Challenging the hegemony

Two short links from breakfast reading this morning, hat-tips to @caxtonian and @mia_out respectively:

Evgeny Morozov: ‘We are abandoning all the checks and balances’: Technology writer Evgeny Morozov on the political dangers of the internet and other things. The opening few remarks are relevant, especially on self-tracking and the implicit suspicion of anyone who doesn’t do so: “Yet eventually we will reach the point where people who decide not to self-track are assumed to be people who have something to hide.”

I’m guilty of self-tracking for marathon training with a GPS watch. Seems harmless but I can see growing curiosity about people who aren’t online that could develop into suspicion. Ask yourself if it matters for employers if a prospective employee can’t be found and investigated on LinkedIn or Facebook? I’m thinking that increasingly it will.

We Aren’t the WorldJoe Henrich and his colleagues are shaking the foundations of psychology and economics by showing that simple theories and tests that produce a fairly common answer in one culture don’t translate neatly to other cultures. The upshot undermines many of the decisions we’re making as a Western culture that affect non-Western cultures. No change there perhaps but it goes to the core of whether or not we can claim some kind of innate ‘humanness’ that applies to us all.