Community discourse + communication

May I ask the following:

  1. What are CHT’s financial and human resources? Numbers please, not qualitative statements.
  2. Why the virtual orphaning of the community? Is CHT neglecting the community because it is focused on more important projects?
  3. If the answer to #2 is yes, then should this community—because it is not serving any useful purpose in CHT’s plans—be dissolved?

I support patm’s request for more information about CHT’s activities.

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From Wikipedia: “The Center for Humane Technology has raised capital in excess of $50 million from partners including Comcast and DirecTV.”

I don’t want to detract from a potentially fruitful conversation that could happen around the Ledger of Harms project & research role that @lydialaurenson posted about… especially because the Ledger of Harms project is core to CHT’s strategy and I think will be a great resource for this community to contribute to and reference.

However, I also want to address some of the points that @patm raised. I personally do not know the answers to your question regarding CHT’s financial & human resources. But I will say that the Wikipedia statement referenced is taken out-of-context.

If you follow the source of that Wikipedia reference, you can read a NYTimes post where it states that “Common Sense also has $50 million in donated media and airtime from partners including Comcast and DirecTV”… that is first of all attributing $50 million to Common Sense Media, not the Center of Humane Technology, and is also not capital raised but rather “donated media and airtime.”

I’m making this point in public because I think that “humane tech” is not just the responsibility of the designers and software engineers building the technologies we all use… it is also our responsibility as consumers. Practicing better “critical consumption” habits and not spreading misinformation are things we each have control over and are practices that can contribute to creating a healthier public discourse and digital commons.


Many thanks for the correction, Mamie. Much appreciated.

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You’re welcome, @patm.

And of course regarding your concerns about the “orphaning” of the community… my goal is to change that! I’m currently trying to bridge the gap between the CHT team / operations and what’s happening here on this forum, because this community is critical to the CHT team’s success – and to the success of a more “humane tech” future that we all need to work together to create.

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Many thanks for the clarification, Mamie.

Again, I’m grateful for your efforts—and those of the other team members.

My impression, so far, of this site and it’s originators is that it is damage control…and illusion cast upon the craftier social media users that better understand it’s pitfalls. The puppetmasters are going to do what they have planned and we cannot stop them.

All we can do individually is educate ourselves to the fullest, to better arm ourselves for the future.

This forum exists as a focal point for people interested in making tech more humane to find one another. Those who find it useful to debate ideas and meet like-minded people here may not have other places to do that. It was not set up as a soapbox for the CHT founders; simply as a forum that anyone can choose to participate in should we so desire.

It will be great indeed to have more details about CHT projects shared and discussed here. The context of the initial thread - crystallizing information about harms - seems like a step in that direction. Finding statisticians to help with this will contribute to our shared knowledge, to understanding the issues around humane tech, and to awareness of what we can do next. That public post struck me as one of the most straightforward and constructive threads this week. I don’t know what was gained by derailing it like this. I’ve moved these comments about communication into a better-titled thread.

Having a strong global network of research + design + practice is essential to steering our tools and environments, building the future I hope for. I don’t think that needs ‘parenting’, just focus, collaboration, action.


Apologies for the derailing, @metasj and @lydialaurenson. Thank you for moving my comments here. I’ve edited my initial comment so that it’s not linked to Lydia’s post.

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Hello Mamie!

This forum has so far been mostly a place for advancing knowledge relating to humane tech rather than a place to organise activists. I think what we have here is the outline of an expert book on the topic of humane tech. Disconnected it has also unfortunately become a place to vent frustrations. I’m really glad to know that you’re on board to help change that.

The most valuable thing here seems to be the diversity of people that extends well beyond the diversity within the CHT team itself. It’s my hope that this diversity of cultures, thoughts, geographies, generations, fields and experiences represented here will help to round out the organisation.

I think you’ll find that outside of the US there may be more allies who are willing to shake up the system. We’re all been dominated by the same major technology monopolies, but for us they’re from a foreign culture that doesn’t sit that well with our own societal norms. I think you might also find many here including governments would support the aims of CHT, especially if you had operations within Europe.

And just to get it out of the way, I hope you agree that much of the tech industry is inherently doing evil. We understand where you’re coming from because many of us including myself have also worked in the industry and have witnessed the heartlessness and greed at its worst. We’re all here to change the way we think and act, to make ourselves human again first, and then make the world human again. Welcome!


Hi all! To answer the question about staff – CHT currently has 7 employees (equivalent to about 6 full-time folks) and 9 contractors (I am a contractor). (I know I already linked to it, but my intro is over here if you want to learn more about me personally.) I haven’t been around CHT very long – just 6 weeks or so. My other gig is Managing Editor of a magazine in San Francisco.

We are really trying to stay on top of everything, and I think we’re starting to catch up! Another person who just came on in an official capacity is @Mamie, whose position is detailed by CHT co-founder Randy here. Mamie is wonderful and has been specifically tasked with helping CHT liaise with this community.

Regarding Wikipedia – as Mamie said, the information in the Wikipedia entry is clearly wrong when you follow the source. I love Wikipedia, but sometimes it’s super wrong. :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, if any of you know anyone who could be good for the Research Assistant gig that I posted on the original thread, please do let us know! Thank you again!!


Many thanks, Lydia, or as we say in Hawaii, mahalo.