Summary of “Invisible Manipulators of Your Mind”

Kahneman presented their new model of the mind to the general reader in Thinking, Fast and Slow, where he characterized the human mind as the interrelated operation of two systems of thought: System One, which is fast and automatic, including instincts, emotions, innate skills shared with animals, as well as learned associations and skills; and System Two, which is slow and deliberative and allows us to correct for the errors made by System One.
The field of behavioral economics, a subject pioneered by Richard Thaler and rooted in the work of Kahneman and Tversky, has taken up the task of figuring out how to turn us into better versions of ourselves.
Behavioral economics will increasingly be providing the behavioral insight that drives digital strategy.
In conjunction with big data, behavioral science has become an extraordinarily powerful tool in the world of business and finance, and Kahneman has not shied away from these applications.
Since the electoral surprise of November 8, 2016, the magical tale of behavioral science making the world a better place has been replaced by a darker story in the public mind.
In videos made by Cambridge Analytica’s research wing, the Behavioral Dynamics Institute, the group describes strategies for appealing directly to people’s underlying fears and desires in ways that are continuous with the insights of behavioral economics, but that seem less scrupulous about employing lies or half-truths to influence System One motivations.
According to Issenberg, in 2006, a private group at the University of California, Los Angeles, called the Consortium of Behavioral Scientists, which was run by psychologist Craig Fox and included Kahneman and Thaler, began to persuade Democrats that they needed to employ behavioral science.
In a more combative and unstable environment there must clearly be greater concern about our capacity to regulate the uses of behavioral science, the robustness of the fundamental research, and the political or financial motivations of any behavioral initiatives to be employed or countered.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Invisible Manipulators of Your Mind”

Kahneman presented their new model of the mind to the general reader in Thinking, Fast and Slow, where he characterized the human mind as the interrelated operation of two systems of thought: System One, which is fast and automatic, including instincts, emotions, innate skills shared with animals, as well as learned associations and skills; and System Two, which is slow and deliberative and allows us to correct for the errors made by System One.
The field of behavioral economics, a subject pioneered by Richard Thaler and rooted in the work of Kahneman and Tversky, has taken up the task of figuring out how to turn us into better versions of ourselves.
Behavioral economics will increasingly be providing the behavioral insight that drives digital strategy.
In conjunction with big data, behavioral science has become an extraordinarily powerful tool in the world of business and finance, and Kahneman has not shied away from these applications.
Since the electoral surprise of November 8, 2016, the magical tale of behavioral science making the world a better place has been replaced by a darker story in the public mind.
In videos made by Cambridge Analytica’s research wing, the Behavioral Dynamics Institute, the group describes strategies for appealing directly to people’s underlying fears and desires in ways that are continuous with the insights of behavioral economics, but that seem less scrupulous about employing lies or half-truths to influence System One motivations.
According to Issenberg, in 2006, a private group at the University of California, Los Angeles, called the Consortium of Behavioral Scientists, which was run by psychologist Craig Fox and included Kahneman and Thaler, began to persuade Democrats that they needed to employ behavioral science.
In a more combative and unstable environment there must clearly be greater concern about our capacity to regulate the uses of behavioral science, the robustness of the fundamental research, and the political or financial motivations of any behavioral initiatives to be employed or countered.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Perils of “Survivorship Bias””

Recently, Katy Milkman, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, got to chat with Mullainathan about survivorship bias and the poor decisions it can produce in an interview for the podcast Choiceology.
What the population is suffering from here is survivorship bias.
Survivorship bias is an error that arises because we look at the data we have but ignore the selection process that led us to have those data.
Anybody who’s had a set of positive, lucky events that led them to be successful in life-they don’t think of themselves as people who happened to get Whatever Incorporated right and then happened to get Johnson Incorporated right.
So I think survivorship bias really colors how we look at the world, because it leads us to look at these highly selected events and then make inferences and say, “Oh, that manager and that person must be good.”
How can people avoid falling prey to these kinds of biases?
Whatever the claim-it could be “I’m good at blank” or “Wow, we have a high hit rate” or any sort of assessment-then you think about where the data comes from.
What are all the other things that could have happened that might have led me to not measure it? In other words, if I say, “I’m great at interviewing,” you say, “Okay. Well, what data are you basing that on?” “Well, my hires are great.” You can counter with, “Have you considered the people who you have not hired?”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “CCPA FAQ: A citizen’s guide to America’s first privacy law”

