Our Cognitive Biases in Audiophilia and Social Media

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Analogous

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I start with apologies as the article I am sharing discusses Social media algorithms recognize our cognitive biases and reinforce them, even if it is misinformation in the context of the Corona virus pandemic. Hifivision is a social media platform albeit one focussed on a interest/passion on things related to audio visual experiences and I thought the insights from the article could to an extent apply here too. (Does Hifivision use any algorithms?)
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This is about our cognitive biases and social media in general. The context is the Corona virus pandemic and the epidemic of misinformation all around.
Quote: “Medical misinformation is nothing new, but I think we can all agree that the coronavirus pandemic has added fuel to the misinformation fire. For the first time in modern memory, we have a medical issue that literally affects everyone — and it's a particularly scary one, emerging out of nowhere, with a bizarre range of effects, from asymptomatic illness to particularly disturbing deaths, to bizarre long-haul symptoms.

But there's another culprit besides COVID-19 itself that has led to this so-called infodemic: social media.
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I want to be clear here: No one is immune to biases. Cognitive biases are hard-wired into our brains through millennia of evolution. In many cases, they are beneficial. But social media is doing to our brains what fast food did to our bodies. For thousands of years, our ability to store excess energy as fat was literally life-saving. Now, it is maladaptive. For thousands of years, our quick-thinking heuristics led to a flourishing of human culture. Now, social media has made this maladaptive.”

I thought some (Not all) principles may apply to some of our long and dearly held beliefs in audiophilia.
Here it is; Read, Ponder, Laugh and Enjoy! (If you get upset reading this ponder some more)
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https://www.medscape.com/viewarticl..._wir&uac=137883EN&spon=17&impID=3358802&faf=1
 
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bloredude

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Social media is powerful. We all know that. What we often tend to ignore is that social media is also finance driven. Social media is also ideology driven. Social media is also nationalism driven. Be it Twitter, be it Weibo, be it Google, be it Yandex - they all serve us content based on algorithms. These algorithms are what gives these platforms a personality.

It would be utmost naivety to think these are mere innocent websites. We are already living in the future where AI (software code) is driving our life, giving it a direction, shaping a narrative, shaping an opinion. These websites are building images of stuff in our subconscious mind the way it suits their agenda.

Let's say there is a state in western Europe/Scandinavia and we come across a video on YouTube about it. What is the topic like? Infrastructure projects, scientific research, social research, how initiatives taken by the public and private entities there are improving the lives of people there. So what is the image that forms in our subconscious brains when we learn about those countries? The image is that of a progressive society, full of positivity.

Then we come across videos on South Asian states. What is the topic like? Girl education, prostitution, slums, poverty. What is the image that forms in our mind? That of an impoverished region full of corruption, lack of infra, lack of social development, people with miserable lives.

Are these a part of the reality or the fiction? No it's not fiction, but it's not the whole reality either. Most developed regions of the world also have social issues (there are millions of homeless people in the US and the UK as well, but they don't call them "homeless" - that sounds so south Asian - they call them "rough sleepers". They selectively promote content of one type for one region, content of another type for another region. This is manipulation amounting to lying.

We have reached a stage of technological advancement where software can create software autonomously, software can create creative content autonomously - all based on software code, which are based on the personal/ideologial bias of the algorithm creator in the first place.

It's not only global conglomerates, though. Indian companies are just as guilty. If I start taking examples this thread will soon degenerate into something else, so I will stay focused on the technical aspect of it. But we need to be cautious and cognizant of the fact that - Indian companies are manipulating us too. Basically, everyone using AI is trying to manipulate us, exploit us, use us the way it suits them and their agenda.
 

OM_2K19

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The world use to be a better place before Social Media. Too much misinformation/noise out there these days on those platforms. Neutrality has lost its meaning. It's a powerful medium but as they say internet and anonymity turns a person to a *******. That's exactly what's going on these days on social media. It turned out to be a loose cannon.
 

