Opening Insights: We are What We Think
A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.
In 2019 Microsoft President Brad Smith coauthored a book with Carol Ann Browne to discuss the depth of the challenges we face in understanding the influence of technology in our lives. It illustrates the potential for good that technology possesses, but also highlights the potential for misuse. Awareness Communication Technology, LLC (AwareComm®), a multi-gold rated Microsoft research and development partner, digs a little bit deeper into the seriousness of this challenge. Research uncovered...
What if I told you that the thought processes which direct your emotions, decisions and actions have ceased to be owned and originated by you?
If not from you, then who? Wouldn’t you want to know?
The purpose of this blog is to provide an awareness for how big tech and online organizations have changed the way we interface with technology and other people, as well as changed the way we think and reason.
Informational Insights: What’s It All About?
In a 2017 TED Talk given by Tristan Harris, former design ethicist for Google, a scary picture of technology’s relationship with us is illustrated. Harris opens with the following statement (taken from the TED transcript):
I want you to imagine walking into a room, a control room with a bunch of people, a hundred people, hunched over a desk with little dials, and […] that control room will shape the thoughts and feelings of a billion people. This might sound like science fiction, but this actually exists right now, today.
Further into his talk, Harris describes the tech industry’s approach to their product as being "a race to the bottom of the brainstem.” Just what exactly does that mean, and what is so significant about the bottom of the brainstem?
By the way, you are their product – if the online service is free,
then it's likely that YOU are the product!
Our brainstem, or limbic cortex, is where the most basic of our reactionary functions are controlled. In a Psychology Today article, Joseph Troncale, M.D. discusses the limbic cortex, better known as the brainstem or lizard brain.
In 1954, the limbic cortex was described by neuroanatomists. Since that time, the limbic system of the brain has been implicated as the seat of emotion, addiction, mood, and lots of other mental and emotional processes. It is the part of the brain that is phylogenetically very primitive. Many people call it the "Lizard Brain,” because the limbic system is about all a lizard has for brain function. It is in charge of fight, flight, feeding, fear, freezing up, and fornication.
It is important to understand how this part of our anatomy functions, because the researchers at the big tech companies, ad agencies and online service providers such as Google, Facebook and YouTube (to name a few) have an exceptional understanding of it. Each of them have dedicated much of their resources to researching methods to bypass our higher thinking and decision-making functions to get straight down to that compulsive, obsessive and addictive core reactionary processing unit in our heads.
The brain has many layers of function and facets of complexity. It’s not just another muscle that stores your memories and grants an ability to think, it’s a delicate ecosystem in perpetual pursuit of balance.
The Race to the Bottom of the Brainstem begins at the Limbic Cortex, which houses the Amygdala. This is where our fear function is originated. It’s the base function of the brain that allows us to react without a whole lot of thinking. This is where many unfortunate people live their lives.
Next, we move on to the frontal lobes. This is where Ego and personality live and where functions like planning and problem-solving are originated.
If you look at the brain picture, you’ll see six distinct areas identified. They are listed in order of operation, starting with the Amygdala and ending with the Cerebral Cortex.
The methods used by ad agencies, technology companies, social media and the digital journalism are designed to seize your attention and guide your reactions at the lowest level of functioning. That ensures their message is accepted and acted upon without resistance. In fact, now that we’ve become accustomed to interacting with the world the way these influencers have conditioned us, it’s becoming more difficult, and seemingly impossible, to move into the higher brain functions.
Although many of us may think of ourselves as thinking creatures that feel,
biologically we are feeling creatures that think.
JILL BOLTE TAYLOR
When we’re trapped in the lower level brain functions, we never reach a spiritual connection nor tap into creativity, which is the putting together of two or more previously unrelated thoughts or ideas. Additionally, creativity is a direct solution to fear. Being afraid is just like being hurt, and when you’re being hurt, the only thing you can think about is making the pain stop.
As tech users we’ve been intellectually stunted!
