Greetings, Future Tensers,
Earlier this month President Trump signed into law a repeal of privacy rules that prohibited internet service providers from selling or sharing customers’ sensitive information without permission. This week Eric Null, policy counsel at New America’s Open Technology Institute, outlines some paths forward to continue the fight to protect consumer privacy.
Speaking of privacy, Marcy Wheeler writes that the same Republicans complaining about alleged spying on Trump associates are still ignoring civil liberties issues. While we need surveillance reform, Wheeler warns readers not to welcome the outrage of Trump’s propagandists concerning surveillance. She explains that the administration’s self-centered concerns muddle the real issue: how privacy-intrusive surveillance measures affect less powerful people.
It’s hard to comprehend how decisions like these made today will impact us in the future. In fact, Jane McGonigal, a senior researcher at the Institute for the Future, explains how our brains are hard-wired to make it difficult for us to relate to our future selves.
Other things we read this week while muting the Burger King ad that keeps eliciting a response from Google Home:
- Facebook Live killing: This week a man recorded his murder of a stranger, uploaded the video to Facebook, and then broadcast himself on Facebook Live claiming to be in search for his next victims. Will Oremus asks whether Facebook should bear any responsibility here.
- March for Science: Jason Lloyd suggests that a march won’t earn the scientific community the respect of the public; engaging the public in the scientific process will.
- Disney’s huggable robot patent: Charles Duan explains why Disney’s patent filing is great—and not just because it is about a huggable robot.
- Self-driving cars and fender-benders: Elizabeth Garbee and Andrew Maynard write that there’s something to be learned from low-stake crashes involving self-driving cars.
- The imposter cell: In an excerpt from his new book, Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions, Richard Harris investigates the story of a misidentified cell line and how it set back cancer research.
The entire way we look at cancer is changing from monolithic condition to a wide range of different diseases requiring different treatments. Join Future Tense in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, April 27, at noon to reassess how we understand, prevent, and treat cancer. RSVP to attend in person or watch online here.
Trying to spot fake news,
for Future Tense