Draft of my website: Emotional Climate Change

This is the first public version of my coming homepage.
I outline why inhumane tech is a serious threat - probably more serious than even humanetech might have realised so far…

Depression, isolation or stress are more than just side effects of modern civilization. They bare self-reinforcing potential.

We believe our social and emotional environment is systematically, increasingly and predictably damaged.

We think it’s time to acknowledge this development that shows striking parallels to global warming and give it a name:

Emotional Climate Change (ECC)

This website is dedicated to show that…

… there is a long term, negative trend of our mental well-being.
… digital technology dramatically accelerates and contributes to this trend.
… emotional degeneration eventually may cause effects of global scale.

Key Findings

Time Compression is a main driver of higher stress levels, supporting impulsive, aggressive and overall irrational behavior. At the same time, less and less de-stressing activities (sports, social interaction, sex…) are performed.

"God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains…"​
(Sean Parker, Facebook founding president, Axios.com, Nov. 9th 2017)

Dear Sean, THIS is what Facebook is doing:

Digital communication and social media are not only spoiling our social skills and supporting empathy loss.

They especially weaken our ability to achieve and maintain self esteem. The dopamine that really should reward our kids for healthy social (forming deeper relationships, cooperating for mutual benefit, dealing with conflicts…) is now sadly only conditioning them to spend more time on Facebook. But only one’s own achievement can support self esteem, which is a core source of happiness and satisfaction.

Low self-esteem (LSE) in contrary can bring out the worst in humans: Humiliating, discrediting or dominating others are attempts to compensate deficits. This way, LSE is probably the dominating source of bullying, tyranny and evil in general.

Additional but secondary drivers are urbanization, cultural and mental impoverishment and even prosperity (thru various mechanisms).

The Emotional Climate tilts when the deficits acquired by digital generations are passed on to their kids directly - i.e. without them even having to be exposed to digital challenges. We get a taste of this with Millennials already now:


"Millenials… are tough to manage… accused of being entitled and narcissistic,… unfocused and lazy…"​
(Simon Sinek, “Millennials in the Workplace” Interview, Dec. 2016)

Best case, things will get worse only gradually, like they did for the last few decades: An even more ‘strictly business’ life, more stress, less fulfillment, less happiness.

What really scares the sh*t out of us are the dynamics of increased aggressive potentials, empathy loss and lower self esteem, as any of these is likely to breed all kinds of toxic behavior, let alone their combination. The infamous example of such combination is the situation in Germany before World War II - and we can’t help noticing similar developments right now.

This is why we see an urgent need for change, namely

standards for emotional safety in technology

emotional and social guidance and education for everyone

establishing empathy as a fundamental value in societies

OK, this was the briefest summary of our concepts. If you need validation, feel free to learn more in detail, especially about the emotional mechanisms at work that we think everybody should be aware of.

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Great material thanks for sharing! I live in a tech heavy culture near Silicon Valley- its weird- some days I’ll (and other people on the same day) notice a severe increase in road ragers. I’m not on social media but I wonder what is happening on those days…

Bulls Eye!
Road Rage is one of my most obvious signs of an ECC.
You will find it soon more deep into my coming site, just like other phenomenons, eg. SUV craze.

We have this school digitalization discussion here in Germany right now.
But the discussion is only about WHO will pay all this iPads!!!
Poor souls - all their kids need is toy bricks and their parents…


I am on facebook etc - but I found I am totally imune to digital dope - beer is much better anyway :-):joy:

Can you tell me more about that incident?

BTW: What does it mean that you are a campaigner?

Yes yes yes- I was feeling bad for not getting my daughter more toys- but guess what- she made an awesome doll house out of empty Kleenex boxes today with furniture and everything!

Not sure if this is the types of thing you were talking about… the other day I miss judged my timing of turning in front of an SUV as they were speeding- we’ll… they honked and actually drove head on for my car in anger swerving at the last minute realizing they were crazy. My daughter saw the whole thing and said Mommy- that driver tried to hit us!!

Campaigners get more messages about organization of HTC and have a more active role- sheparding new forum members etc… if you’d like to consider this let @aschrijver know- more activists, more good!! Glad you asked!

Cool - as long as she’s not 13+ :smile: )

No, SUV craze means the phenomenon of people largely favoring SUVs over cars, driven by a wish for superiority.

But there’s A LOT to be said about cars and drivers…

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I don’t think I will have the time.

But I will contact him (or her) in order to exchange and join forces.

It’s time to put movements like HTC to the next level!

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Hi Marcus, thanks for your posts here. Campaigners are those part of our Awareness Program, you can read more here: Call for Action: Join the Humane Tech Awareness program - From Awareness to Cultural Awakening!

Awareness is everything.

But I wonder if you or even Tristan are aware of the LSE mechanism I pointed out?!?
This is pure evil and must be acknowledged by HTC.

can you tell me more about that?

