Features

Things Which Have Once Been Conjoined: Science Fiction, Contagion, and Magic in the Age of Social Media

This article is part of the series:

There are many interesting formations that might be called networked phenomena. Homophily and the tendency towards triad closure. Scott Feld’s Rule (I’m more likely to make friends with someone who has more friends than me). Small world phenomena (those 6 degrees of separation). “The Strength of Weak Ties” (reportedly the most cited sociology paper in history). In all, a series …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Marching for Science, which is what, exactly?

Many of you may have marched (or chosen not to march) at last week’s March for Science. I marched with my partner and young son here in Coimbatore, India.

It’s fair to say that confusion, controversy, and disagreement plagued the Science March from early on, for two important reasons: The first, from a group of scientists who believe the …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Photography and Visual Tech

This month’s Web Roundup is focused loosely around the theme of the visual. How do we use photography and other mediums to tell stories, and what stories do those technologies tell about us?

The New York Times Magazine did a feature on travel photography, called Voyages. The online version of the 6 highlighted pieces is both interesting and visually …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Ethical Technology, Moral Medicine

Researchers at MIT have launched Moral Machine, a web project to help gauge human perspectives on “moral decisions made by machine intelligence.” The project comes in the wake of a new Science study regarding the complicated tangle of ethics and driverless cars, where the classic ‘trolley problem’ has been scaled up for new technology. Scientific American, weighing in, …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Data, Safety, and Bias

Many people probably saw the news that Facebook allegedly privileges left-leaning stories in its trending news section, a story broken by Gizmodo at the beginning of this month. The BBC builds on this report to explore how what we see online (and the various ways in which this get tailored more and more specifically to us) affects our behavior. “[I]t …

FeaturesWeb Roundups

Web Roundup: The Electronic Over-Soul and our Worst Selves (and Other Mishaps)

The web roundup for this month is a sequel to last month’s roundup on Mind, Consciousness, and Artificial Intelligence. I will address another interface between machines and minds, at the “hive mind” or the collective buzz of the internet, and the ways in which human limitations can be transmitted to the artificial minds that we beget. (And this one …