A Blog by Jonathan Low


Dec 30, 2019

How Has Tech's Measurement Of Everything Affected Human Performance?

Humanity has responded predictably to the behavioral economics of manipulation.

Digitally transmitted pings, buzzes, scores, pop up questions and the like attract attention and, usually, a reaction. Which was exactly the point of applying such stimuli. But the longer term question is whether the broader societal outcomes already becoming evident are worth the short term benefits to the companies who set these performance altering processes in motion. JL

Tyler Bettilyon reports in One Zero:

Feedback is a powerful determinant of human behavior. We respond to social pressure, blinking red lights, and new scores. Whatever gets measured gets managed. Measuring impact necessitates measuring and managing users. Companies will send you measurements, multiple times per day. “As attention gets more competitive, we have to crawl deeper down the brainstem to get you addicted to getting attention from other people.” Most of us cannot help but be affected. We’ve become so accustomed to this feedback loop that the lack of notifications is a signal of its own.  “First we shape our tools, thereafter they shape us.”


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