2649
The Moral Imperative of Artificial Intelligence | May 2016 | Communications of the ACM
Almost a parody, this article. Says that self-driving cars will save lives, cause disruption to employment (and gives the example of manufacturing which was taken away from the US by globalization not automation), and then says we have to engage with social scientists to think about the consequences of our technologies
toblog  artificial_intelligence  automation 
20 hours ago
Stealing Google's Coding Practices for Academia
An academic goes to work at Google and comes back with improvements on how to make academic code better and more reusable, change it from being just gradware
platformization  research 
3 days ago
edX Celebrates 4 Years! | edX Blog
Check out edX's poster with statistics - the old age-group is now called "lifelong learners".
moocs  public_discourse 
5 days ago
No pressure: NSF test finds eliminating deadlines halves number of grant proposals | Science | AAAS
Interesting. Is this a behavioral economics thing applied to science deadlines?
research 
6 days ago
An Anticapitalism That Can Win | Jacobin
REsponse to Erik Olin Wright's how to be an anticapitalist
research  capitalism  political_economy 
6 days ago
Can I download MIT and Harward courses and use into my web site? - Google Groups
Interesting info about how edX courses are licensed.

Ned says that to license course, contact university.

Armando replies that in some cases, edX does handle the sub-licensing. E.g. in Berkeley's arrangement with edX, it is edX who gets to manage that. Interesting stuff - concludes with Ben Week's link to some OCW scripts that convert OCW course shells into edX courses.
edx  openedx  forums 
8 days ago
Why the Big Banks Can’t Imagine Their Own Demises - The New Yorker
"To adapt a maxim, it appears that the banks have failed to prepare because they are not prepared to fail. The Fed asks for a set of liquidity forecasts, and a bank offers a blithe assumption that it has enough money on hand to prepare for the worst. The F.D.I.C. asks another bank what will happen to assets that are effectively trapped in its foreign subsidiaries, and the bank assumes that everyone will coöperate and money will flow freely across borders. Again and again, the banks’ position is “Let’s not meet trouble halfway.”

Often, when we attribute the failures of the financial industry to institutional psychology or culture, we’re referring to its penchant for greed and undue risk-taking. But the inadequate living wills suggest that these two problems may be less significant than another, larger one. Greedy gamblers can rig interest rates, steal money, or accumulate dangerously large portfolios, but it takes something more than that to blow up an entire bank, let alone a financial system. To do the latter requires endemic, widespread denial, bolstered, perhaps, by something akin to an ego-defense strategy."
finance  generalinterest 
8 days ago
This is the real way big business peddles influence in Washington - Vox
"This represents several distinct channels of influence-peddling:

