Technology

216 posts

Understanding exponential growth

Understanding exponential growth is a prerequisite to understanding the pandemic. I’ve had many conversations about the public health response to COVID-19 over the past year. Setting aside more extreme conspiracy thinking, I’m increasingly convinced that most of the non-conspiracy skepticism of public health measures comes down to misunderstanding exponentials. People […]

Network Nodes by Daniel Aleksandersen CC BY

Defending Against Deplatforming: The Three P’s of Protecting Free Speech Online

In Part 1 in this series, I explained why there are no easy answers to social media censorship. The problem is not a “Big Tech” conspiracy to silence particular voices. The problem is that too much of our public discourse is mediated by private platforms — centralized, proprietary, walled gardens. […]

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Social Media District

No easy answers to social media censorship

There are no easy answers to speech, censorship and internet freedoms given the current state of the internet. Some solutions are better than others, but there’s no perfect answer. If someone suggests there’s a simple answer, they’re probably wrong. As Harvard internet law professor Jonathan Zittrain explained in June: The […]

Complex Systems are not always Common Sense: Some Computer Science Thoughts on COVID-19

Since the start of the pandemic, many people have questioned the lockdowns, the emergency measures and overall government response. Especially after the curve was flattened in Canada, even more people question whether the measures are still necessary, or whether the goalposts are shifting. This defies common sense, the critique goes. […]