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Joshua Krook

Reading a book about online polarisation is a bit like reading a murder mystery novel where the murderer is revealed on page one. We all know it was social media, on our devices, with the trolls, in the bedroom. What we don’t know is the human cost of our newly fragmented online world: the lives destroyed, the families torn apart, the friends permanently estranged when someone falls down an online rabbit hole.

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‘There is no such thing as an inherently robot-proof job,’ says Kevin Roose – a stunning admission in his new book, Futureproof: 9 rules for humans in the age of automation. We are all at risk of automation – indeed, more at risk than we think. Silicon Valley’s optimism about automation is either ‘false’ or ‘radically incomplete’. Roose says he should know: he once fell for it too.

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Nice is Different than Good

The Art Syndicate
26 April 2021

The works of New York artist Gregory Uzelac are currently being exhibited behind a set of nondescript, graffiti-laden doors on Sydney’s Bourke Street. The exhibition, titled Nice Is Different Than Good, has an underground feel to it. The art is presented on tarpaulin and pizza boxes, alongside traditional canvas. In each piece, neon-hued paint has been splashed about in shapes that are abstract, confronting, and occasionally reminiscent of Wassily Kandinsky.

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Long before Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook, a company called Simulmatics Corporation sought to predict and control human behaviour through the analysis of big data. If Then tells the story of that company, from its humble beginnings in a tiny office on Madison Avenue to the hallways of political power in Washington, DC.

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The Social Dilemma 

21 September 2020

If you watch one film about technology this year, make it this one. The Social Dilemma (Netflix) features almost every tech insider turned outsider. There’s Tristan Harris, Google’s former chief design ethicist who famously dissented over the company’s attention/addiction business model. There’s Justin Rosenstein, the inventor of the Facebook ‘like’ button, who now regrets his invention. There’s Guillaume Chaslot, inventor of the YouTube recommendations system, who now regrets his invention. There’s Jaron Lanier, founder of virtual reality, who now wants people to delete their social media accounts. There’s Shoshana Zuboff, author of last year’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, who blew the lid on the whole game. And that’s just in the first few minutes.

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