Why Privacy Might Not Be Worth Protecting

A Recent Invention, It Has Never Been a Universal Value—Nor Is It Essential to Democracy  

Is privacy overrated?

The question might seem daft, given how gravely privacy is endangered in our digital age. Spies in government and the private sector routinely devour data for insights into our behavior, insights that may be used to manipulate our behavior. And privacy’s advocates contend that freedom and democracy are unthinkable without it. As philosopher Michael Lynch puts it, privacy affords us control over our thoughts and feelings, which is a “necessary condition for being in a position to make autonomous decisions, for our ability to determine who and what …

How to Teach an American Inauguration | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How to Teach an American Inauguration

Since 2008, My College Students Have Been Exploring—in Real Time—What the Transfer of Power Ceremony Reveals About the Nation

“Wouldn’t it be cool to go to D.C. for the inauguration?” I remember telling a fellow adjunct instructor in late 2008. Barack Obama had just been elected, and most of …

Forget Fake News. Social Media Is Making Democracy Less Democratic.

Hyperconnectivity Allows Demagogues to Micro-Target and Manipulate the Masses

Anxieties that new communications technologies and media formats would undermine democratic citizenship go back more than a century. In the late 19th century, critics worried about sensationalistic “yellow journalism”; a …