Your Undivided Attention

Bonus — How might a long-term stock market transform tech? (ZigZag episode)

Episode Summary

Social media companies are stuck in classic multipolar traps. They must compete for our attention, so that when TikTok introduces an even-more addictive feature, Facebook and Twitter have to mimic it in order to keep up, sending us all on a race to the bottom of our brainstems. One experiment in enabling companies to transcend multipolar traps is the Long Term Stock Exchange — a U.S. national securities exchange serving companies and investors who share a long-term vision. This week on Your Undivided Attention, we’re airing ZigZag’s conversation with Long Term Stock Exchange founder, Eric Ries.

Episode Notes

At Center for Humane Technology, we often talk about multipolar traps — which arise when individuals have an incentive to act in ways that are beneficial to them in the short term, but detrimental to the group in the long term. Think of social media companies that compete for our attention, so that when TikTok introduces an even-more addictive feature, Facebook and Twitter have to mimic it in order to keep up, sending us all on a race to the bottom of our brainstems.

Intervening at the level of multipolar traps has extraordinary leverage. One such intervention is the Long Term Stock Exchange — a U.S. national securities exchange serving companies and investors who share a long-term vision. Instead of asking public companies to pollute less or be less addictive while holding them accountable to short-term shareholder value, the Long-Term Stock Exchange creates a new playing field, which incentivizes the creation of long-term stakeholder value.

This week on Your Undivided Attention, we’re airing an episode of a podcast called ZigZag — a fellow member of the TED Audio Collective. In an exploration of how technology companies might transcend multipolar traps, we're sharing with you ZigZag’s conversation with Long Term Stock Exchange founder Eric Ries.

CORRECTION: In the episode, we say that TikTok has outcompeted Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. In fact, TikTok has outcompeted Facebook, but not yet YouTube or Instagram — TikTok has 1 billion monthly users, while YouTube has 2.6 billion and Instagram has 2 billion. However, we can say that TikTok is on a path toward outcompeting YouTube and Instagram.

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