Category: Technology

limits appropriate to the human condition

It seems that a lot of criticism of technology criticism goes along the lines of “it’s not the technology, it’s user error” — and along with this critique is often the very Whiggish idea that if we just come up...

/ August 7, 2018

“the patient in the hospital bed is just the icon”

Abraham Verghese has a moving and pointed reflection about the ubiquity of technology in the hospital: When students arrive on the wards full time, white coats packed with the aforementioned instruments, measuring tape, tuning fork, flashlight and Snellen eye chart,...

/ July 23, 2018

what if people want what’s bad?

This The New Atlantis article about Google, its power, and its struggles with regulation is very interesting. But the ending is perhaps the most troubling: Google links to a December 2016 Fortune article that explains, “Querying the search engine for ‘did the Holocaust happen’...

/ July 11, 2018

The Center for the Study of Ethics and Technology

I’m delighted to see that The Center for the Study of Ethics and Technology is relaunching: Our efforts will also reflect our commitment to thinking historically about technology. Again, under the temporal pressures of digital culture, we fail to think...

/ June 28, 2018

global health innovations: delivering blood by drones!

I’m really enjoying MTV News’ Africa Specific series on various happenings in Africa — it’s not just “gee-whiz” stories, but substantial reporting that digs into some of the more complex political and social changes happening in many countries. This story...

/ June 15, 2018

an abortion thought experiment

Yesterday’s post got me thinking, and I have an honest question for those who think abortion ought to be legal and that our current genetic testing regime for things like Down’s Syndrome is appropriate. Suppose a genetic link to homosexual...

/ June 7, 2018

information and abortion

Ruth Graham examines the question of screening for Down’s Syndrome (often as a prelude to abortion) in this excellent article, particularly the question of trying to focus on giving information: Even in the best of circumstances, the conversation is a high-wire...

/ June 6, 2018

the public health promise of vaping

Smoking is very, very bad. It’s in everyone’s interest to cut it back. And it looks like e-cigarettes might be helpful as smokers try to quit! And then the kids started doing it… and then the kids found the juul. Cigarette...

/ May 22, 2018

sex robots: not just about sex anymore… or ever!

Everyone loves a good read about the history of sex robots, right? “Sex robots,” therefore, have always been about more than sex. They’ve been a cultural repository for wider uncertainties in times of social change: a literalization of the fear...

/ May 18, 2018

racism in, racism out

This article about Palantir is something else: “The world changed when it became clear everyone could be targeted using Palantir,” says a former JPMorgan cyber expert who worked with Cavicchia at one point on the insider threat team. “Nefarious ideas...

/ May 15, 2018