Tag: Technology

‘People are Working Harder than Ever’ – Jonas Altman, Shapers – Book Review

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to interview Jonas Altman, author of the newly released Shapers: Reinvent The Way You Work and Change the Future. Altman, based in Canada, has done a remarkable job of dissecting where we are as a society. Jobs, he argues, are stuck in a holding pattern: people are ...

The Ethics of Brain Implants

Brain implants are such a risky technology that we should consider banning them before they get released. If not, we risk losing a freedom we take for granted every day, our freedom of thought. On August 28, Neuralink, a company founded by Elon Musk, revealed a working prototype of a brain implant in a demonstration ...

An Intellectual History of Our Troubles with Technology

We often evaluate new technologies based on old standards. How should we update our evaluative tools for the digital age? Our troubles with technology have mythical origins. In the Phaedrus, Plato recounts the tale of the Egyptian god Theuth, who once tried to sell the invention of writing to Thamus, the king of the gods: ...

What COVID Teaches Us About Big Tech (The Blog Post the Government Made Me Take Down)

In April, I published the following blog post here on my personal blog New Intrigue and on the Oxford Political Review. A few months later, I was told to take down the post or get fired from my then job as a public servant in the Australian Federal Government. Although the post had no criticism ...

Before you go to law school… read this (Or: Should I go to law school?)

So you want to go to law school.  You’ve spent years watching legal dramas, stomach tingling at every argument spoken in a Hollywood courtroom. You’ve honed your skills in argumentation, practicing on your parents, siblings and intellectually inferior friends. You’ve trodden through the history books, digging out biographies of Nelson Mandela, Gandhi and Jefferson. You ...

Why Do Tech Companies Want to Read Our Minds? (Brain-computer interfaces, surgical implants and the end of privacy)

We are free to think whatever we want. From a young age, we are told that no one else can know what we are thinking. Someone can study our actions, our facial expressions and our body language, but they can never know for sure what we are thinking. Our thoughts are private and secure, and ...

4 Ways to Innovate: Lessons from the Global Scholars Symposium

In June 2019, Rhodes House hosted the Global Scholars Symposium. The theme was Cultivating Innovation. Over the two-day event, speakers from all over the world talked about different ways to innovate. I left the event with a newfound appreciation for innovators, and several take-home messages. According to the dictionary, to innovate is to “make changes in ...

Fireworks Fly at Jeff Koons Event: Should An Artist Credit Their Assistants?

Fireworks flew in question time yesterday at an event celebrating the internationally acclaimed artist Jeff Koons. Visiting Oxford to promote his exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, Koons was questioned by the Emeritus Professor of Art History Martin Kemp, before receiving mostly hostile questions from the live audience. Koons is best known for his reproduction of ...

United Kingdom Considers New Laws: Age Restrictions for Facebook Likes, Snapstreaks

The recent call for age restrictions on likes and streaks on Facebook and Snapchat is long overdue, but does not go far enough.  People of all ages should be protected from the psychological damage caused by likes, streaks and other online ‘reward’ mechanisms used by giant social media companies to make us all addicts. Likes, ...

Automation and the Classic Political Response – Retrain Workers – Inadequate

When the threat of automation is raised, politicians tend to respond with banal platitudes about retraining workers. "We need to train people for the jobs of the future," they'll say. When asked what those jobs will be, they inevitably say: coding. But what if there are no jobs? And what if we can't all be ...