Mapping the Political Space – Part III: Enlightenment and Romantic Aesthetics

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.

Private Government (2017)

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.

Weapons of Math Destruction (2016)

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.