I completely endorse this view, never mind that the author cites me as one of three who maintain the public will no longer stand for global inequality. I have long said that we in the USA have erred in substituting technology for thinking, and I have long felt that the intelligence profession has lost touch with ethics, humanity, and purpose. Open Source Everything (OSE) is about transparency, truth, and trust — not to be found among most technologists, none of whom have a clue what “true cost economics” actually means. Kudos to WIRED for nailing the naked tech Emperor to the wall by his foreskin.
London’s ‘amoral’ tech elite is driving inequality
London’s tech elite resides uncomfortably among some of the poorest neighbourhoods in the UK. Technology is inherently political, whether we are looking at privacy issues, convoluted tax arrangements or immigration exemptions, but many entrepreneurs on both sides of the Atlantic seem to operate in an amoral space, where optimisation, investment and exit strategies trump humility, equality and — according to campaigner and journalist Kirsty Styles — even right and wrong.
Stephen E. Arnold
What Most Search Vendors Cannot Pull Off
I recently submitted an Information Today column that reported about Antidot’s tactical play to enter the US market. One of the fact checkers for the write up alerted me that most of the companies I identified were unknown to US readers. Test yourself. How many of these firms do you recognize? How many of them provide information retrieval services?
What if everything we know about poor countries’ economies is totally wrong?
VOX, 14 July 2014
As China and India continue their fairly rapid paces of economic growth, a greater and greater share of extreme poverty is going to be concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa. But if we’re going to make progress there, we need to have good numbers about how various economies are faring, how income is distributed within them, and so forth.
The trouble, Simon Fraser University economist Morten Jerven argues, is that those numbers are often incomplete at best and downright false at worst. It’s a problem that came into sharp relief recently when Nigeria “rebased” its GDP numbers, doubling its GDP in the process.
Stephen E. Arnold
Big Data Stress at Both Ends of the Lens
An interesting article at the New Inquiry looks at the psychological effects of both surveying and being surveyed in the modern, data-driven world. It’s an interesting read, and I urge the curious to check out the whole piece. Writer Kate Crawford begins with ways intelligence agencies use big data and some of the stumbling blocks that come with it: No matter how much information they collect, the picture is incomplete. On the other hand, the more information they stockpile, the easier it is to miss important clues and fail to prevent a crisis. Agencies continue to search for frameworks that will help them put the pieces together faster.