Google's views on policy issues are simply well-known and well-understood by relevant people in Washington thanks to the fact that they are able to spend a lot of money on making them well-known and well-understood.
Google's civically minded work helps make it well-regarded among the general public, so that policy initiatives that have an upside for Google (like unlocking television set-top boxes) play as smart politics in a way that's not the case for widely hated cable companies.
Google is well-regarded in Washington policy circles both inside and outside the government, so influential people are predisposed to hear them out fairly on contentious issues.
Google is genuinely useful to people in the government who are genuinely trying to do good things, which cultivates the mentality that a strong and globally competitive Google is good for the United States of America. It may even be true!"
google  research  platformization  politics 
8 days ago
Suicide Rates Are Up, But the Most Obvious Explanations Are Probably All Wrong
I talked to Graham the other day and he told me how Durkheim made suicide an object - through statistical analysis - through which he could analyze the thing called society, and thereby brought both society and social science into being. And now here are constant debates going on over society and suicide. I wonder if this is worth a blog-post.
toblog  research 
8 days ago
Twitter
Populists or just presidential candidates? or hypersubjects in the making, ?
from twitter_favs
9 days ago
Intel made a huge mistake 10 years ago. Now 12,000 workers are paying the price. - Vox
Intel made a decision not to make chips for mobiles; that's coming back to haunt it now. Lee uses this as an example of Christiansen's disruption theory. And it is. the problem was never the disruption theory itself - it was the idea that disruption could be managed and a sound mind (i.e. Christiansen's) could manage it for companies that was always the problem.
toblog  research  intel 
11 days ago
MIT online learning report notes importance of teachers, instructional designers
The report also lays out the case for a new type of staff member. In order for colleges to build those personalized blended learning experiences for students, the report argues, they need “learning engineers” -- people with terminal degrees in traditional academic disciplines who also have experience with design and interdisciplinary collaboration and an appetite for bleeding-edge technology.
“As they continuously work to translate the research literature into effective practice in local contexts, these learning engineers will by necessity integrate findings from different fields in their designs,” the report reads. “We suggest that the development and deployment of a cadre of such learning engineers may be prerequisite to the wide introduction of the learning reforms suggested here.”
The call for colleges to train more learning engineers has sparked a discussion about the role of instructional designers. Some instructional designers have argued that the term is an unnecessary rebranding of what they already do.
Penny Ralston-Berg, a senior instructional designer at Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus, said in an email that it is important to distinguish between designers and technologists.
“We need to keep in mind that instructional design is a legitimate field of study -- a profession in which people use their expertise to improve the student learning experience,” Ralston-Berg, chair of the Quality Matters Instructional Designers Association, wrote. “Not all designers are technology experts. And instructional designers do not require prior subject matter expertise to succeed in course design. Instructional designers need to be more than generalists in learning theory and strategy.”
Ralston-Berg added that colleges would benefit from letting instructional designers experiment more and involve themselves in research and scholarship.
Willcox acknowledged that the concept of a learning engineer is something of a combination of a faculty member and an instructional designer. She said the researchers chose not to make specific recommendations in the report about how colleges can train learning engineers, leaving it up to institutions to decide for themselves how to define that role.
“What we do recognize is the critical importance of this breed of professional, this person who has deep disciplinary experience -- perhaps a Ph.D. in engineering or science -- combined with a deep understanding of technology,” Willcox said. “The specific blurring of the lines between faculty and learning engineers -- that’s probably something that institutions need to figure out for themselves.”
moocs  learning_research  platformization 
11 days ago
The Uber Model, It Turns Out, Doesn’t Translate - The New York Times
Why doesn't the Uber model translate? Manjoo says it's because other sectors were never as inefficient as the taxi industry; so now these apps are stuck playing to the luxury market rather than the mass market, which is fine, but not innovative.
business  uber  sharing_economy  platformization 
12 days ago
Why "Uber for X" companies are struggling even as Uber thrives - Vox
Not sure if I agree completely. Yglesias says that Uber was a regulatory hack rather than a technical one which is why other Uber-clones that apply its model to other industries aren't working. I guess airbnb is a regulatory hack too but what about things like finding plumbers or other services?

"What made Uber so noteworthy wasn't the technology per se — it was the way the technology worked as a regulatory hack to unleash economic value that was previously tied up with taxi licenses. There never was a lucrative market in buying and selling licenses to deliver food, so there's no fortune to be made in finding a way to undermine the licensing scheme. There's just modest, incremental improvement to some longstanding and not especially lucrative delivery businesses."
uber  sharing_economy  platformization  toblog 
12 days ago
The secret rules of the internet | The Verge
"Members of the public, "as much as ‘the public’ exists," he said, hold one of three assumptions about moderation: moderation is conducted entirely by robots; moderation is mainly in the hands of law enforcement; or, for those who are actually aware of content managers, they imagine content is assessed in a classroom-type setting by engaged professionals thoughtfully discussing every post. All three assumptions, he said, were wrong. And they’re wrong, in great part, because they all miss the vital role that users themselves play in these systems.

