Favoriting Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from February 25, 2019 Favoriting

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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. In our shift to a digital future, we need alternatives to Big Tech. Homepage: techtonic.fm

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Favoriting February 25, 2019: Tim Harford, author and economist, on kicking his smartphone addiction (plus, a cameo by Catherine Price!)

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This week: Tim Harford, economist and author, on kicking his smartphone addiction

New site: techtonic.fm, listing recent Techtonic interviews and Little Slice of Tech Pie segments, on one page!

Links to Tim Harford:

timharford.com, which contains all of Tim's books and podcasts

How behavioural economics helped me kick my smartphone addiction (Jan 17, 2019) - the essay that prompted this interview

Tim's BBC podcast: 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy (see also on the BBC site)

• During the interview, Tim also points to Jocelyn Glei's podcast Hurry Slowly and Cal Newport's book Digital Minimalism.

Catherine Price links

How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain (by NYT's Kevin Roose on Feb 23, 2019)

phonebreakup.com, Catherine's book site with resources

• Techtonic on April 16, 2018 featured Catherine Price on her book How to Break Up With Your Phone: here are show notes and here's the interview.

Tech news

You Give Apps Sensitive Personal Information. Then They Tell Facebook. (WSJ, Feb 22): "Instant Heart Rate: HR Monitor, the most popular heart-rate app on Apple’s iOS, made by California-based Azumio Inc., sent a user’s heart rate to Facebook immediately after it was recorded." Other apps include an ovulation tracker and Realtor.com. Apparently there's no way to stop the sharing, even if you are not a Facebook user.

• Jason Kint is trying to get find 64 Facebook scandals in the past year, to fill out an entire bracket. He's at 57 so far, as posted here...



- - -

Check out techtonic.fm for recent Techtonic interviews and Little Slice of Tech Pie segments.

PODCAST: Subscribe to the Techtonic podcast

......p.s. outtro song tonight is thanks to Nick the Bard, whose Norflax Oxdun Sidetower Feb 14 episode included it.

Artist Track Images Approx. start time
  Tim Harford, economist and author, describes how he kicked his smartphone addiction. Also, a quick chat with Catherine Price, author of "How to Break Up With Your Phone."
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Favoriting
Favoriting
 
  Mark's intro  
Favoriting
 
  Call with Catherine Price  
Favoriting
0:14:48 (Pop-up)
  Interview with Tim Harford  
Favoriting
0:25:09 (Pop-up)
  Your calls and comments  
Favoriting
0:48:33 (Pop-up)
Anders Enger Jensen  Rainbow Dreams (Instrumental)   Favoriting
Favoriting
0:54:10 (Pop-up)


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Listener comments!

Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:00pm
ultradamno:

Hello Mark, Techtunkies!
  6:00pm
melinda:

Hi people
Avatar 6:00pm
annie:

ready!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm
Greg from ZONE 5:

Evening, Mark and all!
  6:01pm
ike:

Fhrghgfhtfnd!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm
dale:

i have a dumb phone and that's enough for me.
  6:02pm
John from Florham Park:

Hello fellow WFMU listeners and technoids
  6:02pm
melinda:

I just got a smartphone
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:02pm
Ken From Hyde Park:

Welcome to Techtonic, soon to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Facebook, Inc.
  6:02pm
John from Florham Park:

Hey Melinda
Avatar 6:02pm
geezerette:

Hiiiiiiiiii... :)
Avatar 6:02pm
Linda Lee:

i don't carry a smart phone. never have, because our valley has no cell service. am i healthier already?
Avatar 6:03pm
BigCat:

Hello
Twerktronix
people
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:03pm
Bas NL:

Hi Mark! Techtonicalores!
Avatar 6:03pm
stephen adams in the uk:

hi
  6:04pm
John from Florham Park:

Linda lee you got it right
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:04pm
Webhamster Henry:

Hi Mark!
Here's my question: What's a good feature phone? How far back is "dumb" phone tech supported? any analog cell phones still around?
  6:04pm
melinda:

Hi John
Avatar 6:04pm
BigCat:

Did someone say

"shart phone"
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:04pm
ultradamno:

Always putting the fun in fundraising at WFMU
  6:04pm
John from Florham Park:

Ken I don’t think so either
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:04pm
Webhamster Henry:

