The New Privacy: How the NSA Protects Our Right to Be Isolationists

  Constant surveillance by an impersonal power preserves a modern society more autonomous and secretive than any that came before. You have never been watched more than you were today. The parking meter you paid with a credit card, the camera at the café’s door, the gift card you used to buy your coffee, the emails you sent from your laptop, and the status you posted on Facebook have tracked you, tagged you, placed you, recorded you, spotted you. Your information has … [Read more...]

The Tyranny of Data

 Data science has been dubbed by Harvard Business Review as “the sexiest job in the 21st century” and by The New York Times as a “hot new field that promises to revolutionize industries, from business to government, health care to academia.” As the Times article explains, technology has given us access to gargantuan amounts of data, and companies, universities, and governments are rapidly hiring data scientists with the statistical and programming skills to make sense of “big data,” a ph … [Read more...]

What Hath Our Hands Wrought?

In certain circles, it’s become popular to worry about the effects of “the Internet” on human life. The pace of technological development and the uncertainty about the long term effects of being constantly “plugged-in” both fuel our anxiety. The Atlantic alone has run two examples of this genre in the last week. First, Hanna Rosin recently wrote an Atlantic cover story about “The Touch-Screen Generation” and how early access to this technology might affect children’s development. She introduces t … [Read more...]