SOCIOLOGY

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When tech billionaire Elon Musk made a deal to acquire Twitter in April 2022, many Twitter users threatened to shut down their accounts and migrate elsewhere online. Tumblr – a microblogging platform launched in 2007 long known as a laboratory for social justice causes and burgeoning fan cultures – became one contender.  However, many Twitter users proposing a migration to […]
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Narrative frames are fundamental to unifying ideologies. They frame what is possible and impossible, which ideas can be accepted and which must be rejected. In her book, Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics, storyteller and political analyst Nanjala Nyabola examines the framing of the Fourth Industrial Revolution narrative in this light.  She argues that it is being used […]
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I began my last piece on memory—Bliss is in the Forgetting—with the quote “ignorance is bliss”. I should start this one with another: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Like Einstein, Gandhi gets a lot of credit for brilliant witticisms… that he never authored. With regard to the quote above, what Gandhi did say—in 1913—is as follows: […]
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Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin were meant to be used as digital cash. Instead, they’ve become popular as speculative investments. As well as being resource-intensive and inherently wasteful, cryptocurrencies are also incredibly volatile. Prices for the largest cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and ethereum, have both dropped by over 55% in six months, leading some to suggest that regulation is needed to contain the turmoil. Some are blaming sliding […]
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Community is experiencing a renaissance as new, blockchain-based “Decentralized Autonomous Communities.” These next-generation social networks could help solve some of society’s greatest challenges. One of the ways they’ll do that is by building new types of mission-driven markets. Just as “impact investing” does for equity, “impact markets” turn commercial markets into a positive force for […]
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Today, megacities have become synonymous with economic growth. In both developing and developed countries, cities with populations of 10 million or more account for one-third to one-half of their gross domestic product. Many analysts and policymakers think this trend is here to stay. The rise of big data analytics and mobile technology should spur development, they assert, transforming metropolises like Shanghai, Nairobi and […]

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LaMDA is Google’s latest artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot. Blake Lemoine, a Google AI engineer, has claimed it is sentient. He’s been put on leave after publishing his conversations with LaMDA.  If Lemoine’s claims are true, it would be a milestone in the history of humankind and technological development.  Google strongly denies LaMDA has any sentient capacity.  LaMDA certainly seems to […]

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The Industrial model of education that fueled the modern era and its dizzying reach did its job incredibly well. Its prime accomplishment was the expansion of our ability to abstract the world. Until then, pragmatism reigned, limiting most people’s thoughts and interactions primarily because we lacked the tools to extrapolate information, to wield it for things that lay beyond obvious […]
I highly recommend reading the McKinsey Global Institute’s new report, “Reskilling China: Transforming The World’s Largest Workforce Into Lifelong Learners”, which focuses on the country’s biggest employment challenge, re-training its workforce and the adoption of practices such as lifelong learning to address the growing digital transformation of its productive fabric. How to transform the country […]

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