Posted by: Frank | April 13, 2022

Frank blogged on April 13, 2022 at 01:47PM

I’ve read Jonathan Haidt’s essay, Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid. I can summarize Haidt by saying the algorithms in social media are destroying our democratic society. We have devolved in to the very things that James Madison feared when writing the Constitution.

While Haidt makes many good points I don’t think he gets to the root cause, which I think is our acceptance that it is ok for corporations to make money from addiction.

In the United States we want to put all the blame of one’s problem on themselves. Thus, the only problem with addiction is the addict and the consequences they bring upon themselves.

Even after public trials and lawsuits against the tobacco industry that exposed they new nicotine is addictive and knew it causes cancer and yet still made money off of selling cigarettes, we give every industry with a business model that uses addiction to maximize profit and wealth a free pass.

In the beginning Facebook and Twitter did not make money, it wasn’t until they introduced algorithms to force content in front of users that they began making money. Research is showing the algorithms are optimized for addiction so that companies make more and more money.

The United States was founded upon the basic concept of freedom, and frankly that concept is no longer the prime directive of the United States. Today the United States is entirely driven by capitalism and the prime directive is to make a few people very rich, and a few rich people don’t need nor really want democracy.

Incremental changes could be made to that may slow our race toward self destruction, but I see no movement by anyone who wants to make actual change. Right now all talk of change is just theatre put on by those benefiting from the status quo.

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