Giuditta che decapita Oloferne, Artemisia Gentileschi, 1620–1621.

This week, both Apple and Google have come under fire for continuing to allow sales of a Saudi government app which will enable men to track and manage the women under their guardianship from their app stores. This app effectively makes it easier for men to monitor and restrict the activities of their female relatives, including constraining their ability to travel freely. At the same time, the humanitarian sector is alarmed by the World Food Programme’s decision to engage the data analytics firm Palantir in a 5-year deal.

A New York Times article last year accused academia of being asleep…

Destruction. 1836. Thomas Cole

An overextended superpower is brought low in an era of ideological polarization, set against the backdrop of a widely adopted new technology which has radically transformed people’s relationship with information. Over 10 percent of the population dies in the subsequent conflicts. This isn’t a dark portent of a potential future. It’s a lesson from our past about the dangers that can arise when technology and politics intersect.

In his history of the modern West, the late historian Jacques Barzun asserted that the widespread adoption of the printing press gave Luther’s Reformation the traction that earlier efforts at reform lacked. …

Is social media affecting humanitarian crises and conflict in ways that kill people and may ultimately undermine humanitarian response?

John Singer Sargent: Orestes Pursued by the Furies (1921) via Wikimedia Commons

For the first time in history, war and the attendant human suffering are occurring in societies connected to mobile internet — and subsequently entering the public consciousness in new ways. Aspects of war and conflict that were once near-invisible to those outside the war zone are now visible world-wide on social media platforms. People far away from the battlefield can now interact with and impact conflict in unprecedented and unexpected ways. …

Daniel Scarnecchia

Personal musings on technology and society. Some cooking.

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