Fears of civilization-wide idleness are based too much on the downsides of being unemployed in a society premised on the concept of employment.
Approaching the world as a software problem is a category error that has led us into some terrible habits of mind.
We obsess over these fake problems while creating some real ones. In our attempt to feed the world to software, techies have built the greatest surveillance apparatus the world has ever seen. … Just like industrialized manufacturing changed the relationship between labor and capital, surveillance capitalism is changing the relationship between private citizens and the entities doing the tracking. Our old ideas about individual privacy and consent no longer hold in a world where personal data is harvested on an industrial scale.
We tend to imagine dystopian scenarios as one where a repressive government uses technology against its people. But what scares me in these scenarios is that each one would have broad social support, possibly majority support. Democratic societies sometimes adopt terrible policies.
The goal should be not to make the apparatus of surveillance politically accountable (though that is a great goal), but to dismantle it. Just like we don’t let countries build reactors that produce plutonium, no matter how sincere their promises not to misuse it, we should not allow people to create and indefinitely store databases of personal information. The risks are too high.
In this case, people only started to believe in reality when they faced the consequences–the equivalent of deciding to study for an examine only after you’ve failed it.
Voters’ confusion about the consequences of their actions is indicative of a larger trend.
In some ways, our minds have become materially conditioned to mindless actions—things that can be deleted or edited or ignored.
Texas’s H.B.2 statute imposed regulations that yielded no health benefit but made abortion a lot harder to get. The Supreme Court wasn’t fooled.
As Breyer noted, “When directly asked at oral argument whether Texas knew of a single instance in which the new requirement would have helped even one woman obtain better treatment, Texas admitted there was no such evidence in the record.”
Yesterday, US Customs and Border Protection entered a new proposal into the federal register, suggesting a new field in which persons entering the country can declare their various social media accounts and screen names.