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 …

I Love ‘Newsom at Noon,’ but It Needs a New Star | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

I Love ‘Newsom at Noon,’ but It Needs a New Star

Let Nonpartisan Scientists and Doctors Lead the State’s Daily COVID-19 Briefings

Dear Governor,

Your lunchtime COVID-19 briefings—“Newsom at Noon”—are must-see TV.

No California governor has ever had such a regular, closely observed platform, and you are making the most of it. Your …

California, Don’t Let Your Greatest Thinker Die | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

California, Don’t Let Your Greatest Thinker Die

The Wisdom of 19th-Century Philosopher Josiah Royce Is Needed Now More Than Ever

If you’re a Californian who doesn’t know the name Josiah Royce, shame on you. And shame on the schools, libraries, and intellectuals who have allowed us to forget the greatest …

The Crisis of Fake News Isn’t News At All

Technological Change, Skepticism of Authority, and Relentless Politicization Have Always Undermined the Power of Facts

To be human is to have cognitive bias. And these human biases—and the institutions that benefit from promoting these biases—have fueled the current epidemic of fake news and the rejection …