Analogous

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everyone using AI is trying to manipulate us, exploit us, use us the way it suits them and their agenda.
@bloredude , with this insight (your quote above)perhaps we can agree that blaming “social media” is like blaming the “tool”...

social media by itself is just a tool, a means for us to interact, voice our opinions, share and more. Blaming the channel is like blaming our air and atmosphere for the pollution.

The best way for us to respond to this challenge, I feel is to try to understand ourselves, our biases and be very mindful of our “posts, likes and forwards” because these are picked by algorithms to feed us more of the same?

I very much appreciate your mindfulness and restraint with examples that could lead to controversies and anger that will distract from the topic.
 

mail2sumanth

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This is a fantastic post touching the realtime issue and more dangerous that ongoing pandemic. I dont hesitate to say this because very few people know the dark side and most of the population literally don’t know this. what We are seeing now are the new highs of white collar robbery and these companies are becoming more powerful than Govt. they are in a position to decide a govt. just by influencing users. There is a fantastic documentary in Netflix if you guys are aware. Everyone should watch this. One more dange that is waiting for our future generation, companies like Facebook already started harvesting children data and so google. pandemic that pushed to give away children data in the name of online classes. I keep testing this behavior now and then and it is evolving very fast. Now with the advancement in mobile os, companies share the data to pinpoint a identity and their activity. End goal is crowd control with financial and political interests. Harder we the consumers fight back by not providing data the longer we can hold them, but not stop them.
 

mail2sumanth

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@bloredude , with this insight (your quote above)perhaps we can agree that blaming “social media” is like blaming the “tool”...

social media by itself is just a tool, a means for us to interact, voice our opinions, share and more. Blaming the channel is like blaming our air and atmosphere for the pollution.

The best way for us to respond to this challenge, I feel is to try to understand ourselves, our biases and be very mindful of our “posts, likes and forwards” because these are picked by algorithms to feed us more of the same?

I very much appreciate your mindfulness and restraint with examples that could lead to controversies and anger that will distract from the topic.
This is exactly the challenge, if you see the image that is posted. It will not try to challenge. It will help find you content and people with identical thoughts and tastes. but here is the twist and secret ingredient that helps these tools. no one can control this, if we are mindful they are now intelligent enough to show you the data that intimidate you and make you react. Google knows how much bank balance I have. When is my Amazon package coming. How much is my income. It is not rocket science to know. it is very easy, as you give your Gmail account every where :) that easy we get fooled. Can you be without all these notification ??? Answer is no, we need all these convenience. that is why we can only control not stop. unfortunatly we are already too late. Let’s only hope.
 

bloredude

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social media by itself is just a tool, a means for us to interact, voice our opinions, share and more. Blaming the channel is like blaming our air and atmosphere for the pollution.

Slight difference. Nature supports and hurts everyone equally, regardless of their nationality, religion, eating habits, dressing habits, political views. Nature is an equal opportunity force, social media isn't. Social media is either benign (leading to promotion of stereotypes based on natural selection), or motivated (biased, with a propaganda).

The best way for us to respond to this challenge, I feel is to try to understand ourselves, our biases and be very mindful of our “posts, likes and forwards” because these are picked by algorithms to feed us more of the same?

Absolutely! Posts with more likes becoming more powerful is nothing new. It's just the digital equivalent of majoritarianism.

We have seen street goons win elections and diplomats, technocrats, intellectuals with proven credentials lose. The fundamental reason behind this is the same as posts with more upvotes being powerful. It's the same majoritarianism.

I very much appreciate your mindfulness and restraint with examples that could lead to controversies and anger that will distract from the topic.

We all can help towards making our hanging out place better. We all can do our little part.
 
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Analogous

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I agree, it’s the ease of use, convenience, connectedness and the feeling of power (I have a voice now, even if my vote seems inconsequential) that has made social media so popular. It is here to stay, even if poorly thought out and implemented means to control and censor opinion and thought are in place in some countries.

