Tag: meritocracy

In an old essay about Heidegger’s conception of language, the philosopher Charles Taylor invokes the notion of ‘words of power’ to explain the power of Hitler’s rhetoric. Once we move away from a sense of language as an expression of individual meanings and purposes, we find ourselves somewhere entirely differently: The silence is where there […]

I just came across a stunning quote by Larry Summers, economic and policy doyen of the Democratic establishment, reflecting on the rise of inequality in America. It’s from The Confidence Men, by Ron Suskind, pg 363: “One of the reasons that inequality has probably gone up in our society is that people are being treated […]

The rise of the robots is a recurrent theme of popular culture. Robots are often seen as a threat, heralding the prospect of human beings being replaced by their creations, perhaps to the extent of being deemed useless by them and attacked. Underlying this fear is the reality of automation: technology being more adept at particular tasks […]

From In The Plex, by Steven Levy, pg 138. I’m interested in the politics likely to emerge when this self-conception thrives, all the more so when so many of the early Googlers went on to become multi-millionaires. Google took its hiring very seriously. Page and Brin believed that the company’s accomplishments sprang from a brew […]

This fascinating feature of American cultural history was entirely unknown to me, until The New Prophets of Capital, loc 1051. I wonder how Alger would have faired in an environment saturated by social media? Horatio Alger, a sensitive Harvard alum, was horrified by the ills of industrial capitalism in New York City during the late […]

An interesting exchange on Twitter last year about how intelligence is represented in film and TV has stayed with me since it occurred. Watching Hannibal with a friend who was a big fan of it, I found myself obsessed by the quasi-supernatural form which Will Graham’s intelligence takes in the show, allowing him to see […]