The tyranny of story

In this BBC Radio 4 series, British journalist John Harris examines the potency of narrative, both in the stories that define us as individuals and in those that shape our understanding of the public domain. Story is ubiquitous – and not simply in the realm…

[Book] Who can you trust?

Who can you trust? How Technology Brought Us Together and Why It Might Drive Us Apart by Rachel Botsman Public Affairs November 2017, 336 pages If you can’t trust those in charge, who can you trust? From government to business, banks to media, trust in…

Experiential Futures: A brief outline

Stuart Candy (@futuryst), an award-winning foresight practitioner, Director of CMU Situation Lab and Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon School of Design, recently wrote a short intro to Experiential Futures (XF) for designers interested in transition-oriented practice. He adds: “XF is a big topic, so other…

[Book] Ethnography for a data-saturated world

Ethnography for a data-saturated world Edited by Hannah Knox and Dawn Nafus Manchester University Press October 2018, 296 pages This edited collection aims to reimagine and extend ethnography for a data-saturated world. The book brings together leading scholars in the social sciences who have been…

We need to save (willful) ignorance from AI

Recently the psychologist Ralph Hertwig and legal scholar Christoph Engel have published an extensive taxonomy of motives for deliberate ignorance. They identified two sets of motives, in particular, that have a particular relevance to the need for ignorance in the face of AI. The first…

[Book] Smarter Homes

Smarter Homes: How Technology Will Change Your Home Life by Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino Apress, 2018, 168 pages Examine the history of smart homes, how technology shapes our lives, and ways you can think about the home when developing new products. This book presents the opportunities in…

[Book] Artificial unintelligence

Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard MIT Press, 248 pages April 17, 2018 A guide to understanding the inner workings and outer limits of technology and why we should never assume that computers always get it right. In Artificial Unintelligence, Meredith…

Uninformed consent

Leslie K. John, a behavioral scientist at Harvard Business School, is specialized in the psychology of privacy decisions. In this excellent cover story for the Harvard Business Review, she analyzes why people are so bad at making decisions about their private data (“They misunderstand both…

Sometimes patients simply need other patients

In an ideal world, when we are faced with a new health problem, a clinician is available to sit down and address all our questions and anxieties about the condition and its treatment. This ideal is rarely met in the United States health system. More…