Categories Politics

35 posts

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Will John Perry Barlow’s vision for the internet endure? Only if we make it

Barlow’s techno-utopian dream has given way to Orwellian reality. But with effort we can salvage a fairer internet for all. Image: @Kmeron for LeWeb13 Derek O’Halloran, Head of Digital Economy and Society System Initiative, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum Geneva John Perry Barlow, founding father of the Declaration of […]

What’s a negligible effect in an election?

One possible rule-of-thumb for researchers One of the quantitative methodology papers which has most shaped my thinking in recent years is Carlisle Rainey’s Arguing for a Negligible Effect. Like all great papers, it makes a simple point well: statistical significance is not the same as substantive significance, and to assess […]

The Global Politics of AI #1 — The Beneficial AI Movement

Much has been written about the economic, philosophical, and technological debates surrounding the research and development of AI, but little attention has been given to the political dimension of AI. To date, the militarization of AI and the potential of an “AI Arms Race” have received the bulk of attention, […]


Is a World of Algorithmic Masters and Servants Really One Worth Wanting? I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ll call “technnofeudalism” lately. Work run by algorithms, platforms that make people something like neo-servants — chauffeurs, cooks, butlers — performing instant-gratification on-demand two-hour deliveries, jobs that devolve to “gigs”, the spiralling anxiety, rage, and despair, […]

The Techlash Gains Momentum

Is society finally getting serious about its algorithm problems? Founders and advisors to the Center for Humane Technology Keep me honest here — am I over-indexing on the Tech Gets Its Comeuppance story, or simply reflecting reality? I’m starting to wonder. But once again a review of the past few days of […]

How Bikes Will Take Their Revenge on Cars and Help Us Reclaim Our Streets

Photo by Andrew Gook on Unsplash As an enthusiastic cyclist and environmentalist, I’m quick to notice the tragedy of the commons flourishing on the premises of personal transportation, especially in the U.S. Big cities are going car-free. London’s Mayor Saqid Khan’s newest “London Plan” envisions that 80% of all trips in London […]

China, the United States… and the war to control 5G

IMAGE: Believeinme33–123RF Following the last-minute announcement at CES by US telecommunications giant AT&T, under pressure from the White House, to pull out of a distribution deal with Huawei, meaning that Americans will only be able to use the Chinese company’s smartphones if they purchase them independently (almost 90% of smartphones […]

The outdated and sorry state of government technology

PERSPECTIVE | What Hawaii’s false missile alert revealed to us (Washington Post illustration) Essay by Hana Schank and Sara Hudson. Last weekend, people across Hawaii spent 38 minutes thinking they were going to die because a government worker selected the wrong option on a missile alert interface. Multiple images, including several from […]

Is This the Society We Really Want?

Technology’s march is taken as gospel. But if we’ve learned anything from the past year, it’s that Valley giants often miss key human externalities. Case in point: Amazon Go. Sorry dude. Amazon’s gonna stock the veggies from now on. So Amazon Go launched this week, and the rush to praise the “store […]