SOURCE: The New Yorker
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?
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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: New York Times
The Internet’s Favorite Catalog of Weird Places Rewrites History
The popular internet site Atlas Obscura has undertaken to rewrite many of its articles to include more diverse perspectives on the unusual places they describe.
SOURCE: The Conversation
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 Man Who Helped Turn 4chan Into the Internet's Racist Engine
A look at the people who enabled the creation of a far-right sewer of racism and bigotry on the internet.
SOURCE: The Atlantic
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.
Marshall McLuhan: The Man Who Predicted the Internet and Warned Us of its Dangers
by Ludovic Rembert
These days, most of Professor McLuhan's "global village" is kept in private and confined spaces: the village plaza is Facebook, a space that is operated for commercial purposes, restricting our discussions and absorbing our private data within our conversations and searches to sell it to advertisers.
SOURCE: The New York Times
The Pandemic Is Not an Excuse to Exploit Writers
by Douglas Preston
Internet Archive’s “National Emergency Library” is meant to benefit consumers during the coronavirus crisis. Authors everywhere are losing.
How Games Marketing Invented Toxic Gamer Culture
How early marketing campaigns for online gaming platforms suggested toxicity isn't a bug, it's a feature.
Internet Historians Mourn Loss Of Cultural Record As Yahoo Prepares To Delete Groups
At one time, there were 10 million Yahoo Groups with more than 100 million users - from neighborhood organizations to amateur astronomers. On Saturday, the archives disappeared.
The Internet at 50: The future and “dissolving containers”
by Harlan Lebo
The internet has long been on a path of constant reinvention, with flux being the sole constant. The biggest question of all is: where will digital technology go next?
The Internet at 50: The Night the Internet Was Born
by Harlan Lebo
If there was a single moment that would define the start of the technology that would become the internet – this was it: the future was born.
The Internet At 50: How the Dot-Com Bubble Burst
by Harlan Lebo
As a cautionary tale and a business school lesson about irrational investor expectations, no modern example proved better than the dot-com bubble.
The Internet at 50: Four Steps in Transforming the Digital World
by Harlan Lebo
The internet may have been “born” in October 1969, but it then percolated for years as complex, near-impenetrable masses of data stored in computers around the world. Online technology would evolve for more than two decades before it would become practical for everyone to use.
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