Update on status of HTC & CHT (Tristan Harris's org)

Makes sense! I couldn’t find those discussions anywhere, that’s why I asked. Also, I assumed that since I was confused others might be too. I guess I’m just a bit embarrassed because for months people have been asking me about my thoughts on CHT and I’ve always said “my favorite part is their community hub,” and “they do seem committed to growing a grassroots movement,” and I hate to find out I’ve been wrong about what this group even is. :zipper_mouth_face: Beyond that, I’ve spent countless hours here (for over a year now?!) and I feel a bit duped when I find out that a network or channel I’m using isn’t what I thought it is. I’m genuinely conflicted: On the one hand, not a big deal. On the other hand, kind of a big deal.

Also, I’m trying to tease this all apart for profoundly selfish reasons, that I might as well just spill, in the spirit of radical transparency. Basically, I’m thinking about spinning up a social platform (powered by Readup) for attention activists. From my perspective, the main issue with social media - what makes it so inhumane - is that people don’t take the time to think before offering their opinion. Readup solves this problem by (1) anchoring all conversations to source materials (anything from NYTimes articles to blog posts) and (2) requiring people to fully read things before they can join conversations about them. In addition to all of this, it facilitates fully distraction-free reading experiences (no ads, no links, no vanity metrics, no endless scrolling through a slot-machine feed) all without ripping off your privacy. It’s a complete revisioning of what social media could be.

For a few days now, I’ve been imagining a new hub “Humans Reading” or “The Attention Activist Reading Club” or something like that. Reading is a proven way to get people up to speed quickly on a topic. In other words, I think I have the machinery ready to expand this movement, I’m just not sure how to move forward.

I’m talking to folks at CHT (including David Jay) and also to folks at Team Human (Douglas Rushkoff’s org) and I’ve bene in touch in the past with others (Cal Newport, Maryanne Wolf). These groups need to join forces!

How do we get the movement to catch fire?!

I’ve been driving across the country in an RV, talking to everyday people about tech addiction, etc. – people are genuinely frustrated/concerned/confused and we need a more fully-fleshed out hub. Not necessarily a “working group” but just a place where people can gather, share, learn and organize.


PS Obviously, in case it wasn’t clear, I love this group. And many people I’ve met here. (Literally dozens.) But I’m just wondering if this is more like a place for “inside” activists versus everyday concerned citizens. Am I wrong about that?

For example, right now I’m at the library in Monroe, Wisconsin. Literally 15 minutes ago I met a 60-year old man who was having trouble editing a .pdf file and we got to talking about tech, social media, etc. He’s frustrated about all kinds of stuff - privacy, how his kids are addicted to their phones. Should I try to get him on community.humanetech.com? Should I say check out the center for humane tech? Perhaps the best thing would be to just sign him up for a newsletter, but I’m not sure what such one exists/is the best?

LAST thing: can we all jump on a Google Hangouts soon? Is that something that folks in this community already do? I want in next time it’s happening :stuck_out_tongue:

We need this: https://www.sunrisemovement.org/

I was not aware of this, interesting. I thought that I had somehow been referred here by the Center for Humane Tech, and that there were part of the same group. Is there any documentation on how the goals of the groups differ? Thanks.

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Yup. Same thing happened to me. Along the way I was increasingly confused and this post confused me even more.

And I can tell you that we love all the contributions you have made to the great discussions on this forum here :slight_smile:

Re: “inside” activists. Yes and no. On one hand everyone is welcome to address their concerns with tech here, no matter skills an profession, etc. On the other hand this forum also contains content that is more for insider activists, such as discussions on the community website and projects.

This forum was founded by the Center, Tristan Harris et al in Feb. 2018 with great fanfare in a NYT article. It attracted many excited members eagerly awaiting great plans to unroll and for them to participate in. But nothing came forth as CHT became swamped in work after Cambridge Analytica scandal. They preferred to stay under the radar doing strategic preparation to the frustration of the community. See: This community needs more involvement from its founders!

The community began to self-organize with consent and approval of the CHT and in October 2018 we repositioned as a subsidiary of CHT, organizing the forum along the same 4 strategic pillars and calling ourselves HTC. See: Community position statement, contribution guidelines, forum improvements

In 2019 HTC joined the Mozilla Open Leader program and we began preparing to reorganize once again based on lessons learned and with the objective to boost member engagement in a manageable way (as an all-volunteer grassroots movement). This led to the Pyramids of Humane Technology model that is reflected in the current organization of the forum.

At the same time, in parallel, after one year of being undercover, CHT was now ready to present their plans. See: Today is D-Day at The Center for Humane Technology: "A New Agenda for Tech" Livestream - Humane Tech Community

We are still affiated and on close paths bringing Humane Technology to the masses, though HTC is still not in the loop of what’s cooking at CHT. Our community, however, Works Open, Leads Open (Mozilla’s WOLO slogan) and everything is announced here in the forums. I think you can say that CHT is more focussed on the Technologists and operates more as a strategic Thinktank still (advocacy, political pressure).

This diagram shows the strategic relationship I envisioned between CHT and HTC:



Makes a lot of sense.
I’d like to join the community team! How can I do that?


Whoa! So HTC chose to disconnect from CHT??

Also, what’s does “subsidiary” mean? Also, when did that come to an end? There must have been some moment along the way when CHT said “don’t use our logo” or whatever, right? When did that happen? (Thanks for the backstory! This is super interesting! I was genuinely surprised when I found this out. I was looking at the site and, like, omg, there’s no reference to CHT anywhere on HTC.)

Also, the domain! Since “community.humanetech.com” is just a subdomain of humanetech.com, does that mean they’re still hosting the site?

Yes, CHT is still hosting the forum.

The initiative was really to differentiate ourselves from CHT, not disconnect. This was done partly because HTC wanted to work on its own projects and CHT was extremely busy. There were no hard feelings or anything like that.

You might think of this as a younger sibling coming into his own and trying to distinguish himself from his older brother.


Once we get to the point of being a more organized entity, we’ll be listed among CHT’s partners. Until then, we are in an in-between position, not just the CHT discussion forum but still acquiring conscience and people as a separate organization. Check our website (first icon in the right upper corner) for more info about our vision and mission.


Count me in, please! Would love to figure out how I can contribute


Yes we can definitely organize another zoom meeting!

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Hi @loundy, here you can take a look at the HTC teams you could join.

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Please LMK when one is scheduled. I would like to join in.


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We have to schedule it :grinning:. Sure I’ll let you know.

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Hello bait and switch…

The difference here from bait and switch strategies is that no one is making any money out of it, instead everyone here is trying to help and raise awareness and knowledge about these themes brought to the attention by Tristan Harris, using tools like this forum that CHT keeps alive.

So our fault would be trying to organize some projects and events on top of administrating this forum and let people meet and talk each other? Or to have pinpointed in an open and collaborative way some priorities, values - and pyramids, as we have visualized them - giving ourselves a name and a mission/vision?

Above in this topic there’s already a detailed history of the relation between CHT and HTC. But @greg if you feel scammed nonetheless, please do all of us members a favour and explain where’s the bait-and-switch scam according to you.


If you want to setup one you can use a WebSonar Library.
Private, no Tracking and anyone with a password can upload PDF, image, audio and video files from their browser. Comments can be added to every page for Collaboration and we have a Mastadon Server Link to Site
Here is a link to my library…Duane’s Library

A bait and switch doesn’t necessarily imply a scam. But I feel there was some misrepresentation and false pretenses and little effort to clarify that. If we need to blame me for that as buyer beware, so be it. However, I’m not sure that’s a good foundation to build a community on trust.