The tech shift: Push politicians for answers, and develop your digital literacy

Tech is rising and America's middle class is vanishing. Here's what to do.

  • The rise of new technologies is making the United States more economically unequal, says Professor Ramesh Srinivasan. Americans should be pushing the current presidential candidates hard for answers on how they will bring economic security and how they will ensure that technological transitions benefit all of us.
  • "We are at an inflection point when it comes to top-down control over very many different aspects of our lives through privatized corporate power over technology," says Srinivasan. Now is the time to debate solutions like basic income and worker-owned cooperatives.
  • Concurrently, individuals should develop digital literacy and get educated on the potential solutions. Srinivasan recommends taking free online and open courses from universities like Stanford and MIT, and reading books and quality journalism on these issues.
Keep reading Show less

Edward Snowden warns 'bio-surveillance' may outlast coronavirus

Amid the panic of the COVID-19 pandemic, are we building the surveillance states of tomorrow?

  • Edward Snowden is a former CIA contractor who exposed NSA mass surveillance programs.
  • In a recent interview, Snowden expressed concern over the ways in which governments are using technology to track the spread of the virus.
  • These new tracking measures may someday be repurposed to advance governments' mass surveillance programs, Snowden warned.

Keep reading Show less

Is this the twilight of American culture?

The pandemic is exposing long-fractured aspects of our society.

Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
  • The current pandemic is exposing deep-seated flaws in our health care and economic systems.
  • Reinhold Niebuhr's 1952 book, The Irony of American History, claims our cultural arrogance works against us.
  • Morris Berman's 2000 book, The Twilight of American Culture, focuses on America's social and economic collapse.
Keep reading Show less

The internet’s top 12 coronavirus-related questions, answered

Flattening the curve on panic and disinformation.

  • With mixed messages coming from our leaders, Americans have turned to the internet to answer their COVID-19 questions.
  • We explore the top 12 coronavirus questions, according to Google Trends.
  • When seeking answers, it is important to prioritize evidence-based information from credible sources.

Keep reading Show less

How far does individual freedom reach?

The costs of prohibition are great, but can people be trusted to make the best decisions for themselves?

  • Classical liberals favor democracy because it operates as a ruling of the people by the people, rather than rule by someone else.
  • This lends itself to the concept of negative freedom, or freedom from being compelled by the state or other authority to do something. So Daniel Jacobson, professor of philosophy at University of Michigan, raises the question: Do we have absolute sovereignty over our bodies?
  • The crucial point for liberalism is that liberty ought to be the default. It shouldn't be easy to justify compulsion.
Keep reading Show less