What I'm Reading (Oct. 27)

Related articles

What’s Science got to do with it? - Science and policy
Luxury surveillance - we willing put on "ankle monitors" and often pay a premium

“In November of 1660, at Gresham College in London, an invisible college of learned men held their first meeting after 20 years of informal collaboration. They chose their coat of arms: the royal crown’s three lions of England set against a white backdrop. Their motto: “Nullius in Verba,” or “take no one’s word for it.” Three years later, they received a charter from King Charles II and became what was and remains the world’s preeminent scientific institution: the Royal Society.

Three and a half centuries later, in July of 2021, even respected publications began to grow weary of a different, now constant refrain: “Trust the science.” It was a mantra everyone was supposed to accept, repeated again and again, ad nauseum

This new motto was the latest culmination of a series of transformations science has undergone since the founding of the Royal Society, reflecting the changing nature of science on one hand, and its expanding social role on the other.”

The role of science in our lives has been with us for far longer than we might have thought. From Palladium, The Transformations of Science

 

“The conveniences promised by Amazon’s suite of products may seem divorced from this context; I am here to tell you that they’re not. These “smart” devices all fall under the umbrella of what the digital-studies scholar David Golumbia and I call “luxury surveillance”—that is, surveillance that people pay for and whose tracking, monitoring, and quantification features are understood by the user as benefits. These gadgets are analogous to the surveillance technologies deployed in Detroit and many other cities across the country in that they are best understood as mechanisms of control: They gather data, which are then used to affect behavior.”

Where exactly is the line between tracking for my benefit and surveillance for yours? We should be asking now. From the Atlantic, The Rise of ‘Luxury Surveillance’

This week's reading is, admittedly a bit short, but I was distracted.