Just imagine what it would be like to gain the ability to use your whole brain. AwareComm® blends Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Business Intelligence (BI) to create Human Intelligence (HI). HI is cultivated through Whole Brain Thinking, which is the pathway to creativity.
AwareComm® blends AI - BI - HI to raise Adaptive Intelligence (AdI™) , a skill that empowers the ability in individuals and teams to learn and apply knowledge in a manner where it becomes lasting change framed by wisdom.
Richard Jorgensen, Ph.D. (hc)
Now, back to Tristan Harris’s Ted talk (taken from the TED transcript):
I know because I used to be in one of those control rooms. I was a design ethicist at Google, where I studied how do you ethically steer people's thoughts? Because what we don't talk about is how the handful of people working at a handful of technology companies through their choices will steer what a billion people are thinking today.
Harris said something very disturbing, “how do you ethically steer people’s thoughts?” Good question!
Many would say that any form of mind control is unethical. What do you think?
First of all, judging by the cascading event of cultural destruction that Americans (and many others in nations all over the globe) are experiencing, it’s clear that the consequences, unintended or not, are a direct result of how tech companies have made the decision to change the way we think and interact with their products. Not only is our relationship with tech changing, our relationships with reality and the other people who share it with us are changing in fundamental ways.
Second, the term conflict of interest may describe a situation when a juror has a personal relationship with the accused on trial. Another example is when a public servant in charge of policy making is also the owner of a business that will be directly impacted by the result of the policy changes.
With these examples in mind it’s clear why a conflict of interest is something to avoid. Why bring this up? Isn’t it a conflict of interest when tech companies, which pull in revenue from advertising, have the power to influence thoughts for attention to, and in favor of, the products and services of the agency that paid for the service of influence?
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts:
therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions
unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.
Should any organization, commercial or nonprofit, religious or academic, governing or guiding, have the power to change how our thinking and behavior happens? The only thing that truly and exclusively belongs to us is that little space between our ears. The principle gifts that every human is born with are:
- Free Will – the ability to think as we may and to have our own thoughts, exclusive of others
- Discernment – the ability to see all of our choices and make a decision based on Free Will
Without those gifts, are we any different from artificial intelligence?
Just imagine, you open a webpage and are presented with the following questions:
- Do you agree to allow fakewebpage.com to have exclusive rights to your thinking and behavior?
- Does fakewebpage.com have permission to access your thoughts and subdue the ones that do not aid our participating advertisers in selling you more of their products and services?
- Do you agree to grant fakewebpage.com the ability to manipulate your perception of reality?
- Does fakewebpage.com have permission to direct your decisions based on the political views of our staff members?
- fakewebpage.com censors all content that passes through its domain to ensure its users have the experience that the fakewebpage.com board of directors intends for them to have – we don’t need your permission to do this.
Would you proceed, agreeing to check every box, granting fakewebpage.com permission to have control over your mind? Or better yet, all of those points may be written in small print with the following message flashing on your screen before you proceed:
By using fakewebpage.com you are agreeing to our terms of service.
Bear in mind, you may need to use fakewebpage.com in order to complete your responsibilities at work or school. You may need to use fakewebpage.com in order to stay connected with your friends and family. You may need to use fakewebpage.com in order to gain access to the health and well-being services you require. It may be the portal to your online banking. It may be the way you shop for groceries, select childcare, seek legal advice and so on…
So what if there is a conflict of interest! I don’t really have any other options!
If this seems a little unsettling, then just hold on to your seat. Big tech and web-based companies have whole divisions that are solely purposed with assessing, influencing and altering your thinking and behavior patterns to suit a specified purpose. The mere existence of these divisions is an admission by big tech and web-based companies to possessing the intent to change our brains.
Thereby, the existence of such divisions is a foundation to hold these organizations accountable in part for the cultural destruction of entire countries. The fact that they have put together the means to alter our thinking and behavior, and have used it for a purpose, points to deliberate and premeditated action.
