Dawn Carla Nunziato (George Washington): From Town Square to Twittersphere: The Public Forum Doctrine Goes Digital. Ruby Siegel (Skidmore): Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Social Media: Understanding the Relationship Between Facebook, Twitter, and Political Understanding. Evelyn Aswad (Oklahoma): The Future of Freedom of Expression Online. The hacking of America: Political and technological disruption have fed off each other since the nation’s founding — now they are dangerously out of whack. How algorithms are controlling your life — and why you should probably pay closer attention: Sean Illing interviews Hannah Fry, author of Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms. Algorithms are black boxes — even to the tech companies that make them.

Adeline Barbin reviews Technosystem: The Social Life of Reason by Andrew Feenberg. Technologies that seem more “efficient” may actually not be. In the future heralded by Silicon Valley, cars will fly and labor will be disposable, but none of this is inevitable — it’s a political choice that we can still reject. The digital is political: Clara Hendrickson reviews Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech by Jamie Susskind.

Tech workers now want to know: What are we building this for? Nitasha Tiku on the year tech workers realized they were workers. Inequality in Silicon Valley is getting worse: Wages are down for everyone but the top 10 percent. Who will teach Silicon Valley to be ethical? How tech employees are pushing Silicon Valley to put ethics before profit. New study indicates Silicon Valley’s elite are not as liberal as they think. Has Silicon Valley lost its soul? The case for and against.


Philipp Lersch (Berlin): Fewer Siblings, More Wealth? Sibship Size and Wealth Attainment. From Vox, slats, fences, and wall, explained: Dara Lind on what exactly the shutdown fight is about; and this could be a really long government shutdown: The game of chicken between Trump and Democrats, explained. The second half of Watergate was bigger, worse, and forgotten by the public: Watergate revealed that multinational corporations, including some of the most prestigious American brands, had been making bribes to politicians not only at home but in foreign countries. Ben Carson’s HUD dials back investigations into housing discrimination. It’s only a matter of time before a drone takes down a passenger plane.

Arno Tausch (Innsbruck): The Return of Religious Antisemitism? The Evidence from World Values Survey Data. “But Mr. Trump had not read the letter”: Television is running the country. The path to the presidency could be harder for white Democrats in 2020 (and more). One giant step for a chess-playing machine: The stunning success of AlphaZero, a deep-learning algorithm, heralds a new age of insight — one that, for humans, may not last long. Ian Johnson on the Uighurs and China’s long history of trouble with Islam. More people are calling on others to cancel their Amazon Prime subscriptions — why’d it take us this long? How two-tier unions turn workers against one another: When employers can’t stop workers from organizing, they still have other tools at their disposal.

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