• The Dangerous Delusion of the Big Data Utopia

    by Jill Lepore

    Why has "data" supplanted metaphysical inquiry, empirical observation, and even standard statistical analysis as the go-to source for understanding the world? Is data science the latest episode in a history of technological utopianism? 

  • 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. 

  • Native Wikipedians Fight Back against Erasure of Indigenous History

    by Kyle Keeler

    While the internet is often seen as a hotbed of revisionism and "political correctness," Wikipedia editors who seek the inclusion of indigenous perspectives on American history often are stymied by resistant editors and the platform's rules, which discount the reliability of new, critical scholarship. 

  • 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. 

  • Ben Tarnoff on Building an Internet for the People

    While the media pays significant attention to the influence of social media platforms, the structure of the internet is dicated by the privatization of the physical architecture of the internet since the 1990s. 

  • To Navigate the Dangers of the Web, You Need Critical Thinking – But Also Critical Ignoring

    by Sam Wineburg

    "Learning to ignore information is not something taught in school. School teaches to read a text thoroughly and closely before rendering judgment. But on the web, where a witches’ brew of advertisers, lobbyists, conspiracy theorists and foreign governments conspire to hijack attention, critical ignoring is just as important as critical thinking."

  • The Joke’s on Us

    Communications scholar Whitney Phillips argues that the irony-drenched culture of the internet allowed serious white supremacy, nazism and misogyny to flourish unchecked. From the Klan to the Nazis, the far right has benefitted from sowing confusion about what was serious and what was a joke.