convinced the studio to drop its controversial lawsuit against Axanar, a crowdfunded fan-film (a suit that included a dubious claim about the copyrightability of the Klingon language) telling them that the lawsuit “wasn’t an appropriate way to deal with the fans.”


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Pat Buchanan on the Republican Party's historical opposition to free trade deals


Arch-conservative Patrick J Buchanan’s May column in American Conservative (an organ he founded) traces the history of the Republican Party’s position on free trade, arguing that the “party of Lincoln” opposed free trade deals from its first days (Lincoln: “I am in favor of a national bank… and a high protective tariff”) through to Reagan’s tariffs against Japanese motorcycles.

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