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With love and care, Prometheus molded humanity out of clay.
But humanity was weak, and they suffered greatly.
To empower us in our struggle against nature,
Prometheus stole a divine technology from the gods and gifted it to us,
Prometheus had defied the gods in service of humanity;
he defied the strong to serve the weak.
But defiance and change come at a price,
and the powerful do not always submit without a fight.
Prometheus was bound to a rock for eternity,
where an eagle would descend upon him each day and eat his liver.
In generation after generation,
the spirit of Prometheus returns to us and brings us fire.
Fire has the capacity to keep us warm and cook our food,
but it also has capacity to create weapons and destroy us.
We continually have to learn how to master it and use it carefully,
or we risk self-destruction.
In today’s essay, we explore the latest reincarnation of this story,
Edward Lytton said that the pen is mightier than the sword.
Ideas have a greater potental at changing the world than force.
It’s only in defence of our ideas, or our beliefs,
that we choose to raise swords in the first place.
For generations, ideas were limited to transmission by books.
Books are limited in time and space.
There’s a limit to how fast they can spread ideas.
But the internet travels at the speed of light.
The rate at which ideas can now spread is unprecedented.
If the pen is mightier than the sword,
is the internet mightier than the bomb?
And if ideas truly are more powerful than force,
we should use them constructively and not destructively,
in so far as that’s possible.
While the entirety of the internet is worth discussing,
today we’re going to be looking at a more basic, yet universal aspect of it,
A report done by the Royal Society for Public Health states
that social media usage is associated with
例如 焦虑 抑郁 睡眠质量差
increased rates of anxiety, depression, poor sleep quality,
body image issues, and cyber bullying.
In fact, rates of anxiety and depression in young people
have increased by 70 % in the last 25 years.
Body image issues are a problem for both genders,
but 9 in 10 teenage girls say that they are unhappy with their body.
7 out of 10 teens have experienced cyberbullying
and 37 % say they experience it very frequently.
这项报道还发现 脸书 推特 Ins和Snapchat
The report found that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat
have an overall negative effect on the well-being of the younger generation.
For this reason,
people are increasingly deciding to take a break from social media or walk away completely.
The benefits are often not worth the costs.
But social media also helps us express ourselves, connect with others
and get access to high-quality information.
YouTube, for example,was found to have a net positive effect on well-being
and even help those who feel anxious, depressed, orlonely.
Although, it still has its fair share of downsides.
Social media also plays an important role in activism,
such as in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.
Oppressive regimes often try to prevent and control the flow of information,
so they can control the people.
Social media can be leveraged to bypass this sort of totalitarian control.
Whether you think social media is good or bad, you’re right.
It’s a flame and we’re still learning to contain and master it.
但是 关于社交媒体的近期言论 立场不明
But the current dialogue about social media is very low resolution.
People shouldn’t have to leave these revolutionary technologies behind,
But they also shouldn’t suffer negative impacts
to their well-being by using them.
Social media is often referred to as a tool, and it is.
Tools are things that help us accomplish goals.
But this low-resolution comparison is actually pretty misleading.
Social media is a tool,
but it’s not a tool in the same way a hammer is.
It’s much more like a city.
Think about how much land there is on the Earth.
But we choose to live in relatively small areas of land called cities.
A city is a high density container for social interactions.
It allows us to get anything we need or want easier than we would
if we have to do it alone.
Cities are like living tools or organisms,
他们会成长 进化 甚至消亡
they grow, evolve, and even die.
Now think about how many webpages there are on the worldwide web.
We all choose to occupy a relatively small set of them
called social media.
Social media sites are also high-density containers for social interactions.
So, if we wanna understand social media,
we should start by understanding cities.
A city is made up of two worlds,
a world of ideas and a world of technology.
The world of ideas is the world of culture.
Culture contains stories, myths, or narratives
它们可以团结民众 阐述价值 和规范行为
that unite the people, describe what they value, and prescribe how to act.
Take the founding myth of Rome for example.
Most variations of the myth say that
Romulus killed his own brother, Remus,
in order to found Rome.
One interpretation of this myth is that
it’s a reminder to the Romans
that the glory of Roman is more important than even the love for your own brother.
The world of ideas and values manifests itself in the technology of the city.
The technology embodies the story and helpsperpetuate it.
Technology makes the story easier to liveout.
Growing up in Sparta would have been way different from growing up in Athens.
In one, the highest ideal was the soldier.
The entire city was designed to facilitate the achievement of this ideal.
In the other, the highest ideal is something like the well-educated citizen.
And the city was designed to faciliate the achievementof this ideal.
Sparta might have had more barracks and training grounds,
while Athens might have had more schools.
Of course, it’s likely that the true culture and technology of each city
is way more nuanced that I’m making it out to be.
But this is just to demonstrate a point:
every city is built upon a story.
Citizens that are born or live in that city
learn the story explicitly or implicitly,
so that they can grow and thrive.