Black’s Law Dictionary (online) defines deliberate and premeditated as an “act that is planned and has been considered before being carried out.” A murder that was deliberate and premeditated can be 1st degree murder and can carry with it the death penalty in some states.
For instance: I climbed my neighbor’s roof with a bucket of water that I intended to dump on his head as a practical joke when he comes out to get the paper (deliberate and premeditated). The bucket was large and heavy when filled up with water. As my neighbor exited and I got into position, the bucket slipped from my hands and without emptying struck him on the top of his head, applying enough blunt force trauma to kill him instantly.
I go to jail for life. I didn't mean to kill my neighbor, but my actions weren't accidental, they were planned. It didn't go the way I intended, but that doesn't matter. I am responsible and I am being held accountable.
We must hold accountable the organizations that have, through deliberate and premeditated actions, fundamentally changed the way we interact with the world and each other.
What Did They Do?
What did they (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, YouTube and more) do?
- Interfere in Government Elections
- Influence Your Thinking
- Sell Your Medical Records
- Stop Intelligent Discourse
- Steal Your Time and Attention
- Monitor You
- Eliminate Freedom of Speech
- Change How Your Brain Works
- Throttle Our Thinking Processes
- Replace Relationships
- Coming Soon: https://www.fastcompany.com/90446468/apple-wants-to-bypass-carriers-and-beam-internet-data-directly-to-iphones-via-satellites
The Shadow Culture™
Today’s organizations and communities are beset by an invisible foe that AwareComm® has come to define as the Shadow Culture™. The Shadow Culture™ is another way to describe what is known as social engineering, which is an undercurrent of hidden agenda and control characterized by:
- Deceive – removing The Truth, replacing it with a truth
- Divide – fanning the flames of adversity, pitting people against each other
- Conquer – fighting among themselves, people hardly notice when their choices are removed
The Shadow Culture™ is quietly, naturally neutralized when confronted by a space of principles, values and common goals. Flip through the AwareComm® Social Engineering eBook and visit the AwareComm® homepage to learn more about the Shadow Culture™ and the antidote.
The Shadow Culture™ removes individual choices, free-thinking and a sense of personal identity. This phenomenon can creep into successful organizations and tear them apart from the inside.
Irresponsible Use of Technology Led to
The Depth of Social Manipulation
Technology - - WEAPONS
It begins with a feeling of have to, which leads to the need to be in control, resulting in action to manage everything, but managing everything is impossible, which leads to an uncomfortable sense of uncertainty that we can even be in charge of our own lives.
We are made to feel responsible for things that we have no authority over, which leads to ANGER at others and a rejection of them and their ideas. This leads to sense of expectation that those who have caused your problems (because they couldn’t possibly be your fault) are responsible for fixing them.
Now you have entered a state of control. You are controlled by outside influences and seek to get into control of them. Once you’ve entered this state of mind it’s nearly impossible to get out.
Possibilities for Consideration: Changing Culture
Smallpox, measles, mumps and polio were all viruses which took the lives of so many and threatened our existence. Consider the method by which Jonas Salk discovered how to use a weakened or deceased virus to create a vaccine to help the body learn what the enemy looks like and how to beat him. This is how we confront the threat of the Shadow Culture™. Just as the antidote for polio was discovered and implemented, the problems we now face must be addressed with a similar approach.
The antidote for control and the Shadow Culture™ is Adaptive Intelligence (AdI™), which is the ability to see that a problem exists and that a change is needed. It empowers individuals to discover the means to change, to accept it and to implement it. Possessing this trait is what gives a culture the ability to sustain change, and not to fall back into the old thinking and behaviors that led to the problem in the first place.
As illustrated by the following graphic, the Shadow Culture™ is neutralized by the ability to see our choices, think freely and develop a sense of personal identity.
Responsible Technology Driving
The Adaptive Intelligence Wheel
AdI™ - - TOOLS
It begins with the knowledge and awareness to see all of your choices, which leads to the ability to make the best decision for you, coming from a place of clarity and conviction, which leads to courage and the ability to let go of what happens next.