THE PUBLIC HOLDS ONE OF THREE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT MODERATION. ALL THREE ASSUMPTIONS ARE WRONG
By and large, users think of themselves as customers, or consumers. But platforms rely on users in three profound ways that alter that linear relationship: One, users produce content — our stories, photos, videos, comments, and interactions are core assets for the platforms we use; two, user behaviors — amassed, analyzed, packed, and repackaged — are the source of advertising revenue; and three, users play a critical role in moderation, since almost every content moderation system depends on users flagging content and filing complaints, shaping the norms that support a platform’s brand. In other words, users are not so much customers as uncompensated digital laborers who play dynamic and indispensable functions (despite being largely uninformed about the ways in which their labor is being used and capitalized)."
public_sphere  platformization  research 
12 days ago
The dark side of Guardian comments | Technology | The Guardian
The Guardian reports on comments it blocked and an analysis of which articles attract most banned comments
research  journalism  public_sphere 
12 days ago
Facebook is worried about users sharing less – but it only has itself to blame | Technology | The Guardian
"A situation where people aren’t sharing is anathema to Facebook’s business model, which uses our personal information to fuel its targeted advertising and marketing engines.

Facebook’s response to this problem has been to build new tools for sharing, such as the newly announced live video, instead of better tools for managing privacy – demonstrating Facebook’s prioritization of companies and brands at the expense of the needs and safety of individual users.

This privilege given to corporations over people is evident in the ways Mark Zuckerberg talks about individual users. In 2014, Zuckerberg noted that Facebook was “mostly focused on driving success for partners, whether they’re news organizations that are publishing content that people share or public figures and individuals who are engaging directly on Facebook”.

Consequently, in the last two years the processes of sharing links and importing content into Facebook has become more seamless and aesthetically pleasing; the new “save links” and “share quotes” features announced at F8 expand that further. And it’s only going to get easier for companies to interact with users, with Facebook introducing chatbots that will allow companies to chat with users directly through the site’s Messenger app.

Facebook’s response has been to build new tools for sharing instead of tools for managing privacy
In ongoing research with my colleagues Michael Zimmer and Nicholas Proferes, we’ve shown how Facebook’s commercial interests have also shifted Zuckerberg’s conception of users themselves. As Facebook worked to better accommodate businesses and celebrities on the site, its founder began to describe users as “building an image and identity for themselves, which in a sense is their brand. They’re connecting with the audience that they want to connect to … If you carry that thinking over from people to things like stores and brands you realize that everyone’s trying to do the same thing …”

Rather than account for the needs and interests of businesses as distinct in some ways from individuals, all user activities are instead filtered through context-flattening, corporate buzz-speak.

But now that we’ve stopped so actively cultivating our personal “brands”, Facebook is worried about the ways in which conflicting audiences in our friends lists might limit or constrain our self-expression. "
facebook  platformization 
12 days ago
Is Facebook Trying to Turn You Into a Globalist? -- NYMag
Article expressing fear about how Facebook's decisions might undermine political discourse -- I feel that this is unwarranted - Facebook is an organization and the people who make decisions about its algorithms are probably far from those who comment on national politics. But still - it's a valid fear.

"Here, Zuckerberg conflates political attitudes that directly undermine the foundations of liberal democracy — the stigmatization of out-groups, the embrace of government censorship — with a set of highly contentious policy positions. In elite circles, the desirability of free trade and immigration may seem like dead moral questions, but in the rest of the country they are not. What’s more, Zuckerberg doesn’t just decry the stigmatization of immigrants, or maximally restrictive immigration policies; rather, the CEO characterizes support for “slowing immigration” — advocacy for any rate of immigration more restrictive than the status quo — as an embrace of fear over hope. Zuckerberg has every right to express this view. And personally, I think a world where people could move freely across borders is an ideal worth aspiring toward. But I’m not sure I’d want Facebook feeling a responsibility to prevent the United States from adopting a more restrictive immigration policy."
toblog  facebook 
13 days ago
MOOC: Every letter is negotiable | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
A picture with every letter of MOOC contested.. on flickr
moocs 
15 days ago
What happened when I eliminated political dissent from my Facebook feed
pERSONAL essay on bubble chambers and filter bubbles; the author blames ourselves rather than algorithms
algorithms  polarization  politics  platformization 
19 days ago
Congratulations! You’ve Been Fired - The New York Times
Dan Lyons is the author of “Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble.”
siliconvalley 
21 days ago
Adventures in the Trump Twittersphere - The New York Times
Nice piece by Zeynep Tufekci on the alternate media universe of Donald Trump supporters.

