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Category Archives: Recommended Books

The Underworld of Online Content Moderation

The New Yorker interview – The Underworld of Online Content Moderation:  “More than a hundred thousand people work as online content moderators, viewing and evaluating the most violent, disturbing, and exploitative content on social media. In a new book, “Behind the Screen,” Sarah T. Roberts, a professor of information studies at U.C.L.A., describes how this work shapes their professional and personal lives. Roberts, who conducted interviews with current and former content moderators, found that many work in Silicon Valley, but she also travelled as far as the Philippines, where some of the work has been outsourced. From her research, we learn about the emotional toll, low wages, and poor working conditions of most content moderation. Roberts never disputes that the work is crucial, but raises the question of how highly companies like Facebook and Google actually value it..”

Jared Diamond: There’s a 49 Percent Chance the World As We Know It Will End by 2050

New York Magazine – Intelligencer: “Jared Diamond’s new book, Upheaval, addresses itself to a world very obviously in crisis, and tries to lift some lessons for what do about it from the distant past. In that way, it’s not so different from all the other books that have made the UCLA geographer a sort of… Continue Reading

Are Robots Competing for Your Job?

The New Yorker – Are Robots Competing for Your Job? Probably, but don’t count yourself out. [For decades the internet heralded the demise of librarians – now it is AI perhaps – but we will still think – not!] “..The old robots were blue-collar workers, burly and clunky, the machines that rusted the Rust Belt.… Continue Reading

Shoshana Zuboff on the Age of Surveillance Capitalism

The Intercept: “…An unavoidable takeaway of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” is, essentially, that everything is even worse than you thought. Even if you’ve followed the news items and historical trends that gird Zuboff’s analysis, her telling takes what look like privacy overreaches and data blunders, and recasts them as the intentional movements of a… Continue Reading

Thieves of Experience: How Google and Facebook Corrupted Capitalism

Los Angeles Review of Books – Nicholas Carr’s review of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism – The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power By Shoshana Zuboff To the Googles and Facebooks of the world, we are neither the customer nor the product. We are the source of what Silicon Valley… Continue Reading

Technology has over-saturated us

Axios: “For millennia, technology, in terms of its big-picture impact, was, well, meh. Look at the straight line in the chart — that includes every major invention since the year 1 AD, including the printing press. Then James Watt triggered the Industrial Revolution by reinventing the steam engine, and before you knew it we all… Continue Reading

Book Review – The unmaking of the steady job

The Nation – Ad Hoc Nation – The unmaking of the steady job. Reviewed – Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary, By Louis Hyman “…Today’s temps, permalancers, subcontractors, and underemployed do have an advantage that their predecessors didn’t: The effects of the gig economy permeate society more thoroughly and… Continue Reading

How Enforcing Competition Law Could Have Stopped Big Tech

New York Magazine – The Intelligencer: “Yesterday, Amazon announced that it was opening two new campuses in Crystal City, Virginia, and Queens, New York. The preceding audition process, with dozens of local and state governments offering ridiculous financial incentives to Jeff Bezos’s megalith, made Amazon’s power over the public sector plainly clear. Elsewhere, the parliaments… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – Book Review of “Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else)”

Via LLRX – Book Review of “Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else)” – Advertising is now part of a complex ecosystem that engages a wide range of components, including but not limited to: social media, Big Data, AI, data mining, competitive intelligence, and marketing. Alan Rothman, reveals and explains for… Continue Reading

A neuroscientist explains what tech does to the reading brain

The Verge – “For anyone who has ever been a reader, there’s much to sympathize with in Maryanne Wolf’s Reader, Come Home. The UCLA neuroscientist, a great lover of literature, tries to read Hermann Hesse’s Glass Bead Game, an old favorite, only to realize that she finds him boring and too complex. She wonders why… Continue Reading

Book Review: Crime and Global Justice: The Dynamics of International Punishment

Blog of the London School of Economics: “In Crime and Global Justice: The Dynamics of International Punishment, Daniele Archibugi and Alice Pease delve into the hypocrisies and failings of international justice projects. Their book offers a timely reminder that the current international justice regime has not offered a silver bullet for complex political problems, writes Teemu Laulainen. “In the absence of… Continue Reading