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technology



  • 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. 



  • 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.



  • 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. 



  • Prison Tech Comes Home: Tenants and Residents in the Surveillance State

    by Erin McElroy, Meredith Whittaker and Nicole E. Weber

    Landlords have combined technologies developed for screening tenants in the 1970s with more recent digital surveillance and facial recognition systems developed in prisons to dramatically increase control over their tenants during an affordable housing crisis. 



  • It’s Time for Police to Stop Using ShotSpotter

    by Matthew Guariglia

    Surveillance systems intended to detect the auditory signature of a gunshot are inaccurate, meaning "police officers routinely are deployed to neighborhoods expecting to encounter an armed shooter, and instead encounter innocent pedestrians and neighborhood residents."



  • The Rise and Fall of an American Tech Giant

    Writer Kaitlyn Tiffany considers the impact of the Kodak company's product on American culture and the city of Rochester where she grew up, and the way that digital technology has changed both. 



  • Children of the Holocaust Who Are Anonymous No More

    Researchers using digital enhancement have been able to identify some passengers filmed on a train transporting them to concentration camps; some of those identified are survivors. 



  • Josh Hawley’s Virtual Reality

    Writer Gilad Edelman says that Josh Hawley's book twists the history of antitrust policy to fit the needs of today's Republican culture war against the social media giants. 



  • House Arrest: How An Automated Algorithm Constrained Congress for a Century

    In 1929, Congress adopted a formula for apportionment based on the Census. While made political disputes a matter of law, it also capped the size of the House, which has not kept up with population growth and contributed to the disproportionate influence of small states in the House and the Electoral College.