"I tried a few conversations that sought to challenge the attendees’ beliefs, but they went nowhere for a simple reason: His supporters and I did not share the same factual universe. At one point, I heard Mr. Trump declare that Congress had funded the Islamic State. I looked around, bewildered, as there was no reaction from the crowd. My social media forays confirm that even that was not an uncommon belief.

Mr. Trump doesn’t only speak outrageous falsehoods; he also voices truths outside the Overton window that have been largely ignored, especially by Republican elites. For example, academic research shows that rather than deep cuts, Tea Party voters actually favor government programs, as long as they perceive a benefit for themselves. It’s fairly obvious that the current model of global trade provides a lot more benefits to corporations than to workers, and yet it took Mr. Trump’s rise to have this basic issue widely covered. In Fayetteville, Mr. Trump complained that much of the military’s expensive weaponry had been purchased simply because the large corporations selling it had political clout. As he said this, the people around me, many of them from military families, leapt to their feet in approval.

The demagogy that Mr. Trump deploys didn’t come out of nowhere, but was encouraged by the Republican leadership. In 2012, Mitt Romney effusively accepted Mr. Trump’s endorsement even though the tycoon had repeatedly questioned President Obama’s citizenship. In this election, the Republican Party may have hoped to engineer a controlled fire that would burn only political opponents — the current president, say, or Democrats as a whole, but not their preferred candidates. That’s a technique that may have worked in the era of mass media. Instead, it now rages, uncontrolled, on social media.

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Many of the Trump supporters whom I’ve been following say that they no longer trust any big institutions, whether political parties or media outlets. Instead, they share personal stories that support their common narrative, which mixes falsehoods and facts — often ignored by these powerful institutions they now loathe — with the politics of racial resentment."
politics  generalinterest  platformization  socialmedia 
21 days ago
The Sharing Economy’s Dirty Laundry | Jacobin
Tom Slee on the latest in the sharing economy.

"Airbnb has adopted the same technique: when faced with controversy in one of their markets, they have taken to putting out “city reports” like the one that claimed to give “quantitative evidence that New York hosts are good for the community.” The report runs a mere three hundred words, with no methodology to back up the bald (and bold) claims, and is full of authoritative-sounding factoids like “Airbnb . . . supported 950 jobs in the outer boroughs” or “82 percent of Airbnb properties are located outside of mid-Manhattan.”

The numbers are practically meaningless — there is no indication of what “supported” means, and when the New York Attorney General’s office got a look at the company’s data it revealed that 97 percent of citywide revenue came from just two of the five boroughs (Manhattan and Brooklyn).

Yet despite the flimsiness of these companies’ claims, their use of data has been immensely successful. High-powered technology executives delivering quantitative claims in an authoritative and confident tone, in polished marketing language, can go a long way to creating that picture of an irresistible sunny future. By the time the truth surfaces, the damage is done.

Another technique is to commission academics to write a paper or report (un-refereed of course), tempting them with an exclusive peek at the company’s internal data. The companies are careful not to overtly sway the researcher, but the very fact of collaboration and private access to data suggests something less than neutrality.