From courage and letting go comes the ability to trust that the best decision was made and then to accept the consequences and be accountable.
This is the pathway to discovery; discovering something new, learning and seeing more choices so a better decision can be made. Thus travel around the wheel continues.
Making the Power of Whole Brain Thinking Available to Everyone
Whole Brain Learning is achieved through AwareComm's activation of AdI™. By raising Adaptive Intelligence, individuals become able to move beyond the base functions of their brain and to tap into all aspects of their thinking – to use their Whole Brain function. Whole Brain Thinking is natural to us, it's the natural process of thinking.
By learning how to use the whole brain and enter a state of Whole Brain Learning, individuals achieve an expanded level of perception, thinking and behavior based on all the brain’s processes. They are no longer susceptible to the tampering and conditioning by technology, advertising and media influence. As a result, the Shadow Culture™ never has a chance to get control through deceit. When individuals are not deceived then they never enter the cycle of Deceive, Divide and Conquer characterized by the Shadow Culture™.
Culture Value-ation Indicator
What would it be like if you knew what your coworkers were thinking and why they thought that way? Are they trapped in the Control Wheel potentially sabotaging the organization mission and dragging everyone else down with them? Or, are they firmly planted in the Adaptive Intelligence (AdI™) Wheel, always on the lookout for new ideas and methods for implementing them in order to be the change they want to see in the world?
The AwareComm® Culture Value-ation Indicator allows organizations to assess their employees and organization culture in order to assess and measure the Adaptive Intelligence (AdI™) in individuals and teams. The Culture Value-ation is available as a plugin in Microsoft Teams. The assessment results lay the groundwork for problem identification and for accountability.
Click on the Business and Socially Responsible Entrepreneurs eMod eBook™ to gain a foundation understanding of how AwareComm® raises Adaptive Intelligence (AdI™) to neutralize Social Cultural Manipulation by empowering Human Intelligence and cultivating a Readiness for Change.
Without AdI™ change cannot happen, reality is of little consequence and ideas and possibilities rarely become solutions.
Learn how AwareComm® raises AdI™ to strengthen Social Cultural Responsibility and create Cultures Responsive to Change.
Being accountable allows the recognition of reality and the personal ability to do something about it, which opens the door to discovery, which expands our perception of the choices we have.
AwareComm® is reaching its audience quietly and gently, but with great strength, to waken them to the reality of a game stacked against them and played at their expense. By raising Adaptive Intelligence (AdI™) through a foundation of Whole Brain Learning they achieve the ability to see what is being done to them and attain the power to do something about it.
Countering the Onslaught
The purpose of this blog is to provide an awareness for how big technology companies, online service providers and the media have changed the way we interface with technology and each other, as well as changed the way we think and reason. To reverse this damage will require focused efforts and a countering force of equal strength.
The war against the power centers who are influencing our thoughts cannot be won on the battlefield, as they have all the power. Victory over them will be realized only through the combined efforts of structured collaboration with a common focus. We can’t change them, but we can hold them accountable for what they’ve done and withdraw our participation in their models.
In order to combat this overwhelming power we must move from a centralized source of power (they have all the power), through the gateway of decentralization and into distributed networks by creating independent, interdependent networks.
It may now be clear why Adaptive Intelligence (AdI™) is so important to the businesses, organizations and schools that want to create internal and external cultures responsive to change.
If you have been searching for the means to understand and evolve the culture at work, home, worship and play to a culture of diversity, acceptance, truth and self-perpetuation, then welcome.
Complete the eMod SocraticQ Conversation below to learn more and discover how you could take an active role in undoing the damage caused by the irresponsible use of technology.
Add Your Insight
Take a moment and examine…
- As you reviewed the material above, what stood out to you?
- What is the potential impact, economically and/or socially?
- What action is needed to stop or support this idea?
- You may want to consider whether you:
- want to be aware of,
- should become supportive of,
- would want to be active in this topic?
I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Being willing is not enough; we must do.
LEONARDO DA VINCI