Category: Societal Impact

Being Human in the Days/Daze of Big Data

By on September 12th, 2019 in Editorial & Opinion, Entries, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Societal Impact

Technology for Big Data, and its brother-in-arms Machine Learning, is at the root of, and is the facilitator of, deliberate string-pulling design choices. These design choices are made by people, and so the question actually becomes, do the design choices enabled by Big Data and Machine Learning have the capacity to alter, diminish and perhaps actually “destroy” what it means to be fundamentally human.

BOOK REVIEW: The Revenge of Analog

By on September 5th, 2019 in Book Reviews, Entries, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Societal Impact

“From today, painting is dead!” is said to have been proclaimed by the French painter Paul Delaroche in 1839 after seeing his first daguerreotype. His was an early name on the list of people who have made fools of themselves when prognosticating a future resulting from a new medium or invention. Motivated by either techno-euphoria or pessimism they have become famously wrong.

View of Earth from Moon

When America Did Something, Not Because It Was Easy But Because It Was Hard

By on July 19th, 2019 in Blog Posts, Entries, Societal Impact

On that day, at 2:26 p.m., Eastern time, from Cape Kennedy,  Lunar Orbiter 1, the first spacecraft to orbit the Moon, was launched. Four days later, at 8:43 a.m., Eastern time, the spaceship successfully entered an orbit around the Moon, becoming the first human-made object to orbit a heavenly body other than Earth.

Smart Cities through Smart Regulation

By on April 26th, 2019 in Editorial & Opinion, Entries, Societal Impact

Smart Cities demand new strategies and forms of control. The traditional model of public regulation is challenged by a renewed relationship between technology, government, and society. We highlight the difficulties and possible solutions for regulation in the context of a Smart City, provided by the largest city in Brazil: São Paulo.

Efficiency Versus Creativity as Organizing Principles of Socio-Technical Systems

By on April 10th, 2019 in Commentary, Entries, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Societal Impact

What sense of worth and dignity can a person have when their daily activities are confined within systemic contraptions where personal input, originality, and initiative are either undesirable, or quantified as targets to be maximized?