Cambridge Analytica: Calling You From the Future

One element of John Cheney-Lippold’s We Are Data that I find most fascinating is the notion that being datafied persons makes us posthuman or cyborgs. What we are is no longer made up entirely of our thoughts and our bodies; it’s now a combination of our traditional notions of identity and the data-self algorithmically created and mediated […]

MAYDAY: System Failure

Algorithms maintain a consistent presence within our lives. We constantly encounter them through web searches, ASR devices, and even within our daily jobs. In many ways, algorithms are considered useful and can be considered maps for finishing and processing tasks. What turns useful algorithms into dangerous applications, is when they become embeded into our logical […]

The Datafication of Citizenship

There is an old cliché that goes something like: The United States is a nation of immigrants. Although this is an oversimplification, it has indeed held true throughout American history. From the first American immigrants, the would be native Americans who crossed the Bering Land Bridge around 20,000 years ago, to the droves of people […]

Dangerous Data

Data doesn’t tell stories on its own. It has to be aggregated, collated, formatted…and that’s where the danger lies. The potential for misuse and misinterpretation runs rampant when it comes to algorithmically assigned identities and massive indices. It is this kind of 21st century dilemma that John Cheney-Lippold brings up in We Are Data: Algorithms […]

Data, Algorithms, and the Pursuit of Privacy

Analyzing the morality and ethics surrounding any major issue is something I always try to take into consideration because I believe this frame of mind fulfills a utilitarian objective. As an example, I’ve explored the concept of morality and whether it can be present in the context of a business monopoly on this very blog […]

Humans to Numbers: The Ethical Humanity of Turning Our Lives into Data

Recently in Rhode Island, 2 state legislators introduced a bill that would block “offensive material” online, in particular pornography, to all Rhode Island residents by default. Residents would have to pay a one time fee of $20 and put their name on a list to unblock all this material. I had a big issue with that, […]

An Argument For Our Identities

I remember back when I was 10 years old, and my parents always gave me the same warnings when I was online – “Don’t tell anyone who you are,” “Don’t give away your real name,” etc. I distinctly remember playing some RuneScape after school(an online game where users enter a magical world, fight monsters, go […]