Airbnb has used this tactic multiple times to refute opponents’ claims about the company’s impact on affordable housing in some of its more contentious cities, like Los Angeles, and recruits big names like former White House National Economic Advisor Gene Sperling. Uber commissioned Princeton economist Alan Krueger to write about the conditions of its drivers in a report co-authored by Uber’s own Head of Policy Research Jonathan Hall. As with other company reports on driver incomes, the Krueger-Hall paper lacked any data about driver expenses, claiming that such data is not available."
airbnb  uber  sharing_economy 
23 days ago
Confronting Amazon | Jacobin
Amazon's warehouse workers in Poland are agitating for better pay and working conditions.
amazon  labor  siliconvalley 
23 days ago
When an App Is Called Racist - The New Yorker
An app called Sketchy asks people to contribute "sketchy" areas of NYC and of course, turns out that the outcome is racist. But who's to blame? the users or the app designers? I did feel that this article is a bit of a hatchet job.
algorithms  platformization  research 
24 days ago
Commits · paepcke/oli_schoolbus · GitHub
Andreas' work on making the 'schoolbus" for giving better data events for OLI.
moocs  edx  openedx  forums 
24 days ago
Andy Grove: How America Can Create Jobs - Bloomberg
Andy Grove, Intel's CEO, advocates protectionism. the piece is built around the idea that "scaling" is hard and that American enterpreneurs have forgotten how to scale in the US
scale  siliconvalley  politics 
26 days ago
Say No To The Dress - BuzzFeed News
A few Chinese companies and a scam they run whereby they use Instagram and other kinds of photos as advertising bait and then send cheap replicas to those consumers who buy it. How do these "ads" make it into people's Facebook's feeds is a big question for Facebook to answer; it's a question of how it curates its advertisers.

"Getting ripped off by an advertiser on Facebook can be a rude awakening for some users, who have come to see the social network as a more carefully policed and controlled environment than the Wild West of the internet. Facebook has worked aggressively to keep its walled garden clean in recent years so users and advertisers can feel safe — it has cracked down on porn, private gun sales, and at least some fake likes. It has stringently enforced a “real name” policy, even as that caused problems for transgender performers, political activists, and Native Americans. In its haste to police nudity, Instagram has ended up deleting pictures of mothers breastfeeding and selfies of plus-size women.
But that vigilance apparently has limits.
“Facebook needs to be a little stricter about who they let advertise,” said Lisa Little, a 48-year-old computer programmer from Massillon, Ohio, who had a bad experience with Rosegal after discovering it through a Facebook ad. She added that allowing ads from companies that operate like Rosegal and its ilk “seems icky. It almost made me want to just shut down Facebook.”"
facebook  platformization 
26 days ago
The TSA Randomizer iPad App Cost $1.4 Million | Kevin Burke
Can I write a blogpost about this? FOIA? govts and building apps?
toblog 
27 days ago
Multiple university! - Google Groups
This guy confuses a feature of edx.org that is related to Drupal with that of open-edx. This should tell us that no software works on its own either - decisions are always made to use new software and those may actually not be accessible to the open-source community
edx  openedx  forums 
28 days ago
Barney Frank Not Huge Fan of The Big Short, TDS -- Vulture
Frank is absolutely right!

Though Frank swears he's "not a drama critic," he decries what he sees as "the self-fulfilling prophecy" of cynicism in political art, "whether with Jon Stewart or House of Cards or The Big Short. It basically tells people, 'Everybody stinks, they’re all no good,' and that’s one of the reasons people don’t participate." Defintiely sounds like Barney Frank is more of a West Wing guy.
toblog 
4 weeks ago
The Race Is On to Control Artificial Intelligence, and Tech’s Future - The New York Times
Google, Facebook, IBM are all competing with each other over AI and trying to incorporate it into their infrastructures.
artificial_intelligence  machinelearning 
5 weeks ago
Donald Trump Isn’t Alone in Exploiting the Word ‘University’ - NYTimes.com
The misuse of the word university - by Trump, yes, - but also by many non-profits who are just colleges.
moocs 
5 weeks ago
Making Open edX a Thriving Open Source Project (Stanford Report) - Google Groups
Report by Nate Aune for Stanford on the first anniversary of Open edX.
edx  openedx  forums 
5 weeks ago
What works? - The Long and Short
On the reproducibility crisis in psychology and other experiment-based disciplines. Daniel Davies recommends using the Andrew gelman method which is to register all the hypotheses etc. BEFORE the test is done
psychology  ABTesting 
5 weeks ago
Teaching a Computer to Forget - The Atlantic
Machines, however, can unlearn.

