As part of my series on mapping the political space, I talk about two intellectual periods, the Enlightenment and the Romantic movement, that embody and inspire two clusters of aesthetics. I go over how both of these aesthetics can be used for good or ill, and discuss how these aesthetics are adopted by various political ideologies/camps.
This book carefully lays out an argument that workplaces are authoritarian and that the most vocal proponents of liberty today often are unable to recognize this fact. This book goes into the reason why, and shows that recognizing this fact would dramatically change the politics of libertarians.
Though it was written in the 4th century B.C.E., Mengzi's philosophy, especially his democratic tendencies, his policy recommendations, and his humanistic outlook, can still be inspirational to the left today.
Sophisticated models that learn patterns from large datasets offer the promise of providing impartial, efficient, accurate, "smart" decision-makers. As such, they are becoming more widespread and have a lot of influence over people's life outcomes. Weapons of Math Destruction argues, however, that these algorithms have troubling features that codify unjust discrimination and are inscrutable and unaccountable. I focus in this post on these undesirable features and how to counteract them.
This book puts forward the hypothesis that systematic racial segregation feeds racial inequality and undermines democracy. I believe it is an essential read for understanding the processes by which racial inequality in the U.S. is perpetuated, and what we can do to combat it.