READINGS

Longs

  1. Daniel Quinn. Ishmael: A Novel.
  2. Rupert Read and Samuel Alexander. This Civilization is Finished.
  3. Thoman Kuhn. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
  4. Cathy O'Neil. Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy.
  5. Shoshana Zuboff. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power.
  6. William Deresiewicz. Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life.
  7. Gloria Steinem. Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem.
  8. Daniel Kahneman. Thinking, Fast and Slow.

Shorts

Academic

We will consider some lines of contemporary research, listed below:
  • Secure Multi-Party Computation
  • Homomorphic Encryption
  • Functional Encryption
  • Ethical algorithms
  • Differential Privacy
  • Complexity Theory
  • Indistinguishability Obfuscation
We will ask questions, like the following, about each of these, and aim to create a matrix with possible answers:
  • What problem does this solve?
  • What problems is it sold as solving?
  • Who benefits? Does it benefit Power, or People?
  • What other ways are there to solve the same problem, and how do they compare? What makes one solution more "successful" than another?
  • What are the implicit cultural assumptions underlying the pursuit of research on this topic?
  • At which of Kuhn's stages of evolution (revolution, normal science, ...) is this area currently? How is this reflected in the work?
  • If all research on this topic stopped tomorrow, what difference would it make, and to who?