Yes, we do. It is among a range of harms at work, reinforcing each other and giving rise to even larger ones, like risks to the democratic process and civic breakdown. I agree that many people are too narrowly focused on loss of privacy. This is only where it starts. The need for personal data is only the ‘diesel’ for the surveillance capitalism machine that is functioning to exploit and control us, as mindless unthinking consuming masses, to maximize profits, influence and power. No care about all the things that ‘break’ along the way.

I have been formulating the concept that it’s not just the attention-based economy, that is just one symptom of something bigger than that. Digital as you mentioned isn’t the problem, the problem is the way the digital ecosystem was created. I like your concept of “cultural and mental impoverishment”, this is ever true. The mission here at CHT should be to formulate light where there is now darkness, and educate people in these new ways.

So the problem is that tech is hyper-competitve, extractive, selfish. Most people don’t know much about business or tech, but they sure feel the effects of the current extractive system. The system is one where young people torture themselves at school and work to get “ahead” in tech companies, only to find in the process they’ve lost their souls. In fact the tech companies themselves are like poison, death for any soul that enters. The trouble is that due to the current state of “cultural and mental impoverishment” people are just blind to the fact that they are even lost. What is missing is an education to make people more well-rounded, especially those software engineers and business people who would create tech-products and start-ups. I can tell you from personal experience these most of these people are impoverished mentally and culturally beyond all belief. Philosophy or ethics, these people never even heard of these things.

Tech is like no product humans have every created before because people do not have a choice of which tech products they use. The system of tech is stacked from the moment you buy a device, you already being tracked, marketed to, and being force-fed an ecosystem of products for whoever is paying the most for your attention. Everything from the design of your system, to the services you connect to (even in the background unknown to you), to the links, apps and software presented to you is pre-determined, and made to look like it is actually a choice we have when actually you’re trapped in a system “prison” you can not escape. Humanity is digitally enslaved so a handful of people like Mark Zuckerburg and Google founders can become billionaires, and so other people (including all tech employees) can get rich doing the dirty extractive work of the tech industry. And the sad thing is that these people are too numb to even realise the harm they are doing, because they have been brainwashed all their lives.

Instead what we need is a multi-stakeholder model of tech organisations, which respect users, employees, human flourishing and so on above profits. This model would obliterate the tech industry, because it is sustainable and if users (and businesses) were given an alternative complete and ethical tech ecosystem, they would choose it. The days of the tech industry as we know it are numbered, a new dawn is coming.

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Yes, I believe this is also the premise of Shoshana Zuboff’s book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. That we have self-perpetuating vicious circle, a new kind of rat race where ever more of our attention is extracted in more and more exploitative ways to keep the machine going. The loss of privacy and attention-extraction are at the inputs of this system, and as it spins it creates all kinds of harmful side-effects and entirely new, more dangerous harms.

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I wished it was so - I’m afraid it’s not.
At least change is not foreseeable.

That’s why I see no other way but forming a “real” movement by uniting actually existing orgs like CFAR, effective altruism and CHT.

Such movement must strive to become as big as the ecology movement in the 80s in Germany.
I have many thoughts on that and cant wait to meet, talk and take action.

I was asking around online but nobody even rais an eybrow.
That’s why I am really hoping to find some open ears here.

Who knows if CHT is connected to CFAR or EA ?
Is there already some kind of meta org to join forces?

Such org could be called

Ideas like rationalism will only scare john doe away.

Once that exists we can take it to the streets!

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I could see how that’s confusing. Since I misunderstood your comment on SUV’s it’s getting off topic now- but my husband noted he experienced road ragers on the same day (separate cars). Hard to explain writing out on a forum.

Nonetheless, even if things seem very bleak and may be turning for the worse currently, we’ll adapt a positive approach, not mired in doom & gloom. Each tiny step towards improvement is one more towards the dawn of a bright new day. In our analogy of ‘pyramid-building’ we recognize we are just one team of many. Actively seeking partnerships is part of our strategy in this.

You could take a look at our Community Principles in the pinned announcement and our Open Canvas that summarizes that and adds some more context.

So are you working together with these or others?

Yes good question! I agree this organisation needs to imminently branch out to other social organisations as well as tech, business, education and software communities. Perhaps you could tell us more about CFAR and Effective Altruism and how to potentially link?

Also my view of tech seeing a paradigm shift soon are based on my personal area of expertise. There is now ever-present talk of ethics and surveillance capitalism in the US tech and business worlds. We have also been in a situation for the last number of years where we have been stuck with a few ultra-wealthy tech monopolies stifling innovation, progress and choice yet also hogging profits and r&d. We also have had many recent security problems with tech, propaganda meddling, and are seeing tech is becoming central to public life such as transportation and health. In other words the current trajectory of for profit greed is so bad that it can not possibly continue. It should become clear to many people that given the current trends in this paragraph, someone will see the business case or social organisation case to redo the tech ecosystem into a secure, open source, public benefit system. There is tremendous opportunity, for interesting projects, for profit, for non-profts, for people interested in working in ethical tech who are currently disillusioned with the current terrible “culture” of tech and understand that the future will be better and not look like the present mess.

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Just done!

Sorry, I doubt that.
But it doesnt matter: we just continue under the assumption the system has to be changed from the outside until we know better.