Yesterday I was feeling frustrated with the digital world and picked up a book that had just come in the mail: Alexandra Rutherford’s “Beyond the Box: B.F. Skinner’s Technology of Behavior from Laboratory to Life, 1950s-1970s.” As I got to the chapter on token economies at Anna State Mental Hospital in Illinois, it all became crystal clear – the dopamine hits of social media are the tokens. They use them to program us.
So, I decided to back-off my social media footprint even further and rework what I imagine “success” to be. I keep telling myself it’s not a numbers game; it’s an intention game. My friend Cliff taught me that; he’s a smart guy, check out his channel. So now I have to have the gumption to put that belief into practice, even though I’ll admit it’s hard letting go of the idea that you have some big audience out there somewhere. None of it it is real, though, just a reflection.
I’m in the process of downloading an archive of my 20,000+ Tweets and will be deactivating @philly852 this weekend. Let people know if they wonder where I went. I do quietly hope some people will notice that I’ve gone despite the intense shadow-banning. Jason is working on a space housed on the blog where people who really want to unpack what I’ve been researching regarding mixed reality and gamified social impact finance can gather to compare notes. We’ll do a video about it once we have it up and running. I’m hoping we can store my tweets on the blog, because there are a lot of good links to primary source material for those who may be inclined to follow the trail we’ve been blazing.
The video below is a bit of a grumpy outpouring, but I do go on to read two of the chapters of the book aloud with commentary. The comment section is very lively, too! This is actually really important stuff and highly relevant. We don’t have to look to China or Tel Aviv or London – a lot of this mess was cooked up right in Cambridge, MA by the likes of Fred and his many colleagues intent on devising technologies to manipulate rats, pigeons, and beagles to do their bidding. Sometimes that involved steering bombs and being irradiated to death.
If you want to read it yourself, the link above is to a PDF of the book.