Behavior Design

Tristan Harris, a former product philosopher at Google:

Western Culture is built around ideals of individual choice and freedom. Millions of us fiercely defend our right to make “free” choices, while we ignore how we’re manipulated upstream by limited menus we didn’t choose. This is exactly what magicians do. They give people the illusion of free choice while architecting the menu so that they win, no matter what you choose. I can’t emphasize how deep this insight is…

By shaping the menus we pick from, technology hijacks the way we perceive our choices and replaces them new ones. But the closer we pay attention to the options we’re given, the more we’ll notice when they don’t actually align with our true needs.

April 2, 2019