Tag: digital

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Conservatism & Progress: A Tale of Two Commencement Speeches


If you’re looking to learn rhetoric, I’m your huckleberry. Here’s a comparison of the varieties of rhetoric in American politics–two speeches by men who are and were respectively senators. Each talk is about the same length — seven minutes and change is a short speech — and with the same purpose, apparently, to congratulate and exhort America’s callow youth. Sen. Sasse of Nebraska is first. He gave this speech, which is alright, not very good, the sort of mediocrity we expect in politics and celebrity culture, broadly speaking. He seems to be a good man, wears his successes lightly, and he’s handsome, so it’s likely to go over well:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #6: Ben Sixsmith on Twitter Culture


Culture in the age of social media–here’s my conversation with writer Ben Sixsmith about the vast democratization of communications brought about by digital technology and the vast concentration of the public space in a handful of corporations. It’s not made us happy and good, but instead created new political conflicts and social drama. It’s an interesting time, but hardly bearable–so you might like some thoughts on Twitter, YouTube, and various other observations about what it’s like to be human plus digital. Also, if you’re interested in a fine read on British-Polish relations, Ben’s book is the thing for you!


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. How to Get the AI-powered Economy We Want


The American economy accelerated nicely in the middle of last year. A Two Percent Economy no more! Well, at least for a bit. Economic growth now seems to be reverting to the humdrum pace seen over most of the post-Financial Crisis recovery. (The Trump White House, it should be noted, sees things more optimistically.) The combo of slower labor force growth and productivity growth means the economy’s growth potential isn’t what it once was.

But maybe artificial intelligence can accelerate economic growth on a sustained basis by boosting productivity growth. In their 2018 paper, “AI and the Economy,” economists Jason Furman and Robert Seamans point out that many experts think “AI and other forms of advanced automation, including robots and sensors, can be thought of as a general purpose technology that enable lots of follow-on innovation that ultimately leads to productivity growth.”


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. PoMoCon Four: Elites vs. Digital


James Poulos, recently named Executive Editor of American Mind, a worthy publication of the Claremont Institute, joins me for a conversation on the changes digital technology has created and revealed in this time of elite crisis in America and around the world. We also talk up a triad of cultural criticism whose moment has come: Philip Rieff, Christopher Lasch, and Marshall McLuhan. I’ll go so far as to boast that our conversation is a good example of what this triad has to offer by way of analysis of elites.