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Grades, And Artificial Intelligence

Dear students, If you ask about your grade, I’ll gladly tell you that you’re doing well...

A Speculation On The Evolution Of Science

“Terror is the normal state of any oral society, for in it everything affects everything all...

Robots, Imagination, And Spirit

Last month in Korea a computer scientist struck up a conversation on the subway. He told me in...

Get Rid Of ‘Innovation Ecosystems’

To say ‘business ecosystem’ or ‘innovation ecosystem’ is to commit the teleological fallacy...

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Fred PhillipsRSS Feed of this column.

After a dozen years as a market research executive, Fred Phillips was professor, dean, and vice provost at a variety of universities in the US, Europe, and South America. He is now Professor at University... Read More »

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Ah, Cuba

Ah, Cuba

Dec 18 2014 | comment(s)

Ah, Cuba. My father’s college roommate’s mother – are you following so far? – was a travel agent, and had gone on one of these agent junkets to Havana. She danced with the dictator Batista at a formal ball, and returned to the US with stars in her eyes. When my parents married, nothing would do, she insisted, but for them to honeymoon in Cuba.

California and Arizona recently began registering ‘benefit corporations.’ A small California non-profit university with which I’m acquainted has commenced the transition to for-profit, b-corp status.
I just returned from the Asian Science Park Association conference in Shiraz, Iran.[1] One Science Park official asked me, “Companies in our park cannot get any cooperation from the big petrochemical firms. What can we do?”
Google buses yuppifying San Francisco. Facebook creepily profiling us. iCloud giving up our pubes to hacker paparazzi. We poured our faith and money into these companies, and now we feel like jilted lovers.

Apple once made “the computer for the rest of us.” OK, we always knew Google wanted world domination, but we thought it would be benevolent.

It’s banal to mention that technology is a two-edged sword. That it solves practical problems and creates new ones. That it makes our lives more comfortable and more complex, and stresses and at the same time sustains our social relationships. Today we’ll go beyond these commonplaces to explore two lesser-known aspects of tech’s dark side: Inequality and unhappiness. Will the dark side prevail? Maybe, but we’ll see glimmers of hope for the team of truth and goodness.

The growing gap

Big Data

Big Data

Aug 02 2014 | comment(s)

Nothing boosts the prospects of page hits on a blog – or funding of a grant proposal – like the phrase “big data.” Why are we enamored with “big data”?