Social media is hard to give up. There is a lot of content that is useful, enjoyable, helpful and beautiful

I am not responsible for anything that I find abhorrent or objectionable posted by someone else; I am however responsible for anything I post.

The change starts with me if I am thoughtful and considerate of what I post and how I post. I am definitely not giving up my right to voice my opinion; just learning to be smarter on what I post, where I post and how I express myself
 

arj

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Human beings always loved Gossip. earlier it was face to face, then we had phone and now we have social media.

maybe many of you wold have read Noah Harari's excellent book - Sapiens on why we are who we are, our ability to gossip and story telling has been one of the central reasons to the human races advancements . personally have found this a fascinating book and he is one of the seminal thinkers along with perhaps Malcolm Gladwell. Gossip just gets amplified in scale with the technologies we have today and blaming social media is like shooting the messenger.
I guess " Why let facts and truth get in the way of a good story" has always been our approach :)
 

bloredude

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This is a fantastic post touching the realtime issue and more dangerous that ongoing pandemic. I dont hesitate to say this because very few people know the dark side and most of the population literally don’t know this. what We are seeing now are the new highs of white collar robbery and these companies are becoming more powerful than Govt. they are in a position to decide a govt. just by influencing users. There is a fantastic documentary in Netflix if you guys are aware. Everyone should watch this. One more dange that is waiting for our future generation, companies like Facebook already started harvesting children data and so google. pandemic that pushed to give away children data in the name of online classes. I keep testing this behavior now and then and it is evolving very fast. Now with the advancement in mobile os, companies share the data to pinpoint a identity and their activity. End goal is crowd control with financial and political interests. Harder we the consumers fight back by not providing data the longer we can hold them, but not stop them.

You have nailed it. It's not only Facebook. Most companies that have our data is trying to make the most of it.

Ever wonder how do you start getting marketing calls and promotional text messages on a phone number that you barely got a few days ago and haven't shared with any one?

Ever wonder how come Amazon says you pre-qualify for a credit card, but when you proceed with the application, nothing happens after you have parted with all your data? It's equivalent of selling your data, albeit Amazon is not doing it themselves, they are pushing you to do it yourself.

Every "Wallet" provider firm gives you 50-100 Rs cashbacks for your "first transaction" of may types. What is the cashback for? It's a price for your data. When we submit our LPG connection details, we submit a lot of data we don't realize how it is used. Rs 50-100 cashback is no charity. It's a cunning way of making you sell your own data gleefully.

Basically everyone wants to know everything about you. And is even willing to pay you peanuts for it. Unfortunately, due to widespread poverty, a large number of people fall for this 50-100 Rs "Cashback in lieu of your precious data" scam, which is not a crime under our law. We are indeed the citizens of a "low tech" country, where the elections are still won on caste equations. Who cares about thieves tricking you into submitting your data for 50 Rs.
 

bloredude

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Gossip just gets amplified in scale with the technologies we have today and blaming social media is like shooting the messenger.

Slight disagreement here. Gossip (of the pre-Internet days) is (relatively) benign. It is limited to a small circle of acquaintance, where damage control is possible and is often easy. Damages are repairable, reversible.

Social media is ginormous. Damage control is often impossible. Its impact and changes effected by it are often long-term and irreversible. With great powers come great responsibilities. Social media needs to be mindful of it's responsibilities. Unless profit is their only goal.
 

Kannan

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Information vs coloured information
This is a excellent thread. We have moved from a century of information under load to information overload.
With connectivity getting global and instant, information has become the most powerful tool.

Technology comes with its pros and cons.
As usual, the cons enforced by vested interests, be it monetary, cultural, ethnical or otherwise serves as a tool to colour the information and spread it across the board to serve its intended purpose.

