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This Old Firehouse
The dawning age of the internet has promised us a friction-free digital paradise that prizes efficiency, connectedness, and transparency on a radical scale. To internet expert and journalist Evgeny Morozov, these technological developments--touted by geeks and digerati as inherently democratic and positive-- are also eroding the foundations of liberal democracy as we know it.
In Silicon Valley's new data-rich economy, services like Facebook emerge as powerful intermediaries that track our most intimate thoughts, anxieties, and aspirations--from cradle to grave--and that go on to cash in on such intimacies via targeted advertising. Yet what is good for us as consumers is not necessarily good for us as citizens. And the more connected, quantified, frictionless, and open our lives, the more easily exploitable we are by businesses, governments, and one another.
"Silicon Democracy" demands that we reexamine how the tools, values, and potential of the internet may be transforming a liberal democratic order that depends, more than we realize it, on old-fashioned disorder.
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