Many of these companies tell me they’ll participate when Congress passes a federal data privacy law, which they know isn’t likely anytime soon.
What’s different is that the CCPA doesn’t require companies to minimize the data they collect in the first place.
Privacy advocates also think the CCPA is sorely missing the ability for consumers to file lawsuits against companies that violate their rights.
You have to go to each and every company to exercise your CCPA rights.
If you think a company is violating your privacy – or violating the CCPA – you can complain to the California attorney general.
The list below includes many of the companies where I’ve submitted CCPA requests, with the best links I could find to exercise the rights to opt out of sale, access and delete data.
I’ve separated out the companies that have indicated they’ll offer CCPA rights to all Americans.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation offers a simple guide on its website, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center has a handy draft form letter to use in cases where companies don’t offer web forms.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘They know us better than we know ourselves’: how Amazon tracked my last two years of reading”

Tucked into the dozens of files were also two Excel spreadsheets, more than 20,000 lines each, with titles, time stamps and actions detailing my reading habits on the Kindle app on my iPhone.
Amazon knows more than just what books I’ve read and when – it also knows which parts of them I liked the most.
Who is this information shared with, what is done with it, and how can it affect my privacy – and the future of the reading experience itself?
Aggregated data is used to show which parts of books have most frequently been highlighted, as Kindle customers can see while reading.
From my reading history, which included books on self-help and mental health, Amazon could easily make inferences about my personal health, career and hobbies.
Though Amazon says it is not currently sharing the insights gleaned from reading habits with anyone else, that the company holds on to the data shows it could be used in the future, said Alastair Mactaggart, an advocate who co-wrote the ballot measure behind the California Consumer Privacy Act.
“There is no reason Amazon or any other company needs to collect that kind of information to provide you with the service, which is simply reading a book,” said Evan Greer, the director at privacy activist group Fight for the Future.
To limit the amount of data Amazon can collect on them, a number of readers are bypassing Amazon’s approved file formats and downloading pirated books to Kindle.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Amy Orben: ‘To talk about smartphones affecting the brain is a slippery slope'”

There’s still so little high-quality data about what we as a society and our children are actually doing with technology, across the wide range of technologies we use on a daily basis.
In the absence of that data, is it significant that many leading Silicon Valley figures make a point of restricting their own children’s social media and smartphone use? I think the coverage about certain Silicon Valley bosses and their children can be quite misleading because they are a very privileged and elite subsection of society.
We regularly over-generalise social media and technology’s effects, and that’s because those technologies are new.
You’ve criticised the Royal College of Psychiatrists international congress in London last year for fostering the idea that social media was “Depleting our neurotransmitter deposits”, without any evidence to support the claim.
To talk about smartphones affecting the brain is a really slippery slope because there haven’t been a lot of brain-specific studies done.
There is a widespread belief that smartphones cause a dopamine kick and dopamine kicks lead to addiction.
So even if smartphones do that, it’s circular reasoning.
How much do you use your smartphone? And does it ever give you cause for concern? I’ve used smartphones and social media since I was a teenager.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Deleting Your Online DNA Data Is Brutally Difficult”

Deleting my data there was simple: With a click, it disappeared from view.
I was told that the tools for deleting my data and sample from 23andMe’s records were “Not currently available.” I had to wait until May 25, 2018, when the company planned to roll out new privacy tools in compliance with Europe’s data-protection regulations, the GDPR.A screen capture shows a notice that 23andMe users get about federal laboratory rules when they discard their DNA samples.
There was another problem: Deleting my genetic information at my request is against federal law.
Fourteen frustrating customer-service emails later, I ascertained that the “Minimal amount” of information the company was required to keep on hand was, essentially, all of my raw genetic information.
Helix, which bills itself as the “App store” for DNA, processes the DNA sample and then shares the relevant data with other companies from which consumers purchase tests for interpretation.
This seemed to spell it out most clearly: When you delete your DNA information, you are mainly hiding your information from yourself.
Hazel, the researcher studying the privacy policies, said even if a company did offer to delete all your data, it’s unlikely that it could really purge your information from all the places it had already wound up.
In two studies in 2013, researchers showed it was possible to identify people from anonymous DNA information.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Digital Capitalism Marx Might Enjoy”

