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Their.tube

Have you ever found yourself wondering how it’s possible that people believe the things that they do? The truth is, they’re probably wondering the same about you.

The reason for this disconnect is the algorithms we all rely on to filter and curate the news we consume. Because these algorithms are trained to give us more of the content we’re already drawn to, the way that the world is presented to each of us can look vastly different. Exposing these differences is why their.tube was created:

Theirtube is a Youtube filter bubble simulator that provides a look into how videos are recommended on other people’s YouTube. Users can experience how the YouTube home page would look for six different personas. Each persona simulates the viewing environment of real Youtube users who experienced being inside a recommendation bubble through recreating a Youtube account with a similar viewing history.

The personas currently available are: liberal, conservative, prepper, climate denier, fruitarian and conspiracist. Take a look. It’s genuinely alarming to see the stark contrast in how the world is presented.

This Video Will Make You Angry.

Whilst sifting through my news feed this morning I was reminded of this gem by CPG Grey on the way the way the media weaponises our emotions in order to get us to share their content.

Just as germs exploit weak points in your immune system, so do thought germs exploit weak points in your brain; aka emotions. Once inside, thought germs that press emotional buttons get their hosts to spread them more – measurably more…

…Awe is pretty good which is why websites that construct thought germs like biological weapons, arm them with titles like “7 Whatever’s That Will Blow Your Mind”, or “The Shocking Secret Behind This…Thing”. But anger is the ultimate edge for a thought germ. Anger bypasses your mental immune system and compels you to share it like nothing else.

Absolutely brilliant.

"If we could see the whole truth of any situation, our only response would be one of compassion."
How technology changes our brains.

An excellent interview with Nicholas Carr, author of “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.” The central thesis of Carr’s book is that the internet hasn’t just changed how we access information, but how our brains treat it:

My brain, I realized, wasn’t just drifting, it was hungry. It was demanding to be fed the same way the net fed it — and the more it was fed, the hungrier it became.

How to find focus and calm by becoming a digital minimalist.

Most of us spend too much time staring at screens, just as most of us spend too much money on things we don’t need. Yet the idea of giving up these things feels like self deprivation.

Minimalism isn’t necessarily about living an austere life though, it’s about being more mindful of how we use our resources. Or as Jory MacKay puts it:

The modern minimalist movement stems from a desire not just for less stuff. But for more control and intention in how we spend our time and energy.

Well worth a read if you’re suffering from smartphone fatigue.