In fact, some computer scientists say it’s increasingly important that they’re designed for this purpose. Part of the promise of machine learning systems is that computers will be able to process tremendous data streams—for purposes like facial recognition, for example. Entire industries are transforming as a result of these computing powers. With the proliferation of sensitive data flowing through vast networks, humans need to be able to tell computers when and precisely how to forget huge swaths of what’s called data lineage—the complex information, computations, and derived data that propagate brain-like computer networks.

“Such forgetting systems must carefully track data lineage even across statistical processing or machine learning, and make this lineage visible to users,” wrote Yinzhi Cao and Junfeng Yang, computer science professors at Lehigh University and Columbia University, respectively. “They let users specify the data to forget with different levels of granularity… These systems then remove the data and revert its effects so that all future operations run as if the data had never existed.”

Cao and Yang outlined their idea for such a system in a paper for Security & Privacy, a journal of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, in 2015. The ability to wipe a single thread of data from a much larger set has multiple potential benefits, they say. Someone could remove their own sensitive personal data from a machine. Academics could use unlearning to clean up or otherwise correct analytics data, thereby making a predictive algorithm more accurate.
machinelearning  artificial_intelligence 
5 weeks ago
The Sadness and Beauty of Watching Google’s AI Play Go | WIRED
Like little else, this path to victory highlights the power and the mystery of the machine learning technologies that underpin Google’s creation—technologies that are already reinventing so many online services inside companies like Google and Facebook, and are poised to remake everything from scientific research to robotics. With these technologies, AlphaGo could learn the game by examining thousands of human Go moves, and then it could master the game by playing itself over and over and over again. The result is a system of unprecedented beauty.
google  artificial_intelligence  machinelearning  public_discourse 
5 weeks ago
Google Puts Boston Dynamics Up for Sale in Robotics Retreat - Bloomberg Business
Google acquired Boston Dynamics in late 2013 as part of a spree of acquisitions in the field of robotics. The deals were spearheaded by Andy Rubin, former chief of the Android division, and brought about 300 robotics engineers into Google. Rubin left the company in October 2014. Over the following year, the robot initiative, dubbed Replicant, was plagued by leadership changes, failures to collaborate between companies and an unsuccessful effort to recruit a new leader.
At the heart of Replicant’s trouble, said a person familiar with the group, was a reluctance by Boston Dynamics executives to work with Google’s other robot engineers in California and Tokyo and the unit’s failure to come up with products that could be released in the near term.
Tensions between Boston Dynamics and the rest of the Replicant group spilled into open view within Google, when written minutes of a Nov. 11 meeting and several subsequent e-mails were inadvertently published to an online forum that was accessible to other Google workers. These documents were made available to Bloomberg News by a Google employee who spotted them.
google  robotics  artificial_intelligence 
6 weeks ago
Open for Business : Democracy Journal
Thinking of the Chamber as an organization at all winds up missing the point. Yes, it has a headquarters—a hulking one that stares down the White House from across Lafayette Square—an HR department, water coolers, and so on. But knowing what can legally be known about the Chamber gets you almost nowhere. The Chamber, instead, stands for whatever it wants to, whenever it wants to, depending on who’s paying. It has become an essential cloak for corporate special interests looking to get in and out of Washington without anybody seeing.
generalinterest  politics 
6 weeks ago
Putin: The Rule of the Family by Masha Gessen | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
Much of the analysis of post-Soviet regimes focuses on what they lack: fair and open elections, for example, or free media. That, says Magyar, is like trying to describe an elephant by what it is not: “The elephant has no wings—OK. It cannot swim in water—OK. But that doesn’t tell us what an elephant is!”To understand what a mafia state is, we need to imagine a state run by, and resembling, organized crime. At its center is a family, and at the center of the family is a patriarch. “He doesn’t govern,” says Magyar. “He disposes—of positions, wealth, statuses, persons.” In Putin’s Russia, the “family” includes, among others, long-time secret-police colleagues Igor Sechin and Sergei Ivanov, but also ostensible liberals from Putin’s St. Petersburg days, like prime minister Dmitry Medvedev and former finance minister Aleksei Kudrin. A somewhat more recent addition to the family is defense minister Sergei Shoigu, who had served as emergencies minister under Yeltsin. The patriarch and his family have only two goals: accumulating wealth and concentrating power. Violence and ideology—the pillars of a totalitarian state—become, in the hands of a mafia state, mere instruments. The distinction is particularly meaningful because all the states the model describes are post-Communist. Where the state used to own the entire economy, now it seeks simply to control the most lucrative businesses and skim off the top of the rest—and eliminate those who refuse to pay.
generalinterest  politics 
6 weeks ago
The Art of Administration: On Greg Barnhisel’s “Cold War Modernists” - The Los Angeles Review of Books
This is the work accomplished by Cold War Modernists, which makes a convincing case that the real story of American art and literature after World War II is buried in the file folders and meeting minutes of groups with unglamorous names like the Office of War Information and the Office of Facts and Figures. By digging through their archives — not the first resources one might think of when composing a literary history of American modernism — Barnhisel shows how these agencies helped to transform a loose collection of antiestablishment, purposefully difficult artists into a prominent prong of Cold War diplomacy, and in the process turn “modernism” into a style of representation equally at home in IKEA and MoMA. In chapters that detail art exhibitions organized by the USIA; book publishing programs funded by the Department of State; arts journals paid for by the Ford Foundation and, discretely, by the CIA; and the Voice of America radio broadcasts that beamed US-centered programming into dozens of countries, Cold War Modernists admirably captures the wide variety of institutions that, from the late 1940s until the mid-1960s, attempted to woo European and South American intellectuals away from their Soviet sympathies with an interpretation of modernism that emphasized freedom, individualism, and democratic debate — in other words, a modernism that stood for the United States.

