There Is No Such Thing As Private Data – The Atlantic

Source: There Is No Such Thing As Private Data – The Atlantic

If you need credit or a place to live, companies may try to persuade you to give up even the most intimate information in your social media accounts.

social-media users of all stripes would be wise to remember that a post that’s private today may one day become fodder for a computer algorithm that will decide whether or not you deserve a loan, a house, or a job.

The Data/Human Goal Gap | Ken Arneson

Source: The Data/Human Goal Gap | Ken Arneson

Let’s call the goal you’re trying to reach “Point G”.
And let’s call the best place the data can lead you to “Point D”.

Note that Point D is near Point G, but it’s not exactly the same point.

The problem is this: the thing your data is measuring is not *exactly* the thing you’re trying to accomplish.

The real world isn’t two-dimensional, and the data doesn’t lead you in a straight line. But the phenomenon does, I believe, exist in the wild. And it’s becoming more and more common as computers make data-driven processes easy for organizations and industries to implement and follow.

The Role of Civil Liberties in the Fight Against Terror – The Atlantic

Source: The Role of Civil Liberties in the Fight Against Terror – The Atlantic

Politicians who want to violate civil rights to combat terror miss a vital point—if they strip them away, they’ll be equally defenseless.

A congressional investigative body springing from the impulse to consider members of major religions suspect because of words in their sacred texts ought to terrify folks on the religious right

America’s terrorist watch list is an opaque abomination. … It is already a scandal that a list like this can prevent a person from flying, as if moving about the country is a privilege, not a right. And now, Democrats are proposing that being on a secret, due-process free list should strip people of a constitutional right.

Although America can doubtless improve its approach to counterterrorism, its citizens, particularly its political leaders and television personalities, should take much greater care to avoid responses that are counterproductive or that infringe on civil liberties, because imprudent reactions to terrorism can cause far greater harm to the United States than lone-wolf jihadists.

My Dinner with Peter Thiel | Vanity Fair

Source: My Dinner with Peter Thiel | Vanity Fair

A window into the secret reality of Silicon Valley.

These aren’t the kind of people who simply retire on a beach … aren’t the patient type.

Should he succeed in destroying Gawker, Thiel won’t simply have silenced a site that he doesn’t like. He will have triumphantly instructed other thin-skinned, mega-wealthy people on how to silence journalists that write negatively about them. In the era of Donald Trump, there are few more chilling lessons.