Archive

The Spawn of Frankenstein: Unintended Consequences

Victor’s sin wasn’t in being too ambi­tious, not nec­es­sar­i­ly in play­ing God. It was in fail­ing to care for the being he cre­at­ed, fail­ing to take respon­si­bil­i­ty and to pro­vide the crea­ture what it need­ed to thrive, to reach its poten­tial, to be a pos­i­tive devel­op­ment for soci­ety instead of a dis­as­ter.

Building Your Own Personal Truth

I think we are grop­ing towards this idea of truth. And even the word truth can be defined in mul­ti­ple dif­fer­ent ways. So we are by its very nature deal­ing with a very slip­pery top­ic.

Is Digital Culture Responsible for Post-Truth Politics?

I’m going to argue today that even while we know post-truth pol­i­tics is hav­ing a ter­ri­ble effect on our polit­i­cal cul­ture and our role as cit­i­zens, it’s curi­ous­ly dif­fi­cult to com­bat it because of a set of beliefs about what pol­i­tics is, and about the Internet and the way it enables ordi­nary peo­ple to have a voice. And these beliefs inter­sect with a pre­vail­ing anti-intellectual anti-elitism which asso­ciates knowl­edge, dis­cern­ment, and truth with snob­bery and pow­er.

Geek of the Week: Brewster Kahle

We’re at a thou­sand dol­lars per giga­byte, which is what cur­rent disk dri­ves cost. The twen­ty ter­abytes that peo­ple esti­mate in ASCII that’s in the Library of Congress is just twen­ty mil­lion dol­lars. So that’s not very much mon­ey in terms of being able to store and retrieve [crosstalk] the Library of Congress.

Cyborg Anthropology and the Evaporation of the Interface

When you look at your online pro­file, is that real­ly you? It’s a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of you that can be act­ed on when you’re not there. But where do you end and the machine begins? The thing is that humans and tech­nol­o­gy have coe­volved with each oth­er over time, being very very cocre­ative. We have sur­vived because of tech­nol­o­gy, and tech­nol­o­gy has sur­vived because of us.

The Conversation #34 — Douglas Rushkoff

I would say a bet­ter place looks like…having din­ner with the per­son who lives next door to you. Knowing who they are. A bet­ter place is shar­ing the same snow­blow­er on your block. The bet­ter place is eas­i­est to imag­ine, and ulti­mate­ly get to, if we look at it in terms of our incre­men­tal moment-to-moment choic­es.

The Conversation #30 — Henry Louis Taylor Jr.

We don’t have a con­cept of bal­ance. Not only do we not have a con­cept of bal­ance, but we have a very dis­tort­ed sense of social jus­tice that has been reframed to jus­ti­fy a soci­ety that is fun­da­men­tal­ly anchored around the con­cept of imbal­ance. The resources of the world clus­ter toward a hand­ful of very very pow­er­ful coun­tries, one coun­try hav­ing an even greater share. In order to jus­ti­fy this greater share, it’s made them believe that this high­er con­cen­tra­tion of pow­er is nor­mal, and that any­body in all coun­tries can have it, and that all coun­tries should aspire for it.

The Conversation #26 — Jenny Lee

The worst-case sce­nario for Detroit would be that the archi­tec­ture of the Internet as it is now con­tin­ues, and Detroiters’ sto­ries, voic­es, lives, are absent. And the New York Times sto­ry about the cre­ative class sav­ing Detroit, or the doc­u­men­tary about the aban­don­ment and whole­sale destruc­tion of Detroit that por­trays it as a waste­land and a blank can­vas ready for entre­pre­neur­ial exploita­tion, that those sto­ries are defin­ing the nation­al, the glob­al imag­i­na­tion of what Detroit is. And that those sto­ries, they don’t use influ­ence people’s desire to come here and do those things and live that life, though that’s part of it, but it also shapes the per­cep­tion of peo­ple inside the city.

The Conversation #24 — Synthesizing Themes

We feel that this is a good point to sort of take stock, do sort of a quick pré­cis, if you will, of where we’ve got­ten so far. Because I think we’ve got some real­ly inter­est­ing places we weren’t nec­es­sar­i­ly expect­ing to get. And we’re see­ing some inter­est­ing poles between dif­fer­ent large groups of thinkers that we weren’t nec­es­sar­i­ly expect­ing.

The Conversation #4 — Colin Camerer

We know very lit­tle about com­plex finan­cial sys­tems and how sys­temic risk, as it’s called, is com­put­ed and how you would man­age poli­cies. And if you look back at the finan­cial cri­sis, you can either say, as many econ­o­mists do, It all had to do with badly-designed rules,” which may be part of the sto­ry; it’s cer­tain­ly part of the sto­ry. Or it may have to do with the inter­ac­tion of those rules and human nature, like mort­gage bro­ker greed, opti­mism… And you see it not just in indi­vid­u­als who now have hous­es and fore­clo­sure, but at the high­est lev­els.