Slate

A Robot Stole My Pulitzer!

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
March 20, 2012 |

Can technology be autonomous? Does it lead a life of its own and operate independently of human guidance? From the French theologian Jacques Ellul to the Unabomber, this used to be widely accepted. Today, however, most historians and sociologists of technology dismiss it as naive and inaccurate.

Yet the world of modern finance is increasingly dependent on automated trading, with sophisticated computer algorithms finding and exploiting pricing irregularities that are invisible to ordinary traders.

Can the Electric Car Survive?

  • By
  • Steve LeVine,
  • New America Foundation
March 13, 2012 |

Is there pent-up demand for a $75,000 electric SUV that can outrun a Porsche? South African entrepreneur Elon Musk is gambling that there is. Other entrepreneurs are making similar bets: More than a dozen countries and thousands of incumbent and startup entrepreneurial companies around the world have placed competing chips on the table with the conviction that advanced batteries and electrified vehicles are the next new thing. All together, they will park some two dozen models in Asian, European, and U.S. showrooms in 2012 and 2013.

Game Over in Afghanistan

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
March 12, 2012 |

The game is over in Afghanistan. An American presence can no longer serve any purpose. Or, rather, it can only extend and exacerbate the pathologies of this war. It is time to get out, and more quickly than President Obama had been planning. The consequences of leaving may be grim, but the consequences of staying are probably grimmer.

No Fighting In The Money Room | Slate Magazine

March 3, 2012

Still, with his new book, The Escape Artists: How Obama's Team Fumbled the Recovery, Noam Scheiber offers a persuasive take on administration policymaking, one in which there are no heroes and no villains, no fools, no saints, not even a clear road not ...

The Insurgent’s Playbook

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
February 27, 2012 |

Once again, we find ourselves way in over our heads in Afghanistan, and at the worst possible time: when President Obama, who seems to have recognized this fact, is trying to get out while preserving a modicum of stability—something the Taliban, other insurgents, and possibly well-armed criminal gangs seem determined to block.

Why Don’t We Care About Syria?

  • By
  • Emily Parker,
  • New America Foundation
February 24, 2012 |

The Syrian uprising should be the kind of story that takes social media by storm. It has extraordinary acts of resistance, ordinary citizens fighting for freedom, and the Internet's power to break through a government's wall of silence. On Thursday, a U.N. panel declared that the Syrian government has engaged in “gross human rights violations.”

So why hasn't Syria gone viral?

The Information Welfare State

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
February 20, 2012 |

The great paradox of today's Internet is that the Web feels less and less orderly, even as technology companies preach the virtues of control.

The Real Problem With Google’s New Privacy Policy

  • By
  • James Losey,
  • Thomas Gideon,
  • New America Foundation
February 15, 2012 |

When Google announced impending changes to its privacy policy, users and the media alike were focused on one thing: the inability to opt-out, short of deleting your account. Though Congress keeps pushing Google for more clarification, many users have grumpily acknowledged the Gmail notifications and moved to new privacy concerns like an iPhone app that copied and uploaded users' contacts.

What Happened to a Leaner, Meaner Military?

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
February 14, 2012 |

After two earlier rollouts—the announcement of a new “defense strategic guidance” on Jan. 5 and the top-line numbers for the new defense budget three weeks later—the Pentagon today finally released its actual budget request for fiscal year 2013, with all the details attached. When you read through the mountain of pages and appendixes, a curious discrepancy sticks out.

The Other Academic Freedom Movement

  • By
  • Konstantin Kakaes,
  • New America Foundation
February 9, 2012 |

In the summer of 1991, Paul Ginsparg, a researcher at the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory, set up an email system for about 200 string theorists to exchange papers they had written. The World Wide Web was a mere infant—it had been opened to the public on Aug. 6 of that year. The string theorists weren’t particularly interested in making their research widely available (outsiders would have a tough time following the conversation anyhow). Ginsparg’s archive was a way for the theorists to communicate with one another.

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