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ANDRÉ CRAMER

… assessing how technological progress will change our lives

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January 2018

A strong read recommendation on digital media messing up societal discourse: How to Fix Facebook—Before It Fixes Us (Roger McNamee)

This is one of the best pieces of journalism I have seen in quite a while, looking a level or a couple of levels deeper than usual into what social media and social networks really mean for public discourse, the formation of opinion and eventually public polarization. Facebook’s role to be precise.

An early investor explains why the social media platform’s business model is such a threat—and what to do about it.

A remarkable quote:

“[…] the internet platforms were able to pursue business strategies that would not have been allowed in prior decades. No one stopped them from using free products to centralize the internet and then replace its core functions. No one stopped them from siphoning off the profits of content creators. No one stopped them from gathering data on every aspect of every user’s internet life. No one stopped them from amassing market share not seen since the days of Standard Oil. No one stopped them from running massive social and psychological experiments on their users. No one demanded that they police their platforms. It has been a sweet deal. Facebook and Google are now so large that traditional tools of regulation may no longer be effective.”

A must-read on a topic that we need to tackle if we don’t want to end up with technology whose consequences we have not thought through well enough during its early maturity stages messaging up our society.

Read the full article here: Washington Monthly | How to Fix Facebook—Before It Fixes Us

The Universal Basic Income discussion is not pointless. Period. (André Cramer)

One of the topics that is inevitably tied to the big digital transformation themes like AI, machine learning, robotics and digital transformation in general is the universal basic income (let’s call it UBI from here). Like it or not, it’s worthwhile considering which tools, mechanisms and concepts need to be adapted or created when this massive transformation will roll over us. I believe it would be naive not to assume that our political economy, and governance will desperately need new design patterns as we enter this new phase of the digital revolution. Continue reading “The Universal Basic Income discussion is not pointless. Period. (André Cramer)”

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