Maybe Computers are Scary, After All

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Clive Thompson, again managing to frighten me with his "thoughts that are on everybody's mind but no one's really thinking about them" choice of topic in these third and fourth chapters of Smarter Than You Think.

The idea that computers can solve a lot of modern problems--like that of gerrymandering--is obviously the type of thing that techies everywhere are hopeful for. However, the flip side of that is that by being able to compute statistics at such an extraordinary rate, the people running the machines may in fact be better of when it comes to abusing their power. That hierarchy of literacy, where some people are able--via machine--to better understand the world around them, is pretty frightening, and somewhat reminiscent of the hegemony of literates past. As if computers didn't scare me enough already.