We have now in twenty years moved half the world’s population, give or take, to one city. And we all live in one city. And we keep walking out into the street and getting pasted by trams. And we don’t even understand what the trams are. We not only do not know how to live together online, we don’t even really understand that it’s a problem.
Citizenship, after not thinking about it for a while, feels like something we’re all thinking about quite a lot these days. In the words of Hannah Arendt, citizenship is the right to have rights. All of your rights essentially descend from your citizenship, because only countries will protect those rights.
I’m interested in data and discrimination, in the things that have come to make us uniquely who we are, how we look, where we are from, our personal and demographic identities, what languages we speak. These things are effectively incomprehensible to machines. What is generally celebrated as human diversity and experience is transformed by machine reading into something absurd, something that marks us as different.
What does it mean to be private when you’re in a place where you have no right to privacy but are ironically deprived of the thing that makes your privacy go away?