Police State Scenario Covid-19

Privacy & Autonomy in the Digital Age: Emerging RisksThe coronavirus “pandemic” feels like some kind of turning point for humankind in terms of individual autonomy. I perceive that the response to the emergence of the virus is asymmetrical to its actual health threat, and this is leading people around the world to relinquish their individual rights on a scale I have never seen before.

This post discusses this event (a sign in semiotics) within the context of privacy and autonomy in the digital age. My discussion is not a conspiracy theory as I find those pointless and disempowering. I link various technology and social happenings and place their significance within the context of human nature. I also reference some neuroscience to help you understand the situation at a new level. I conclude with suggestions for action.

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Behavioral Economics, Autonomy and Ethical Land Mines

Overview: Behavioral Economics Autonomy and Ethics user experience designBehavioral economics autonomy and ethics is a thought experiment on how to approach “doing good” when applying the emerging practice of behavioral economics. Along with big data analytics and cognitive science, behavioral economics affords businesses, governments and other organizations unprecedented impact on individuals’ behavior, even without their consent or awareness. This arouses serious ethical and social dilemmas.

Every behavioral economics practitioner I’ve met has emphasized the importance of using its practice “for good” in order to help people. Like all other human endeavors, however, “for good” is open to interpretation, so I’ll apply my experience with ethnographic and behavioral analysis of social media to reflect on what “for good” might mean in light of individual and group autonomy.

I also hope this Noodle will be food for thought for executives who hire behavioral economics firms as well as all of us who are invariably its subject. In a similar vein, most designers I know are committed to using design principles to improve user experience, and there’s considerable overlap between design and behavioral economics.

Behavioral economics is as […]