Valley: Ethical Threats and Emotional Unintelligence in the Tech Industry is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the conflicting motivations, mythologies, identities and inherent tensions within Silicon Valley. It offers a unique understanding as per why we have seen the magic, manic and monstrous trajectory of Big Tech, it catalogs what the impact has been, and it offers a way forward. All in all, I learned a ton from Katy Cook and loved having her on my podcast. In fact, I honestly feel that I didn’t do justice to how absolutely fantastic her book is so I highly recommend that you simply go and grab a free copy of the Psychology of Silicon Valley and judge for yourselves.
During this 1 h 40 min interview with Katy Cook, we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: her original interest in the mental health effects of tech; her journey from being a counselor to studying psychology, sociology, the psychology of progress and ending up in ethics in tech; the relationship between power and empathy; her fantastic book the Psychology of Silicon Valley; the importance of socializing oneself without the mediation of a computer; emotional intelligence as a foundation for ethics; how origin stories and culture shape tech companies; why intelligence is a gift but compassion is a choice; why Katy decided to give away the electronic version of her book as a free open access; the treatment of workers by Big Tech such as Amazon; inequality as the best predictor for revolution; the importance of diversity; why Instagram is the most depressed and depressing platform; the vulnerability of young adults and children to social media; the Center for Technology Awareness that Katy co-founded.
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Who is Katy Cook?
Katy Cook is the author of The Psychology of Silicon Valley: Ethical Threats and Emotional Unintelligence in the Tech Industry, founder of the nonprofit Centre for Technology Awareness, and a consultant and speaker on ethics and technology. Katy holds a Ph.D. in Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology from University College London, and Masters degrees in English and Psychology, and a BA in English Literature.