Jonathan Taplin

Podcast #28: Jonathan Taplin on Internet Aggregators

Jonathan Taplin, former music and film professional, tells first-hand what the new rentier economy of Internet aggregators like Google and Facebook has done to the creative arts, journalism, and democracy.

Chatbot

Is Democracy Threatened by Chatbots?

Chatbots are becoming more sophisticated both in their ability to process language and gauge emotion. As social media increasingly influences our news and beliefs, this could be a big problem.

London CCTV surveillance

CCTV: A View on Surveillance From Britain

British citizens may be the most visually surveilled people in the West, with an estimated one camera for every ten people. Critical awareness may slowly be dawning, but will it make any difference?

Undersea Internet Cable

Help End Section 702 Surveillance

Section 702 of 2008’s FISA Amendment Act, the basis of an enormous surveillance program, is about to lapse. A new bill, the USA Rights Act, would fix it.

Walter Lippmann’s Enduring Relevance

In the 20th Century, Walter Lippmann was one of America’s most gifted political theorists. Forty-three years after his death, he may still be.

A Message From the Publisher

Happy birthday us! This month marks one year since we moved to weekly updates. Publisher Mo Lotman shares a few thoughts about The Technoskeptic and the stakes of its mission.

Podcast #9: Danielle Allen on Education and Civics

Danielle Allen is a University Professor and the director of the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard, a regular columnist for The Washington Post, and author of five books, including most recently Education and Equality. She spoke with us about the current emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), the challenges of technology in education, and what it takes to raise an engaged and self-actualized citizenry.

Podcast #8: Tim Wu On Attention and Communications Networks

Tim Wu is a renowned scholar on our communications networks, having coined the phrase “net neutrality” and written extensively on the subject both inside and outside of government and academia, including the White House and Columbia University. His latest book, The Attention Merchants, is a history of advertising, and it’s not pretty. He spoke with us about our declining private spheres, the current state of the Internet, and the effects of what he calls The Cycle, as new communications technologies inevitably move from open to closed.

Podcast #7: Bob McChesney on Capitalism and Technology

Are we in capitalism’s end days? University of Illinois Professor Robert McChesney thinks we might be, or at least we might need to be, if technology continues to displace workers and concentrate wealth. He is a long-time observer of the interplay between media, policy, economics, and society; he sat down with The Technoskeptic to discuss the ramifications of technological automation on our economic system and our democracy. Professor McChesney has written more than 20 books including Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy. His latest, co-written with John Nichols, is People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy.