When Silicon Valley prognosticators warn about the existential dangers of A.I., that danger is often described as existing in an imminent future. We’re told to fear artificial general intelligence, algorithms and technologies that achieve some level of simuluated sentience. Such systems, we’re warned – often with allusions to Terminator or The Matrix – may view … Continue reading Humble Wheat: Oppressor of Humanity? And What This Means for A.I.
Is more speech always better? That’s the wrong question to ask.
Last summer, following the release of a civil rights audit critical of Facebook's handling of hate speech on the platform, I wrote an essay exploring a different way to think about regulating hate speech and misinformation. Given the decision this week by Facebook's Oversight Board upholding the suspension of President Trump's account, it seems like … Continue reading Is more speech always better? That’s the wrong question to ask.
Redistribution Isn’t Enough
Imagine for a moment that you and a group of strangers are asked to design a set of rules that will govern the city that you live in. Except there’s a catch: while deciding on these rules you don’t know whether you’ll be rich or poor; young or old; able bodied or disabled; smart or not; black, white, male, female, gay, straight, etc. In other words, you know nothing about what your circumstances will be when you emerge from your deliberations.
Reflections on ‘Are We All In This Together?’
A few weeks ago, Michael Sandel, one of my old college professors, published an op-ed in the Times asking the provocative question: “are we all in this together?” Sandel is a philosopher who has dedicated his life and career to asking deep questions about assumptions in society that we take for granted. When I took … Continue reading Reflections on ‘Are We All In This Together?’
WaPo: ‘We Need a Major Redesign of Life’
After a while, I lost track of how many articles I read during my twenties about how Millennials "refuse to grow up." We were putting off marriage, not buying our first homes, not having kids, and not settling down in our careers, the trope went, because we were in a state of "extended adolescence." (Somehow, … Continue reading WaPo: ‘We Need a Major Redesign of Life’
NYT: The End of Babies
Great read in yesterday's Times about the economic and cultural headwinds to having a family in this day and age. The piece, "The End of Babies" by writer Anna Louie Sussman, starts with the mystery. Declining fertility isn't just a consequence of policies: If any country should be stocked with babies, it is Denmark. The country is … Continue reading NYT: The End of Babies
Journal News (LoHud.com): What We Can Learn From Peekskill’s Revival
Originally Published in The Journal News (LoHud.com), Friday, May 24, 2019. Let me start with a confession: I haven’t lived in the lower Hudson Valley for the past 10 years. But my parents still do. And every time I’m back to visit, I can’t get over the transformation in the river towns, particularly Peekskill, near … Continue reading Journal News (LoHud.com): What We Can Learn From Peekskill’s Revival
Overcoming the “Overwork Premium”
Taking the subway home from work at 8:30pm the other day, it was only too appropriate that I would come across a Times article documenting the “overwork premium” – that is, the phenomenon of lavishly rewarding workers for working excessively long hours. That might sound like a good problem to have. And to be clear, … Continue reading Overcoming the “Overwork Premium”
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Why Sen. Sherrod Brown’s ‘dignity of work’ message resonates with voters
Originally Published: Cleveland Plain Dealer (January 9, 2019) NEW YORK -- As an unabashed progressive recently re-elected in an increasingly red state, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown thinks he may have a message to heal our urban-rural divide. “I won my election because I talk about the dignity of work," he told NBC-TV’s Chuck Todd shortly after Election … Continue reading Cleveland Plain Dealer: Why Sen. Sherrod Brown’s ‘dignity of work’ message resonates with voters