“Cold War modernism,” then, doesn’t refer to experimental artwork produced between the end of World War II and the Reagan administration, but to “the deployment of modernist art as a weapon of Cold War propaganda by both governmental and unofficial actors as well as to the implicit and explicit understanding of modernism underpinning that deployment.” And, given the archive from which Barnhisel works, this book doesn’t provide Cold War–flavored interpretations of individual modernist works. Instead, it offers an evenhanded explanation of the changing connotation of the term “modernism” as the federal agencies and private foundations listed above sought out an antonym for (Soviet) realism. With this in mind — the afterlife of modernism, instead of its genealogy — the Cold War modernists of the title do not seem to be the painters, sculptors, poets, and novelists who produced the original works, but instead the “governmental and unofficial actors” who produced the federally subsidized midcentury reinterpretation of both individual works and modernism in general, in the name of Cold War politics.
coldwar  research 
7 weeks ago
Start-Up Lessons From the Once-Again Hot Field of A.I. - The New York Times
New forms of intelligent programs are being called AI again, says the NYT
artificial_intelligence 
7 weeks ago
Why John Kasich keeps promising to "Uberize government" - Vox
Uber's place in American electoral politics -- as a symbol and then a as a concrete thing. It's mostly a symbol when talked about at the national level - of innovation and regulation and disruption -- at local level it leads to conflicts and support of concrete interest groups
uber  platformization  public_discourse  politics 
8 weeks ago
The rise of American authoritarianism - Vox
Oh please. This is how political science conquered journalism - in telling a just-so story about American politics. Social psychology meets surveys meets American political science. Spare me.

On that note see these Monkey Cage posts that also quote the Vox authors but are resolutely sociological rather than social psych: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/03/03/how-political-science-helps-explain-the-rise-of-trump-the-role-of-white-identity-and-grievances/, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/03/02/how-political-science-helps-explain-the-rise-of-trump-most-voters-arent-ideologues/
toblog 
8 weeks ago
ORA1 vs. ORA2 - Google Groups
Daniel asks if he can turn off self-assessment in ORA1 and ORA2
edx  openedx  peer_grading  forums 
8 weeks ago
Peer vs. ORA - Google Groups
Daniel asks if he can turn off self-assessment in ORA1 and ORA2
edx  openedx  forums  peer_grading 
8 weeks ago
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