Private ownership of capital is the defining feature of most of the world’s economies.
Not for nothing did Karl Marx title his indictment of industrial economies, simply, Capital.
The world may soon face a new era of conflict between labor and capital, based on a relationship between the two far different from that which animated Marx.For most of industrial history, capital meant tangible things like looms and furnaces and other machines that you could see and smell and fall into if you were insufficiently cautious.
On the one hand, as machines grow increasingly autonomous, capital will need fewer workers.
Within the elite firms developing and deploying the technologies that are changing the economy, the most valuable corporate capital is the culture-the procedures and norms that shape interactions between highly skilled workers, turning their individual expertise into profitable new ways of doing things.
In the book, Radical Markets, Eric Posner and Glen Weyl describe a very different way to give people control of, and a right to the value of, their contribution to capital.
The case for such a radical approach grows as information accounts for more of the indispensable capital in the economy.
With new capital comes a new capitalism-perhaps one, finally, that Marx could warm to.

The orginal article.

Summary of “An Existential Crisis in Neuroscience”

Neuroscientists have made considerable progress toward understanding brain architecture and aspects of brain function.
“Maybe human brains aren’t equipped to understand themselves,” I offered.
“What a car does is trivial compared to its engineering. What a human brain does is trivial compared to its engineering. Which is the great irony here. We have this false belief there’s nothing in the universe that humans can’t understand because we have infinite intelligence. But if I asked you if your dog can understand something you’d say, ‘Well, my dog’s brain is small.’ Well, your brain is only a little bigger,” he continued, chuckling.
“The same is true for pathology. There are many incurable diseases, such as schizophrenia, that don’t have a biomarker related to the brain. They’re probably related to brain wiring but we don’t know what’s wrong. We don’t have a medical model of them. We have no pathology. So in addition to fundamental questions about how the brain works and consciousness, we can answer questions like, Where did mental disorders come from? What’s wrong with these people? Why are their brains working so differently? Those are perhaps the most important questions to human beings.”
Will my brain, as intricate as it may be, ever be able to make sense of the two exabytes in a mouse brain?
A masterly deep neural network still doesn’t grant us a holistic understanding of the human brain.
In contrast to the dizzying heap of connections in real brains, DNNs typically connect different brain areas in a simple chain, from one “Layer” to the next.
Maybe one day, as they grow stronger building on more cortical anatomy, they will be able to explain those patterns back to us, solving the puzzle of the brain’s interconnections, creating a picture we understand.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Can my boss read my Slack messages?”

“The company may have a duty to preserve and produce that information if you’re part of a lawsuit,” explains Brad Harris, the vice president of product at Hanzo, a company that provides a third-party, data-preservation app that works in conjunction with Slack.
“For employees, an employer’s rights to access your data are controlled by your employment agreement and by the laws that govern that – not by Slack,” said a Slack spokesperson in an email.
Law enforcement and legal processes can get your Slacks, too One route to your private Slack messages being revealed? A lawsuit.
If you think there’s evidence that could help prove your case on Slack – inappropriate messages from your boss, for example – you can fight for those records to be legally “Discoverable,” meaning your old company will have to produce them.
We couldn’t immediately find an example of when a US FOIA request has led to the release of Slack messages from within a government agency, if only because it’s unclear how many local, state, and federal government workers are using Slack.
Your coworkers can also get info on you, though it may not be that interesting Do you just have a regular employee Slack account? You can still get some info on your coworkers via Slack.
Another interesting thing you can find out through Slack Analytics is which of your coworkers has sent the most messages of all time or in any given month, though it’s unclear how useful these stats are.
It’s important to remember that even if your coworkers or even your boss might not have easy access to your private Slack messages, there’s still a lot they can learn about you based on your profile, like your time zone, your contact information, phone number, location, and social media.

The orginal article.