Information Darkness Is Coming (Unless . . . )

Just over six years ago, I attended Google’s Political Innovation Summit in New York City. Over the course of the day, it dawned on me that, in the not-too-distant future, Google and other social media companies like Facebook and Twitter would have the power to control and manipulate information flow in unforeseen and dramatic ways. […]

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Big Tech and Social Media Giants Just Got Put on Notice

Social media giants are getting some unwelcome attention from the highest levels of government. In response to recent revelations that their censorship of conservative content has been even more blatant and severe than previously imagined, President Trump is now endorsing the idea of taking government action to rein in their power. “Actually it’s incredible that […]

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The Frightening Power of Social Media Bans

We may have reached the point where not having a Facebook or a Twitter account is something like not having a Social Security number—with this ominous difference: a faceless identity-studies major within the bowels of a tech company can take your accounts away from you forever. I understand that the number of people who have […]

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What Would It Cost America to ‘Go Solar’?

Proponents of renewable energy claim that wind and solar energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels. According to USA Today, “Renewables close in on fossil fuels, challenging on price.” A Forbes headline agrees: “Renewable Energy Will Be Consistently Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels.” The “expert” websites agree: “Renewable Electricity Levelized Cost Of Energy Already Cheaper,” asserts […]

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America’s High Frontier

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy in a speech before Congress announced the goal of sending an American to the moon and back before the end of the decade. Eight years, one month, and 25 days later, on July 20, 1969, U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot on the lunar surface, joined a […]

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The Continued Resilience of Quiet America

Fifty years ago, the United States was facing crises and unrest on multiple fronts. Some predicted that internal chaos and revolution would unravel the nation. The 1969 Vietnam War protests on the UC Berkeley campus turned so violent that National Guard helicopters indiscriminately sprayed tear gas on student demonstrators. Later that year, hundreds of thousands […]

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Would New York Really Benefit from Amazon?

Quite a few “I-told-you-so” articles have appeared in the conservative and business press piling on Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who opposed Amazon’s planned relocation of its second headquarters to Long Island City in Queens. The deal was controversial because it entailed extensive subsidies that have long raised the ire of the libertarian Right and the […]

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Gutenberg’s Press

Before Johann Gutenberg’s press, most medieval Europeans depended on oral communication to spread just about any message. Perhaps only 30 percent of Europeans were even literate. Gutenberg changed all of that—and changed history. Before Gutenberg, the creation and spread of ideas were painstaking, slow, halted, and inviscid. After Gutenberg, ideas could be generated and spread […]

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Good Riddance to Amazon

In looking through my Facebook feed one morning last weekend I found: A post from a young conservative about how @Jack permanently banned his organization’s Twitter account with 7,000 followers for tweeting “Learn to code” regarding laid-off journalists. A post from a conservative writer about how her posting of a pro-wall fundraising text saying “If […]

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Is It Time to Ban Kids from Smartphones and Social Media?

What would you say about a widely available consumer product that is highly addictive, facilitates and perhaps causes deeply anti-social behavior, leads to loneliness and aggression, delays and impairs cognitive development and according to some research may kill you in the long run? Sounds like a public health crisis. And maybe it is. It’s not […]

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