Section Six - Additional Materials
Videos, exercises, books, games, papers and so on (updated regularly)
Last updated: 10 mar 2022
We will update this section regularly. If you have any suggestions, just let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a PowerPoint that will help you shine during a live session.
And here is a free course about designing human technology from the center of human technology.
Additional materials for section one - Our choice in human values
The Delft Institute of Positive design has a designed a 'design for happiness card deck'. Check the video below (2 minutes) or download the free card deck on their website.
In the introduction we referred to robo-ethics. Do robots deserve rights? Here is a video courtesy of our favorite heroes of Kurzgesagt.
Werner Herzog made this documentary about smartphones in traffic. Not a positive person, our Werner, but a very good documentary (30 minutes).
- Lindsey Lee Johnson wrote a book called The Most Dangerous Place on Earth. The story unfolds in an American high school in a world filled with rich kids trying to find their place. Smartphones, social media, (the lack of) true connections, image, distraction. Lindsey Lee Johnson paints a disturbing picture;
- Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff is a book about human values being threatened by technology;
- Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino is a book with essays on the impact of social media;
- David Levy wrote a book about the evolution of human-robot relationships: love + sex with robots.
- Nolen Gertz talks (12 minutes) about Nihilism and Technology. If making choices and being responsible is human, does technology dehumanize us? If you like the talk, go read the book.
Tristan Harris his testimonial on the impact of technology in congress (Pdf -> must read)!
The Verge published an article that shows that automating emotional tasks (in this case recognition of emotions) can't be trusted.
A video of 4 minutes on Snapchat Dysmorphia:
Additional materials for section two - The attention economy
First, the brilliant villain song by Bo Burnham (4 minutes)
Jaron Lanier gives a Ted Talk (15 minutes) on how to remake the internet.
Joe Rogan & Elon Musk in this animated conversation about social media vs reality.
Here is Robert Cialdini explaining our cognitive biases:
Some cool links:
- The ledger of Humane Tech with a lot of statistics on attention and the effect of attention;
- Book: The Attention Merchants by Tim Wu;
- Book: Nicholas Carr wrote THE SHALLOWS about the impact of the attention economy on our minds;]
- The way recommender systems from YouTube / Amazon & Netflix work explained in this great online paper;
- A study on Science Daily that states that time on screens has little impact on kids'social skills;
- And, yes, this study proves (the suggestion of) sex sells. Instagram post with bare skin are favoured by the Instagram Algorithms. Undress or fail!
Some tips on clickbait (4 minutes).
Check what Bill Hicks in the days before social media thinks about people working in advertising (3 minutes):
Check out the work of artist Benjamin Grosser. He made Safebook (everything Facebook without the content) and the Demetricator -> social media without numbers. Read the article in Wired here.
Or, buy likes yourself. See this video of the like - vending - machine of Dries de Poortter (40 seconds)
And, to make things more confusing, and bizarre, there is growing evidence that Ad-Tech just doesn't work. An article in wired with some links to books can be found here. A great book on the topic is Subprime Attention Crisis by Tim Hwang.
A great 15 minute TED Talk by James Bridle on the nightmarish videos on Youtube (on YouTube):
James Bridle also wrote a dark book: New Dark Age.
Additional materials for section three - Surveillance capitalism
A video (30 minutes) by Shoshana Zuboff explaining her book
Here is an example of what data your browser collects when you are browsing (clickclickclick.click)
The trailer of Netflix documentary the Social Dilemma. A bit Hollywood, but an important message. Trailer 2 minutes / documentary on Netflix 90 minutes.
Tristan Harris, ex-Google, runs the Center for Humane Technology (check it out!) Tristan Harris also gave a TED Talk where he explains how attention merchants operate (17 minutes) – highly recommended.
Additional materials for section four - Technology addiction
What can you do? The Center of Humane Technology lists all the ways you can take control. And they also have great toolkits for educators en for youth.