Hi techtontonic-niks
  6:05pm
Dave Miss:

Howdy
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:05pm
Webhamster Henry:

Le TechTonTon Macoute!
Avatar 6:05pm
Linda Lee:

thank you John!
  6:06pm
John from Florham Park:

@webmaster Henry there are older scanners that can pick up analog cell phone signals and you can get a scanner like that from Canada just have to be careful
  6:06pm
melinda:

I did feel sort of tin foil hattish while setting up my new phone.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:07pm
ultradamno:

This isn't the first story about Facebook collecting real-time health diagnostics is it?
Avatar 6:07pm
Linda Lee:

listen, kids: let's just stop giving our bodies away while others get paid, shall we?
Avatar 6:07pm
BigCat:

the heart rate recorder
lets Fvckbook know when to spike your feed
with some jolting shocknews
it'll getcha hooked
  6:08pm
John from Florham Park:

@melinda my sister got me an apple phone about 2 years ago right after my mom died because she wanted to shut off the house internet and the house phone
  6:09pm
melinda:

Just say no to menstrual surveillance
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:10pm
Folsom:

Impressive imterviewing Tim Harford, his BBC podcasts are really good.
  6:10pm
John from Florham Park:

@ultradamno so far Facebook has not sent me any medical adds yet
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm
dale:

john from floral park - i have a scanner attachment that shifted what it received by 400 mhz so it could actually pick up early cell calls.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm
Phillippe Bastille:

Hi all
Avatar 6:11pm
Linda Lee:

Mark Zuckerberg: world's nerdiest pimp.
  6:11pm
John from Florham Park:

Cool dale wish I had that when I used to listen on a police scanner all those years ago
  6:12pm
John from Florham Park:

@linda lee just spit soda on the screen that was great
Avatar 6:12pm
Linda Lee:

sorry John!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:13pm
Folsom:

@John later in the 90s when they made the scanners stop receiving analog cell phones it was easy to hack them to enable it back
  6:13pm
John from Florham Park:

@linda lee thought it was funny nothing to be sorry about
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm
dale:

...and i used to easily pick up neighborhood phone calls made by those first cordless phones. had my handheld scanner at work and picked up a call of a woman breaking up with her boyfriend so i went to shut it off but my office mate was like 'wait - i want to know how this ends.'
  6:14pm
John from Florham Park:

@folsom now you can’t do that with scanners
Avatar 6:15pm
annie:

i'm happy to stick with my tracfone, as annoying as it is
  6:15pm
John from Florham Park:

@dale did that too , one of my neighbors was doing phone sex, for a couple of months I always gave her a smirking look
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm
dale:

ha ha! that's great.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:18pm
Ken From Hyde Park:

We're going to need those new 5G phones so the companies can get their data from us at a faster rate.
  6:18pm
Sam:

Smartphone addiction, lol. How can you be addicted to something so annoying? I can’t even type th S comment without it fucking up.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm
dale:

this really just applies to all addiction.
  6:19pm
Sam:

Or just turn your phone off?
Avatar 6:22pm
annie:

i think what gets me the most is people walking down the street clutching their phones..even when they're off
  6:22pm
melinda:

@Sam haha
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:22pm
Folsom:

I had a teacher in high school that would enter an elevator and then turn around and stare at everyone.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:22pm
Webhamster Henry:

I remember when iPhone was new and I would huddle in an alcove to check a map or something so people wouldn't try to steal it.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:23pm
Webhamster Henry:

Now nobody cares!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm
Phillippe Bastille:

I wonder what people with think in 50 years or so about why so many people are holding up their phones in historical pictures from this time.
  6:24pm
kevlicki:

Does anyone know if there’s a “consumer report” for apps that assess things like privacy, data collection, geo locating/tracking, etc?
It would be a super use
  6:25pm
melinda:

I am more concerned with surveillance than addiction.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:25pm
Webhamster Henry:

I think that "the phone" as the information connectivity device is going to go away. It's going to shrink, be less obvious, be more contextual. It'll be like living in a world of faeries and elves, whispering in our ears and tickling us.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:26pm
Folsom:

@Webhamster Henry back in 90s when I was working on cell phones if I was using one on the street people would say "Say hi to Mom for me"
Avatar 6:29pm
Linda Lee:

restricting the concept of 'addiction' to narcotics will keep us from looking clearly at some very serious societal issues.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:29pm
Webhamster Henry:

