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Category Archives: Recommended Books

We Need an FDA For Algorithms

Nautilus – UK mathematician Hannah Fry on the promise and danger of an AI world.” In the introduction to her new book, Hannah Fry points out something interesting about the phrase “Hello World.” It’s never been quite clear, she says, whether the phrase—which is frequently the entire output of a student’s first computer program—is supposed to be attributed to the program, awakening for the first time, or to the programmer, announcing their triumphant first creation.

Perhaps for this reason, “Hello World” calls to mind a dialogue between human and machine, one which has never been more relevant than it is today. Her book, called Hello World, published in September, walks us through a rapidly computerizing world. Fry is both optimistic and excited—along with her Ph.D. students at the University of College, London, she has worked on many algorithms herself—and cautious. In conversation and in her book, she issues a call to arms: We need to make algorithms transparent, regulated, and forgiving of the flawed creatures that converse with them…”

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

Data-Driven Law: Data Analytics and the New Legal Services

Recommendation via Joe Hodnicki: Data-Driven Law: Data Analytics and the New Legal Services, edited by Ed Walters “helps legal professionals meet the challenges posed by a data-driven approach to delivering legal services. Its chapters are written by leading experts who cover such topics as: Mining legal data Computational law Uncovering bias through the use of… Continue Reading

New book – It’s not that economists didn’t see a crash coming – they just didn’t see the crash that happened

The Prospect August 2018 issue – review by Duncan Weldon – How economists predicted the wrong financial crisis. “As the 10th anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers approaches, many books on the financial crisis will be published. Few are likely to match Adam Tooze’s Crashed in scope, ambition or rigour. This is truly contemporary… Continue Reading

The Book of Hope

Rockefeller Institute of Government – Nancy Zimpher: “Working together, good people are changing the world. In his new book Reclaiming the American Dream: Proven Solutions for Creating Economic Opportunity for All,[1] Ben Hecht spotlights efforts that are successfully addressing some of the country’s most pressing issues: meaningful employment, economic empowerment, impactful civic involvement, education that… Continue Reading

Commentary – Welcome to the ‘New Dark Age.’

OpenDemocracy – “Data is making us dumber. This seeming paradox has been gaining currency, at least in the tech-saturated Global North. We’re increasingly bombarded with advice on how to manage data overload. The English comedian Dave Gorman summed it up in the tongue-in-cheek title of his recent book: “Too much information: Or: Can Everyone Just… Continue Reading

Women, Gender, Sexuality, and Computing History

David Brock, Computer History Museum: “The experience of women, and the issues of gender and sexuality, are vitally important to our understanding of the story of computing, and hence our contemporary world, for many reasons. Perhaps most straightforwardly, women have been ubiquitous throughout the history of computing as makers and users of it. As Eileen… Continue Reading

OCLC Research’s Merrilee Proffitt Shows How Libraries Can Leverage Wikipedia

OCLC: “In Leveraging Wikipedia: Connecting Communities of Knowledge, published by ALA Editions, Merrilee Proffitt of OCLC Research shows how libraries can contribute to Wikipedia to improve content quality and make library services more visible. The vision statement of the Wikimedia Foundation states, “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the… Continue Reading