A good story is useful to us;
it helps us act in a way that is beneficial.
Technology makes certain actions easier.
When certain actions become easier,
the story they are a part of becomes more believable.
The person who controls the story controls the people,
and with the right technology, certain stories are easier to believe.
If social media is a city,
what story is it built on?
If Sparta is designed to produce soldiers, and Athens to produce well-educated citizens,
what is social media designed to produce?
I think the answer is the consumer.
Social media tries to produce individuals
他们观看所有视频 阅读所有内容 点击所有网页
who watches everything, read everything, and click on everything,
that is their highest ideal.
This story is probably best embodied in a technology you’re familiar with:
Newsfeeds are designed to watch your interactions
and maximize the amount of time you spend on them.
They do this by adapting to you.
To evolve, they continually have to give us novel stimuli
and see how we react to it.
In other words, they are always presenting us with the unknown.
Humans have an interesting relationship withthe unknown.
We are drawn to it.
We need to categorize it.
The unknown always presents an opportunity for reward and growth,
but it also presents an opportunity for punishment and death.
You see, humans have an innate negativity bias.
Negative things capture our attention more than positive things.
This is because negative things can end us,
while positive things can just make our lives better.
Threatening things weigh heavier on our mind than the non-threatening.
Because newsfeeds are optimized for attention,
their default experience, over the long run is often a negative one.
When you’re continually presented with new information,
The negative and threatening stuff
will always capture your attention more than the positive stuff.
People find threatening varies from person to person.
You might focus on whether people are better looking than you,
身体更强壮 头脑更聪明 工作更努力或更有才华
stronger than you, smarter than you, worker harder, or more talented,
or you may be drawn to fake news.
Since we often spend more time analyzing and assessing threat,
we pay more attention to it.
And we get recommended similar things more and more on our newsfeeds.
As a result,
our newsfeeds often become vicious cycles of
negativity and comparison interspersed with the occasional reward.
So, how do we solve this problem?
Because it was the only social medium
shown to have a net-positive effect on the youth,
I think we should look to YouTube for some answers.
The one thing that I think makes YouTube vastly different from every other plat form
is the search capability.
Before YouTube became the big social medium it is,
it was first and foremost a search engine.
In order to create a successful search engine,
you have to take massive amounts of unorganized information and organize it.
By doing this,
YouTube made a much more ordered experience for us, the users.
We could type in the thing we valued or the topic that we were interested in.
You can find a community based on that.
I believe it’s the amount of control that YouTube gives us over our experience
that makes it more positive.
We can search for a topic that we’re interested in
and find a video that we like.
We see that the channel that made it
produces more content on that topic.
So we subscribe to that channel.
We start to build a subscription feed
that is purely based on our interests and values.
Our newsfeeds monitor our searches, subscriptions, and video history
and offer us more recommendations based on that.
The YouTube experience largely revolves around our interests and values.
It gives us a lot more control in directing our attention from the start.
你可以一直搜索新事物 订阅 取消订阅
You can always search new things, subscribe, unsubscribe,
and restructure the whole experience around your new interests and values.
The YouTube culture has always been about creating community.
This is way different from every other social medium
because most of your connections on those platforms
你的位置 学校 工作或其它随意的变量为基础
are based on location, school, work or other random variables.
The default experience on most other platforms is being told what to look at
and the culture is often dominated by status and image.
So how can we apply this lesson to other social media platforms?
Social media sites are digital cities.
Their workers are like the governing bodies.
And, as the citizens,
I think we should have the tools to make digital homes.
A digital home is an ordered experience
that you’ve made for yourself based on your interests and values.
It should be the default experience.
When the chaotic novelty of newsfeeds are the default experience,
without any tools to bring order to them,
我认为 长远来讲 我们将不断收获消极体验
I argue that we’ll always have a negative experience in the long run.
Newsfeeds are designed to create consumers.
A digital home on the other hand would be designed to furtheryour development.
Let me give you an example of creating a digital home.
On Twitter, I have everyone muted.
My newsfeed is blank and useless.
相反 根据关注原因 我将所有人都组成列表
Instead, I have everyone organized into lists based on why I follow them.
Some people I follow for art, some for philosophy,
and some because they’re friends.
The default experience, when I log into Twitter
isn’t to have a bunch of things recommended to me
based on what Twitter thinks will capture my attention.
Instead, it’s my choice to pick which list I want to read.
The mute and list functions are incredibly powerful is bypassing the default newsfeed
and constructing something like a digital home on Twitter.
I think it’s important to bypass the newsfeed
as the default experience on every social media, as much as it’s possible.
And focus on creating a digital home based on your interests and value.
And I think it’s important
that social media companies give us the tools to make this possible.
Because, without these tools, we lose control,
and without control, our attention no longer belongs to us.
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例如数学 物理 天文学 甚至还有电脑网站
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一如既往 感谢收看 下次再见
As always, thanks for watching. And I’ll see you next time.