SOURCE: Washington Post
O'Mara: Politics and Commercial Pressure, not ChatGPT, are the Threats
Historian of technology and Silicon Valley Margaret O'Mara says that the peril of artificial intelligence chatbots and artificial intellience will lie in how it is marketed; the rush to be first to the market creates conditions for sloppy tech and abusive applications.
SOURCE: The Drift
Silicon Valley Was and Is The Child of the Military-Industrial Complex
by Jeannette Estruth
"The technology sector attributes its economic power to its own creativity and rogue innovation, but throughout its history it has been dependent on the federal budget."
SOURCE: The New Republic
Don't Like Where Society's Heading? Blame Palo Alto
by Scott W. Stern
Journalist Malcolm Harris attempts to excavate the history of how a worldview shaped by the tech industry—most notably its rampant individualism and subordination of the self to surveillance, metrics and monitoring—conquered the world, while also keeping the flames of unregulated capitalism and eugenics burning.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal
11 Movies and Shows that Document the March of Technology
From the office-sized computer to the landline, plot points that hinge on obsolete technology are a fun way to track how technologies structure our lives and our anxieties.
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education
Why I'm Not Afraid of ChatGPT
by Christopher Grobe
The limits of AI writing technology present writing teachers the opportunity to show students how to demand more of their writing than the bots can possibly provide.
As the Progressive Era Ideal of Regulation Vanishes, What Will Stop the March of AI?
by Walter G. Moss
If capital decides that artificial intelligence is sufficiently profitable to put in charge of driving our cars, writing our essays, or even teaching our history classes, what is left to stop it, even if the products are terrible or even dangerous?
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
China's Rising Surveillance Capacity Ill Omen for Other Modern States, Too
by Kathleen Keller
The inherent desire of states to protect their power and interests means that the aggressive implementation of electronic surveillance measures in China is likely to be repeated, with dire consequences for social solidarity.
Today's Tech Bro and the Victorian Genius Both Reflect a False Narrative of Progress
by Iwan Rhys Morus
The cults of "disruption" and genius obscure the fact that innovation is typically cooperative, and dependent on a society that sustains and implements new knowledge.
50 Years Later, Remembering Pong's Success
Pong's develper and Atari cofounder Allan Alcorn: "I didn't think the company would last long because most startup companies didn't. And so I thought it would fail after a while, but it'd be a lot of fun."
An Experiment Teaching African American History in the Metaverse
Morehouse's Ovell Hamilton believes the technology of virtual reality has the potential to engage students with the sensation of inhabiting the past.
SOURCE: New York Times
Is the Feeling of Safety from Home Security Cameras Worth the Invasion of Privacy?
Historian Matt Guariglia of the Electronic Frontier Foundation warns that the cozy relationship between tech companies and police departments threatens to make camera footage less private according to the wishes of law enforcement.
SOURCE: Foreign Affairs
Can Silicon Valley Be Redeemed? (Review Essay)
by Margaret O'Mara
Three books collectively demand a reckoning with Silicon Valley's immense social power; tech executives would do well to listen, says a technology historian.
Pessimistic Economic Forecasts Ignore a History of Dynamism
by John Landry and Howard Wolk
Many economic histories portray the American prosperity of the century between the Civil War and the 1970s as the picking of low-hanging fruit. But the story of entrepreneurial innovation during that time is more complicated, and more relevant to the present, than we think.
Considering the Automobile's Influence on Society—Before the Next Influence Takes Over?
by Bryan Appleyard
The story of the car—a story of genius and folly in equal measure—is the story of the making of the modern world. A new book weaves the threads of the automobile's influence through landscape, war and peace, mass production and individualism, and the environment.
The Missouri Social Worker Who Founded the Global Internet Name Registry
by Ayden Férdeline
Marilyn Cade played a major role in establishing the global governance structure of the internet.
SOURCE: Boston Review
The Internet is Lousy Because of Capitalism, Not Bad Apple CEOs
by Matthew Crain
"Surveillance advertising was created by marketers, technology start-ups, investors, and politicians, a coalition bound by the desire to commercialize the web as quickly as possible."
SOURCE: The Nation
Reviewed: The Bio of Hippie Capitalism Pioneer and Technofuturist Stewart Brand
by Malcolm Harris
From LSD to the computer revolution, Stewart Brand appeared in some way in the biggest cultural trends to emerge from California in the late 20th century. A new authorized biography tells a version of his story, but is it the whole story?
SOURCE: The Baffler
Meet the New Middleman, Same as the Old Middleman
by Kathryn Judge
The internet's promise to cut out any number of middlemen from the consumer experience has been a failure.
SOURCE: The Baffler
The Automation Myth (Review Essay)
by Clinton Williamson
Neither utopian nor cataclysmic predictions about the effects of automation made in the 20th century have come exactly to pass; technology has changed, but not replaced, work. Several new books try to connect the past and future of work.
SOURCE: Fast Company
Jill Lepore Debunks Elon Musk's Futurism
Is Elon Musk's worldview based in a singularly weird interpretation of the sci-fi books he devoured as a kid? Jill Lepore discusses the rise of the self-styled comic book hero CEO as a matter of confusing dystopia for a how-to guide.
- Will a "No Labels" Campaign Wreck the 2024 Election? We Can't Ask Group's Secret Donors.
- Excerpts from a Civics Textbook I Assume Would be Welcome in Florida
- Confusion Over Book Bans in Florida is a Feature, Not a Bug, of New Policies
- We're Living in the World (un)Made by the Iraq War
- Florida Professor: I was Fired for Teaching about Racism
- Kendi: "Anti-woke" Part of Backlash Against Antiracist Protest Movements
- Monica Muñoz Martinez Honored for Truth-Telling in Texas History
- Why are Universities so Disrespectful of their Organized Workers?
- Aside from Bush and Cheney, Who's Most Responsible for Iraq?
- Leaked Emails Show Christian Nationalist Anti-Trans "Holy War"