Tag: Technology

The Old Woman and the QR Code

The Old Woman and the QR Code

I’m not Ernest Hemingway but he did advise “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” There was no big fish involved in my story (just an omelet) but the antagonist was a monster. The setting was not the vast sea but it was a room filled with strangeness and uncertainty.  In essence, the...

It’s Time to Give OSINT Its Own Agency

It’s Time to Give OSINT Its Own Agency

The recent rise of social media sites, the instant spread of news via the internet and the availability of satellite imagery to the public created a plethora of open source information that is not guarded by governments or the military. This type of information is increasingly used to generate...

Welcome to the Metaverse: The Peril and Potential of Governance

Welcome to the Metaverse: The Peril and Potential of Governance

The final chapter of Don DeLillo’s epic 1997 novel “Underworld” has proven a prescient warning of the dangers of the digitized life and culture into which we’ve communally plunged headfirst. Yet no sentiment, no open question posed in his 800-page opus rings as ominously, or remains as...

Regional Clouds Could Be the Answer

Regional Clouds Could Be the Answer

Regionally organized clouds (ROCs) can be the answer to a series of problems public policy is currently struggling with. Global cloud companies, including Google, Amazon and Microsoft, provide valuable services. But societal concerns are being raised about the control of data and the concentration...

Can Humanity Withstand the Assault of Deepfakes?

Can Humanity Withstand the Assault of Deepfakes?

In early 2019, Foreign Affairs took a detailed look at the social and potentially political implication of the emergence of a phenomenon called “Deepfakes,” the result of recent advances in digital technology. The article describes the kind of manipulation of images and sound that now...

Is Technology Neutral?

Is Technology Neutral?

At the climax of a “60 Minutes” segment on ethical technology design, host Anderson Cooper demanded suspiciously of Tristan Harris, “Is technology neutral?” While Cooper made the word “neutral” seem like a loaded challenge, the truth is that “neutral” is as neutral a word as can...

Intelligence Is Not Wisdom

Intelligence Is Not Wisdom

At the end of August, two prestigious names in the technology and business world graced the stage of the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai. The Chinese television station that broadcast the debate between Jack Ma, (CEO of Alibaba) and hyperreal hero Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla,...

10 Physics Tricks to Recover From Digital Decalibration

10 Physics Tricks to Recover From Digital Decalibration

This is a list of straightforward ways to feel better in the age of smartphones. This list can serve as a companion to an earlier edition of Tech Turncoat Truths listing how screens damage the human nervous system, and also to a peer-reviewed article making the same case. Here's the gist of...

Will the Brainbelts Manage to Satisfy All Our Needs?

Will the Brainbelts Manage to Satisfy All Our Needs?

Almost all observers of economic transformation have recently focused on the feared (or cheered) future dominance of artificial intelligence and robotics. This week, Atul Singh, the founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of Fair Observer, reviews a fascinating book, “The Smartest Places on Earth,”...

Smart Brainbelts, Not Donald Trump, Are Making America Great Again

Smart Brainbelts, Not Donald Trump, Are Making America Great Again

In 2016, Antoine van Agtmael and Fred Bakker published “The Smartest Places on Earth.” Van Agtmael, a personal friend and a donor to Fair Observer, asked me to review the book. Unfortunately, day-to-day writing, editorial and administrative tasks in a crazy year ensured that this fell off the...

10 Physics Reasons Why Screens Are Bad for Humans

10 Physics Reasons Why Screens Are Bad for Humans

Here are 10 interlocking reasons why using screens damages the human nervous system. The reasons are derived from basic mathematical principles of how matter and energy move in space and time. The gist is that the human nervous system, seen as a sensitive instrument, needs to calibrate itself using...

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