@Folsom analog phones took over the UHF channels from TV, so if you had a tunable TV, you could pick up cell conversations. Like this one:
www.echonyc.com...
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:31pm
Webhamster Henry:

But if the Opposite of Addiction is Connection ... and you are getting pinged constantly from text messages, is that addiction or connection?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm
dale:

webhamhenry - what do you mean by 'tunable tv?' i have an old sony watchman and put batteries in it recently to see if it got ANY type of radio noise though both vhf and uhf and came up silent.
  6:33pm
John from Florham Park:

@webhamster I only get text from my sister my neice and nephew and a couple of other people, if I get a text from someone I don’t know I just delete it
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm
dale:

oh - you meant back in the day before the frequencies shifted.
Avatar 6:35pm
geezerette:

It's important to understand how and why you are using each of your devices.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:36pm
Folsom:

@Webhamster yeah we just put the phones in test mode, tuned a channel and then unmuted the audio to see if anyone was there.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:36pm
Fuzzy:

The opposite of addiction is equanimity, I think.
Avatar 6:37pm
Linda Lee:

the question isn't connection, it's *meaningful* connection & the fact that many fb users wind up depressed indicates to me that our social media connections aren't usefully meaningful.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:41pm
Webhamster Henry:

My niece was a super beeper user in the 90s.
Avatar 6:42pm
Linda Lee:

@Fuzzy ~ not precisely, since a sense of equanimity is what tends to draw us into repetitive addictive behaviors ..
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:43pm
Webhamster Henry:

I guess the analog phones can't work anymore:
On February 18, 2008, the “Analog to Digital Transition” FCC directive went into effect.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:44pm
Folsom:

On the BBC podcast "More or Less" they ended one show with putting OBE on everyone that worked on the episode
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:44pm
Webhamster Henry:

I rarely get actual phone calls .. lots of junk. And the Text Messages are mostly 2FA codes!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm
Fuzzy:

@Linda Lee: I was thinking that equanimity would require not being driven by obsessive, impulsive behavior, among other things.
  6:46pm
John from Florham Park:

Hey people as a rule my iPhone is so not disturb from 9pm to 7am and only a couple of people can get a hold of me after 9pm, so by the time I wake up in the morning I have a shitload of notifications
Avatar 6:49pm
Linda Lee:

that's the hellish part about addiction. we're not addicted because addictive behavior brings us chaos. we're addicted because it brings us a sense of control. so we find peace in that. it's a wild thing..
Avatar 6:51pm
Linda Lee:

this does sound a bit like cognitive behavioral therapy, which is commonly used for handling all kinds of addictions.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm
listener 126464:

Thanks Mark
  6:52pm
JakeGould:

@dale: So you were one of those radio scanner creeps? So you are attempting to be the moral creep where your co-worker is attempting to be an unapologetic creep.
  6:53pm
JakeGould:

@dale: All I am just saying is that is a lot of entitlement on your part to listen to other people’s calls that way.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm
dale:

whatever jake.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:54pm
ultradamno:

500 BC, thereabout
Avatar 6:54pm
annie:

i'm very happy that there are dead zones in my apartment building...
Avatar 6:54pm
Dr. Goot:

Great show Mark, thanks!
  6:55pm
Sam:

Pseu!! Watch out, she doesn’t mess around!
Avatar 6:55pm
annie:

night all!!!
  6:56pm
JakeGould:

@dale: Exactly what I expect someone who has never really experienced repercussions for their actions to say. I’ve worked with varying levels of personal data for decades and have never pried or shared info despite access. Speaks a lot for you and your privileged mentality. The worst kind of tech/hacker.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:56pm
Bas NL:

Thanks Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm
Aitch:

Nick the Bard's show always mental. Thanks Mark always interesting
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:57pm
Webhamster Henry:

Thanks, and turn off your phone!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:58pm
ultradamno:

...unless you're using it to continue listening to WFMU
  6:58pm
Sam:

Love your show mark. And for all you hopeless email addicts, just know it gets better, once you give yourself to Jesus.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm
Mark Hurst:

Thanks, everyone! Have a great week, and get ready for an outstanding marathon!
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