The Crack Where the Light Comes InRoger Berkowitz
Jaron Lanier is “the godfather of virtual reality.” Always one of the most original thinkers on technology, Lanier takes on the recent obsession about Chat GPT and other “large language models” by arguing, provocatively, that AI does not exist: .”My attitude is that there is no AI. What is called AI is a mystification, behind which there is the reality of a new kind of social collaboration facilitated by computers. A new way to mash up our writing and art.”
Arendt and Big DataRoger Berkowitz
Daniel Brennan has a new paper on Hannah Arendt’s thinking as it relates to Big Data and Artificial intelligence.
The Future of SecurityRoger Berkowitz
Liberalism is the political system that claims to balance the competing claims of freedom and order on the side of freedom. The demands of order and security are strong everywhere. For that reason, it is important to take stock of the way China is using technology to preserve public order; China’s innovations will be seductive in Hobbesian liberal democracies as well. Paul Mozur, Muyi Xiao, and John Liu write about the efforts in China to employ big data and technology in surveillance and prevention of crimes. Increasingly, China is at the world leader in promoting technology as a way forward towards a secure society. The elevation of security over freedom, however, raises profound questions for a free society.
Progressive Workplace ProblemsRoger Berkowitz
Ryan Grim takes on the elephant in the room of progressive politics, the fact that political organizations on the left are spending more time on internal politics than they are on actually organizing to achieve their political goals.
Everything Is Still Falling ApartRoger Berkowitz
Mars Hill was an evangelical church founded by a charismatic figure Mark Driscoll that was based in Seattle. Driscoll proved a controversial figure, at once a brilliant evangelical leader and a bullying leader also accused of plagiarism and fraud. Mike Cosper tells this story in his podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. The podcast speaks to our present moment, whether or not one is interested in Christianity or in megachurches. It is an extraordinary example of how to tell a story of our time through an in-depth exploration of one exemplary cultural catastrophe. I had the pleasure of speaking with Cosper and Yuval Levin- who will also be speaking at our Fall Conference -on the most recent episode of Cosper's podcast.
Reason in Politics: Lawrence Lessig interviews John GastilOn his podcast Another Way, Larry Lessig spoke with John Gastil of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy. They discussed the polarized media landscape and specific steps we can take to improve deliberation, understanding, and the use of reason. Gastil's book, Hope for Democracy, tells the story of the Citizens' Initiative Review in Oregon.
Peter Gordon reviews Axel Honneth’s new book on recognition and argues that recognition is the cornerstone of who we are as well as our claims for justice and inclusion.
The Perils of InventionThe loss of the real world is bound up with the fraying of political truth. In her essay "Truth and Politics," Arendt argues that the loss of truth is more catastrophic for the human activity of politics than is the loss of justice. The Perils of Invention: Lying, Technology, and the Human Condition, edited by HAC Founder and Academic Director Roger Berkowitz, is now available.
Views on the working class, from the left and the rightIn his interviews with Reihan Salam of the Manhattan Institute, and then subsequently with Bhashkar Sunkara of Jacobin and The Nation, Ezra Klein helps contextualize different approaches to imagining and approaching workers and working-class voters. A common critique of elite discourse runs through the two interviews.
Arendt in RussiaRoger Berkowitz
After Donald Trump was elected in 2016, sale of Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism skyrocketed. Now, in Russia, both The Origins and Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, are in high demand yet only available in private classifieds.