Bloomberg article about how the seemingly always innovative Snapchat swims upstream against the tide of automation and algorithms.
The secret? “Humans,” says Nick Bell, Snap’s vice president for content. “We only work with authoritative and credible media companies, and we unashamedly have a significant team of producers, creators, and journalists.”
A compelling argument that part of the problem with tech and social media infrastructure is that those who create and control it do not have any background in liberal arts.
It never seems to have occurred to them that their advertising engines could also be used to deliver precisely targeted ideological and political messages to voters. Hence the obvious question: how could such smart people be so stupid? The cynical answer is they knew about the potential dark side all along and didn’t care, because to acknowledge it might have undermined the aforementioned licenses to print money…
So what else could explain the astonishing naivety of the tech crowd? My hunch is it has something to do with their educational backgrounds.
Will there be a cultural learning process with technology? Placing the spread of bad ideas and the threats of social media in a historical context alongside disease in early communities. Full post here
(In Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, the elites of the future consume their news on paper, and send each other handwritten notes; electronic communication is for the plebes.) But that will take time.
Richard Sennett discusses the use of space that contributed to the political richness of ancient Athens and suggests modern designers could follow suit.
“Difference” today seems about identity — we think of race, gender, or class. Aristotle’s meant something more by difference; he included also the experience of doing different things, of acting in divergent ways which do not neatly fit together. The mixture in a city of action as well as identity is the foundation of its distinctive politics.