Stop Comparing Trump and Obama

There is a fundamental difference between Donald Trump and Barack Obama that does not receive sufficient attention—probably because thinking about it shows just how disturbing the current reality is. We tend to treat Trump’s decisions as standard decisions from a president. Because in a sense, they are. Any president could pull out of multinational agreements,… Continue reading Stop Comparing Trump and Obama

A Note on Russian Ads

I've seen a lot in recent days about Russian ads. Some people are under the impression that outside interference and "election meddling" through racially charged advertisement are major concerns. However, this is not the case. The racial issue is real; the Russia issue, not so much. Even if Russia did attempt to influence the American… Continue reading A Note on Russian Ads

Some Brief Reflections on the Use of Technology in Education

1. The torrent of Facebook-related scandals has incited deep reflection on the role of technology in our lives. We simply do not know all that our new technologies are doing to us. At this point, understanding ourselves, both individually and as a society, cannot be so easily distinguished from understanding technology. The two reflect and… Continue reading Some Brief Reflections on the Use of Technology in Education

It Won’t Be Different This Time

After the Las Vegas shooting I wrote a will called “If I’m Killed in a Mass Shooting.” In it I made two claims: There is no gun debate. Despite the patina of rationality, the NRA slate of arguments is so transparently terrible that it makes a mockery of the whole concept of public discourse. What’s… Continue reading It Won’t Be Different This Time

Facebook Should Shut Itself Down

The more I read and think about Facebook, the more I am convinced that it is deeply terrible for the world—and, as a corollary that few people accept, the more obvious it is to me that Facebook should no longer exist. So I am calling on Mark Zuckerberg to do the right thing: shut Facebook… Continue reading Facebook Should Shut Itself Down

The Specter of Machine Intelligence

1 Machines are coming to resemble human beings more each day. At a concrete level, this is true because human beings are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to produce machines that increasingly resemble human beings. But more abstractly, this is true in principle: machines exist in the first place because they resemble human beings. Karl Marx,… Continue reading The Specter of Machine Intelligence

The Coming Oppression

What makes racism wrong? Sexism? Speciesism? Each have their own complexities, but at the most general level, all three share a common error. They involve attributing moral significance to something that isn’t morally significant. A racist assumes that the division of people into various races allows you ascribe different moral worth to people. A sexist… Continue reading The Coming Oppression