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Category Archives: Recommended Books

The race to build a better internet before it’s too late

NBC News Analysis: A new book proposes a framework for the internet that would give consumers more control over their own personal data. One of the worst attributes of our society at times is the search for someone to blame. Sometimes we prioritize figuring out who is at fault rather than focusing on how to fix the problem. Our current politics are dominated by debates over who is to blame for various problems. Take immigration: The debate over whom to blame takes up more time and space than the debate about how to implement the various ideas we actually all kinda-sorta agree on for fixing the issue at the center of the blame game. Even the ideas to mitigate the current immigration problems at the border are tied up in a cycle of paralysis that has been repeated over and over in a number of areas, not just immigration, over the past decade. In fact, about the only thing the country agrees on is that political polarization has stopped us from solving even the smallest problems. But other than agreeing about the existence of our disagreements, we appear incapable of trying to bridge these hardening divides. One idea to fix our polarization is to come up with a better incentive structure for our politicians so that they act more often for the greater good than for their own personal gain. Right now, it’s clearly broken…As a new book argues, Big Tech appears to have perfected a model that has created rhetorical paralysis. Using our own data against us to create dopamine triggers, tech platforms have created “a state of perpetual disagreement across the divide and a concurrent state of perpetual agreement within each side,” authors Frank McCourt and Michael Casey write, adding: “Once this uneasy state of divisive ‘equilibrium’ is established, it creates profit-making opportunities for the platforms to generate revenue from advertisers who prize the sticky highly engaged audiences it generates.”…

It’s time to admit that genes are not the blueprint for life

Nature: The view of biology often presented to the public is oversimplified and out of date. Scientists must set the record straight, argues a new book. How Life Works: A User’s Guide to the New Biology Philip Ball Pan Macmillan (2024) For too long, scientists have been content in espousing the lazy metaphor of living… Continue Reading

Book Review: Transformative Negotiation Strategies for Everyday Change and Equitable Futures

Via LLRX – Book Review: Transformative Negotiation Strategies for Everyday Change and Equitable Futures – Jerry Lawson writes – So you think you know how to negotiate? You’ve done some deals, maybe a lot, maybe some for big bucks. Maybe attended some classes. Maybe read some books. Surely you can’t have all that much left to… Continue Reading

LLRX November 2023

The November 2023 issue of LLRX has 9 new articles and 6 new columns: AI in Banking and Finance, November 30, 2023 ; AI in Banking and Finance – November 16, 2023 – This semi-monthly column by Sabrina I. Pacifici highlights news, government reports, industry white papers, academic papers and speeches on the subject of AI’s… Continue Reading

A History of Bookmaking, From Scrolls to Scrolling

HyperAllergic: “If you’re shopping for the bibliophile on your list this holiday season (or you are said bibliophile), look no further! The Book by Design: The Remarkable Story of the World’s Greatest Invention (2023, University of Chicago Press) is an ambitious compendium that seeks to catalog and analyze the history of the book in myriad… Continue Reading

Hitting the Books: How the ‘Godfather of Cybercrime’ got his start on eBay

Engadget – “From bunk Beanie Babies to signal-stealing cable boxes, Brett Johnson has scammed them all. The internet has connected nearly everybody on the planet to a global network of information and influence, enabling humanity’s best and brightest minds unparalleled collaborative capabilities. At least that was the idea, more often than not these days, it… Continue Reading

This Is Why You Feel Existential Dread When You Open Instagram and TikTok

Gizmodo: “In Meganets: How Digital Forces Beyond Our Control Commandeer Our Daily Lives and Inner Realities, David Auerbach argues the the distinctly modern feeling of a loss of control over our lives is the result of these new online forces. The vast influence of Facebook, Google, TikTok, and other tech giants is neither in the… Continue Reading