Second, this classic TED Talk by Sherry Turkle on the influence of social media (apps) on young people. The talk is called: Connected but alone? (20 minutes)
Next, Johann Hari talking about addiction being the opposite of connection (15 minutes):
Some books, articles & papers:
- The Atlantic published an article about how smartphones have destroyed an entire generation;
- Jaron Lanier wrote a book about deleting all your social media accounts;
- Natasha Dow Schull wrote a book on the relation between gambling addiction and app addiction;
- Rens van der Vorst wrote a book about the relationship between apps and smoking, this book is in Dutch, so an English essay can be found here;
- Adam Alter wrote a book (Irresistible), on the rise of addictive technologies;
Here is a four minute video on how our smartphone is changing us (also published in course one - section seven).
Some things to enjoy. First, one of our heroes, created a device that can operate a smartphone for you. Brilliant! It even has a compulsive opening weather app function (2 minutes):
Second, this commercial by Durex. An ingenious solution for improving your sexlife with your phone.
And, this simple solution that helps you with your smartphone addiction (1,5 minutes):
Or what about this great video in which Ritzo ten Cate does an experiment with the public (you can do that too, for example with students) and talks about his project Caught in the App (11 minutes):
Here is Russel Brand talking to experts about technology addiction and what you can do to protect yourself.
Or maybe a simpler solution (in the short video below):
- The Unpluq, a device to give you more control over when to use those addictive apps;
- Or use Binky, the perfect social media parody.
Big Tech - Big Lies?
Does Ad-Tech really work? There is growing evidence that it does not. Here is an article in Wired Magazine on the topic with a referral to a must-read book.
We have some exercises for you, that you can use to explore our relationship with our phones:
Additional assignment (1) – Secondhand App usage
One of the most annoying aspects of using our smartphones / apps is passive app usage. This is the concept that you become an involuntary “victim” of someone else’s app usage. It is an important concept, just look at the history of smoking, where secondhand smoke ultimately played a hugely important role in our changing attitude towards smoking. During this exercise you will consider which forms of secondhand app usage / passive app usage there are.
You determine when you yourself were the victim of passive app usage and how you felt about that. Also consider what you can do about it. You make a list that you share with your fellow students.
Learning outcome: You learn about the effects of app usage on your environment. You do not have to stop using your apps at all, but it is nice if you are not an “ass” with your smartphone. But what exactly is meant by that? What do others experience and what can you do about it?
Additional assignment (2) – Improve an App
Tristan Harris is the founder of Time Well Spent. He is a design ethicist who believes we should design our apps better. He believes we should have apps that put our values at the centre, not the values of the technology company. Snapchat, for example, has the Snapstreak. Is that fine or emotional blackmail? In this exercise you improve an existing app. What do you find important? Which values are central to you? Try to find out what is really important to you and consider whether the app complies with it? What do you like about the app, what do you dislike about the app? What would you improve about the app so that your values are central? Create a Mock-Up (a digital or drawn representation of the new app).
Learning outcome: You get to know your apps. You see which tricks the apps pull out and learn how to deal with them better. You think about how you use your apps and (perhaps) how you can better use them. How you can put your values at the core.
Additional assignment (3) – Rules of conduct
There are many publications on rules of conduct regarding the use of apps and smartphones. The most commonsense rule is, “don’t be an ass.” But what do you think? Which rules work and which do not work? What discussion can you have about this? Research possible rules of conduct for using the smartphone. Which rules do you like and which you don’t? And why not? Think of rules around education, work, meetings, pub, concert, dining out, at home, bedroom, etc … Choose the three most important rules and present them with an argumentation.
Learning outcome: You learn to think about rules. The experience is also that you will surprise yourselves (and each other) because you might often opt for very strict rules, which you would not expect from yourself, especially because you have an intense relationship with your phone too.
Additional material for section five - Quantified self
There is an official quantified self website with a lot of information.
This is an article in Wired on the Quantified Us - movement.
And - for people that like to look at videos, we have some suggestions. First we have Chris Dancy, the most connected man ever (19 minutes):
We have a talk by Maarten den Braber talking about the enormous possibilities (12 minutes). Mind you, the talk is 5 years old.
A final disclaimer
We realize that there are a lot of TED Talks in the crash courses and yes we do know that Ted Talks are kind of 'learn porn'. However, they are great for selling stuff, and we really would like to sell you the idea that thinking about the impact of technology is important. However,, as an antidote, we present you this TEDx Talk from Will Stephen who demonstrates that everyone can sound smart in a Ted Talk.
Do you have any suggestions? Let us know at email@example.com