What kind of world does Spotify—through its algorithmic sorting of millions of users’ desires, through our aggregated listening—produce for us to hear?
Editor: Mona Sloane
“There is nothing shocking or radical about ending an economic practice that has too many negative externalities.”
“We’ve never had a period like this in modern American history,” lamented Governor DeSantis in April 2020, one with “such little new content.”
“You can have really intense intimacy over distance, sometimes only because distance is there.”
“If we want technologies that will not undermine our humanity, social analysts must join with other researchers.”
Art made by AI subverts our usual understandings of creativity as a uniquely human power.
Whether tracking a migrant traveling thousands of miles or someone on parole at home, carceral tech is reaching into all walks of life.
If we accept AIs crafting rap, we repeat the same exploitation that currently separates Black and brown artists from the fruits of their labor.
Violence underlies the whimsical colonizing of an island in “Animal Crossing.” But perhaps it holds promise for political repair, too.
The mugshot was invented in the 1880s. A century later, face surveillance has gone digital but remains as flawed as ever.
"The ways in which the community itself is breaking down felt like end game capitalism."
How might we learn resilience, care and community in the face of crisis–climate, political, cultural, economic or otherwise?
Digital tech cannot stop climate change merely by “greening” individual consumption.
Landlords’, bosses’ and schools’ intrusion of surveillance technologies into the home extends the carceral state into domestic space.
Today is overwhelmingly defined by white-supremacist violence and the whiteness of AI technology. Can seeing them together help defeat them both?
“I am supposed to be writing this essay, ostensibly on technology, but not for the first time, I believe I am unable to write; and not writing, doubt that I will I ever write again.”
Machines learned racism from humans. Perhaps humans can now learn about that racism from the very machines they taught.
“We can’t always explain how algorithms reach their decisions. The reasoning of algorithms, like the will of God, is unfathomable.”
Tech promises to cure any ailment, whether an unwelcome feeling or a global pandemic. But what if tech itself is ill? And what is a cure, anyway?
In the digital world, metrics mean everything. But who interprets just what they mean changes across organizations, countries, and cultures.