Of Internet Trolls and the Tower of Babel

Of Internet Trolls and the Tower of Babel

Chloe is training for, arguably, the internet’s most difficult job: full-time content moderator — aka “process executive” — for Facebook (though actually employed by a subcontractor named Cognizant). A key part of the training has involved trying to harden herself...
Broken Code: The Vandalism of Shalom

Broken Code: The Vandalism of Shalom

Coders play a glorified role in our society. They are makers-of-worlds. To see your code spring to life is a wonderful, exhilarating experience. Coders know what this feels like. This creative power inspires altruism in the hacker ethic. It also contributes to...
Facing the Flood of Intelligence

Facing the Flood of Intelligence

The biblical story of the Fall, when Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden for having made the choice (however persuaded) to taste of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, exposed humanity’s innate hunger for knowledge. Since then humans have been on an...
Playing in the Cybernetic Meadow

Playing in the Cybernetic Meadow

“I like to think (and the sooner the better!) of a cybernetic meadow where mammals and computers live together in mutually programming harmony like pure water touching clear sky.” — Richard Brautigan   In his 1967 poem, “All Watched Over By Machines of Loving...
Sin and the Tragedy of Techno-Utopianism

Sin and the Tragedy of Techno-Utopianism

“It’s never going to go to zero.”  So says Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer, in a New York Times interview. “It” is the on-going stream of hate, malicious messaging and bad behavior that Facebook’s platform promulgates. Schroepfer is simply being...
We Are All Uighurs

We Are All Uighurs

Tight control of civilian populations is the cardinal rule of authoritarian regimes. Yet the sheer scale and complexity of those populations makes control difficult. Now, however, AI technology has made civilian surveillance far easier, and far more invasive. It is...
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