Don’t ask if artificial intelligence is good or fair, ask how it shifts power
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Law enforcement, marketers, hospitals and other bodies apply artificial intelligence (AI) to decide ... who is profiled as a criminal... who gets medical treatment ... hired... often motivated by power and profit ... ‘fair’ and ‘good’ are infinitely spacious words ... question to pose...: how is AI shifting power? ...Researchers should listen t…

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a woman & a man in science... catalog those replies, to save us all the trouble of writing new responses every time. Presenting THE NINE TYPES OF REPLY GUYS

The Coronavirus and Our Future | The New Yorker
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each period,... had a distinct way of organizing basic human emotions into an overarching cultural system... of experiencing being alive... The virus is rewriting our imaginations. impossible has become thinkable... we’re entering a new world... learning ... a new structure of feeling... we’ve been overdue for such a shift... out of synch with …

Book Review: Sarah Kendzior, ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’
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Kendzior pulls no punches... detailed ... a true crime work, with the President ... benefactor of a criminal machine so powerful and immense ... every institution ... and media has, in some way, been compromised...every page brought fresh anguish...Other than Trump... the players? Russians... Israel, and Americans in business and government... all…

Big Tech’s Big Defector | The New Yorker
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McNamee has mentored many of the people who have transformed Silicon Valley... advised Mark Zuckerberg to turn down Yahoo’s offer... a billion dollars... encouraged Zuckerberg to hire Sheryl Sandberg...Ten days before the Presidential election... “I am disappointed. I am embarrassed. I am ashamed,”... I was expecting them to take it seriously... t…

Seven early lessons from the coronavirus | European Council on Foreign Relations
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there at least seven things that make this crisis very different... force the return of big government... one more demonstration of the mystique of borders, and will help reassert the role of the nation state within the European Union...The third lesson of the coronavirus relates to trust in expertise... Professionalism is back in fashion...Unfort…

How Will the Coronavirus End? - The Atlantic
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In 2018, I wrote ... that America was not ready for the pandemic that would eventually come... a new cohort who are born into a society profoundly altered by COVID-19... call them Generation C... shaped by the choices made in the coming weeks...More transmissible and fatal than seasonal influenza... stealthier... nations must ... identify infected…

The hipster effect: Why anti-conformists always end up looking the same - MIT Technology Review
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Complexity science explains why efforts to reject the mainstream merely result in a new conformity.... mathematician who studies the way the transmission of information through society influences the behavior of people ... in a vast range of scenarios, the hipster population always undergoes a kind of phase transition in which members become sync…

Face It, You Just Don’t Care About the News Anymore
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News... is a standardized nonfiction literary form and only one of the many kinds of a journalistic output.... if the context of what we called “news” for nearly two centuries has radically altered, is news still functioning as it should?... The invention of the electric telegraph in the 1830s allowed ... bursts of information in ... messages, wh…

How Mark Zuckerberg Can Save Facebook — and Us
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The same amazing tech that enables people to forge deeper relationships, foster closer communities and give everyone a voice can also breed isolation, embolden racists, and empower digital bullies and nefarious actors.... used with great accuracy and potency “to assault... truth and trust... our personal foundations — our privacy and sense of ide…

Forget far-right populism – crypto-anarchists are the new masters
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The rise of the right is better seen as an early skirmish in a much longer, and far more significant, technology-led restructuring of our politics and society... Crypto-anarchists are mostly computer-hacking, anti-state libertarians ... believe that digital technology, provided citizens are able to use encryption themselves, is the route to a stat…

The downside of diversity

Robert Putnam -- famous for "Bowling Alone," ... found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects.... virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings... "Diversity... seems to bring out the turtle in all of …

A compulsive audience and a complicit news media - Columbia Journalism Review
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as news outlets tailor their content to addictive platforms to pump up traffic, the distinction between consuming journalism and being wedded to “emails, constant notifications, and social media” is increasingly meaningless... if we are what and how we read, then our thinking will mirror the scattered and shallow tendencies of Web browsing.... …

America Has Never Been So Ripe for Tyranny -- NYMag
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the longer a democracy lasted, Plato argued, the more democratic it would become. Its freedoms would multiply; its equality spread. Deference to any sort of authority would wither... But it is inherently unstable. As the authority of elites fades... views and identities can become so magnificently diverse as to be mutually uncomprehending... Ther…

Homo sapiens will be split into a handful of gods and the rest of us
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a new 300-page report ... looks at the likely effects of a robot revolution... huge numbers of jobs being wiped out: up to 35% of all workers in the UK and 47% of those in the US, including white-collar jobs... The longer you look, the more you find computers displacing simple work... while some jobs are replaced, new ones spring up that focu…

Tech nerds are smart. But they can't seem to get their heads around politics
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"the nerds ... were at the bottom. At the top were "jocks," ... My kids have no idea what the hell I'm talking about. The coolest kids they know are nerds. Their heroes are nerds. Their favorite billionaires are nerds... But while nerds have taken over pop culture and technology, there's one area they haven't mastered: politics." - Tech nerds a…

Game theory’s cure for corruption – Suzanne Sadedin – Aeon
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Armed with game theory and a wealth of social data, it seems we have – for the first time in history – the tools to start experimenting with democratic, egalitarian social structures that bring out the best in us.

Where wisdom once was, quantification will now be, enabled by the idolatry of data
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Begins with a beautiful rant on technology's tyranny in individual and collective life: "Journalistic institutions slowly transform themselves into silent sweatshops in which words cannot wait for thoughts, and first responses are promoted into best responses, and patience is a professional liability... Digital expectations of alacrity and ters…

Doing is knowing, with Lou Reed
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Lovely reflective longread. Anyone who can explore how we are being transformed by the digital media that we ourselves are transforming as we explore its transformative possibilities (did I get that right?), and succeeds in tying Lou Reed into that discussion, has to be worth a read. "... this eruption of knowledge-sharing is usually ... dismisse…

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