I will present an audiophile analogy:
Is your Information System (akin to audio system) capable of reproducing the original content?
No….most often it is coloured, amplified and made out of phase before spreading across the network.
The only way to prevent its misuse is for the recipient to apply the necessary equalization and processing before passing it (or as we say ‘forwarding’ it) in a purer form or sending it to the recycle bin and look out for the uncoloured source.
Of course it is easier said than done as most of often we are not sure if it is news, views or fake news.
 

Analogous

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Most companies that have our data is trying to make the most of it.
I feel this (above quote from @bloredude ) is the main motive and the force that drives social media companies today and in the future too.

All the data from our posts, reactions, likes, forwards, profiles, pictures...this is the new gold.

Everything we do online is stored somewhere, forever, to be sold, analysed, used to market and make businesses who buy such analysed data and use it fir targeted ads and marketing.

Apparently political parties and their founders are among their biggest buyers and clients. We have witnessed the birth and growth of companies like Cambridge Analytical and our own breed of “election strategists”

let’s face it: if it’s a free platform then we are the commodity and our data is for sale!!!

Another good reason to be restrained and mindful when we post?
 

bloredude

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if it’s a free platform then we are the commodity and our data is for sale!!!

Yes. Yes. And Yes.

Who pays for data centers of these global social media companies?

We do. Indirectly. By seeing the ads that are served to us using AI.

Another good reason to be restrained and mindful when we post?

AI is trying to use us, influence us. In future it will try to govern us. Only self-restraint and awareness can save us (partly) from becoming pawns of the game. Not letting algorithms define our social behavior is our social responsibility in this digital age.
 

Analogous

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Just to amuse myself I sometimes enter some random words, terms, products and a variety of ideological trigger terms into the search browser or social media platform and watch the fun....more often than not I am rewarded!
Adding the word “buy” in front of whatever else I type seems to evoke commercial responses; repeating the same a few times causes a frenzy in my inbox.

if Franz Kafka was alive today he would say I am transforming into a bot :oops:
 

Analogous

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And then there is this part of Social media:
The choice of article below to illustrate a opinion from the other side of the globe is deliberate and not intended to imply or provoke discussions on anything going on in India. If responding please help maintain this norm here, so we can have a civil discussion without causing offence to others. (Distance helps with perspective and objectivity sometimes?)
 

firearm12

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Curiosity is a major factor in human evolution which has led to so much advancement. This curiosity of knowing the unknown forms the basis of problems as well as solutions. Social media takes full advantage of this. Whats app university and level of YouTube click baits ensures that our mind is constantly fed unverified information and make us proud that we know of something others dont. There is no way to verify the information that is fed, these things are becoming bible of 'knowledge' and who doesnt want to get knowledge that can help him rise above others. Every one now days on social media is a doctor, engineer, scientist, musician and what not. I am afraid that in coming days education will become secondary especially in countries where society considers information as education. Basically this is what companies and politicians want. Ingorant people which can be used as tools. Once created as tools they can program our lives according to what they want.
 

Otpidus

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There is one omnipresent reason I can see contributing towards our gradual decline. Absence of struggle for existence. When we go through various struggles in life, we remain grounded and hesitate to substitute Knowledge with Information. Same applies to Cognitive Biases, a grounded mind has fewer of them.
 

bloredude

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There is one omnipresent reason I can see contributing towards our gradual decline. Absence of struggle for existence. When we go through various struggles in life, we remain grounded and hesitate to substitute Knowledge with Information. Same applies to Cognitive Biases, a grounded mind has fewer of them.

Unfortunate and true. Unfortunate - because it shouldn't be this way. One shouldn't need to be enslaved/impoverished/raised in scarcity to be grounded.

Parenting plays a role. Western parents don't let their money go to their kids head. In the west your parents' money earns you no entitlement. In India it does. "Tumhe pata hai mera baap kaun hai"? Haven't we Indians heard this a million++ times in our lives? There you go, that's what keeps our kids in the air - Our parents' money/power.

If Indian parents taught their kids to earn everything they want/need kids will grow up as grounded, mature, responsible adults.
 
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