Top critical review
Democracy needs to evolve as Tech nibbles in..
17 November 2018
Siri- please suggest who should I Vote for in this election? For it knows a lot about my preferences, priorities, values and needs, having studied me (my data) over time, and has also the ability to review the details of several candidates in the fray, to match the one which is most likely to deliver on my expectations better. If the belief is that powerful algorithm can help me make better voting decision, then is technology making democracy more efficient (through more informed decision matching) or redundant (by manipulating the individual’s free-will)?
These any several other important questions emerge, as the role technology is playing in influencing (and sometimes deciding for us) the key decisions we take- from what we eat, how we travel, what we buy, what news we consume, to how we feel at any moment, becomes more invasive and prominent.
While, most of us experience the growing role of internet and new technologies, in our daily lives, the ways it impacts the society as a whole, are very well brought out in the book, using good references and relate-able instances. Say internet connects everyone to everyone- but does it bring diverse people closer or enhance the tribal tendencies of liking our own kinds? What would happen to vibrant middle class, as it gets to loose jobs to automation, and no longer plays active role in promoting democratic norms.
Even if the conclusion that Tech is having great potential to impact our existing norms and democratic and economic values is not new, its import and eminence is well brought out and associated with it the call for action.
Book do present compilation of twenty ideas to save democracy, each one of which off-course needs much greater analysis and further work, for it to be a serious response to impact Tech is making on democracy as we know and define today!