Contra Cathy O’Neil, The ‘Ivory Tower’ Does Not ‘Ignore Tech’

In ‘Ivory Tower Cannot Keep On Ignoring Tech‘ Cathy O’Neil writes: We need academia to step up to fill in the gaps in our collective understanding about the new role of technology in shaping our lives. We need robust research on hiring algorithms that seem to filter out peoplewith mental health disorders…we need research to ensureContinue reading “Contra Cathy O’Neil, The ‘Ivory Tower’ Does Not ‘Ignore Tech’”

Neil Postman On Disguised Technologies, And The Night Class

In his sometimes curiously conservative Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology, Neil Postman writes: Some technologies come in disguise. Rudyard Kipling called them “technologies in repose.” They do not look like technologies, and because of that they do their work, for good or ill, without much criticism or even awareness. This applies not only to IQ tests and toContinue reading “Neil Postman On Disguised Technologies, And The Night Class”

Flying Solo, As Author, For a Change

Sometime this week or the next, my fourth book, Brave New Pitch: The Evolution of Modern Cricket (HarperCollins India 2012), will make its way to bookstores and online book-sellers. My fourth book differs in one crucial regard from those that have preceded it: I have not co-authored it with anyone; its jacket lists but oneContinue reading “Flying Solo, As Author, For a Change”

Environmental ‘Luddism’ and Feenberg Contra Technological Determinism

My post yesterday on the debate on the Factories Act of 1844 was written to remind ourselves of the perennial dismissal–in the all-too-familiar language of economic efficiency–of attempts to introduce values pertinent to worker-side regulation in industrial workplaces. As noted, I had borrowed the example  from Andrew Feenberg’s Reason and Modernity, his latest book in aContinue reading “Environmental ‘Luddism’ and Feenberg Contra Technological Determinism”

The Factory Act of 1844 and the Economic Inefficiency of Banning Child Labor

One of the dominant threads–sometimes explicit, sometimes implicit–in any modern conversation about employer-side regulation of the workplace (health and safety standards, worker unions etc) is that such constraints are invariably economically inefficient, a burden on the profit-making potential of the enterprise. The parameters for this conversation are drawn from a sparse set consisting of technocraticContinue reading “The Factory Act of 1844 and the Economic Inefficiency of Banning Child Labor”