Democracy

Date: 7/11/18 New Episode
 
Can democracy survive the internet? That’s the provocative title of an article published last year by Stanford law professor Nate Persily. He began with a thought experiment: If Hillary Clinton had won the election, how would we be assessing the Internet’s role in her victory? Most likely, we’d be talking about her campaign’s ability to successfully micro-target political ads in order to mobilize specific demographics in swing states. Of course, she did not win, and the analysis has focused instead on Donald Trump‘s Twitter strategy and the impact of fake news. But from the perspective of technology and democracy, the 2016 election clearly showed us that, results aside, the internet now plays a fundamental role in deciding elections.MORE
Guests: 

Nate Persily

Gatekeepers

Date: 7/4/18 New Episode
 
Disruption! That word has been so relentlessly associated with Silicon Valley, it’s become cliche. And yet, despite the temptation to dismiss it, the infatuation with disruption is very real. Like it or not, the culture of disruption has to be taken seriously, because Silicon Valley is dismantling institutions across society. It’s one thing to transform taxicab services and vacation lodging; it’s another to disrupt the fourth estate: the media. In the space of a few years the Valley – and Google and Facebook in particular – have been instrumental in upending the news industry. Now, suddenly, democracy itself is at risk.MORE
Guests: 

Susan Athey, Frank Foer.

All the World's a Stage

Date: 6/27/18 New Episode
 
Facebook was founded in 2004, and today there are 2 billion+ Facebook users on the planet. Their rise is nothing short of astonishing. But stop and think about it – why, exactly? What fundamental need does social media fulfill?MORE
Guests: 

Andrew Smith, Alice Marwick

The Garage

Date: 6/20/18 New Episode
 
In the first six episodes of Raw Data we’ve focused on the history of Silicon Valley and its unprecedented rise to power. But as the consequences unfold around us, it’s imperative to ask what checks and balances are in place—or even possible. Our search for an answer begins by looking at the power dynamics within the Valley and, in particular, how the myth of the Silicon Valley entrepreneur has evolved. MORE
Guests: 

Steve Blank, Sarah Lacy.

Land of the Free Dotcom

Date: 6/6/18 New Episode
 
The Internet went mainstream at a transformative moment in time. On the global stage, the Berlin Wall had fallen and the Soviet Union disintegrated, signaling a victory for America and its ideals. Within this context, the commercial web took off, championed by Silicon Valley as a technology of open democracy and free market capitalism. MORE
Guests: 

Fred Turner, Kevin Kelly, Lou Montulli, Rosanne Siino, Tim Wu

 

The Triple Fence

Date: 5/30/18 New Episode
 
Most privacy rules in America were written in the 1970s, when concerns about privacy were at or near the level they are today. Nixon’s secret wiretapping was certainly part of it, but so were a number of post-Watergate congressional hearings that exposed wire tapping by agencies like the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA. In this unsettled context, an important technological breakthrough emerged: the modern field of cryptography. MORE
Guests: 

Michal Kosinski, Whit Diffie, Marty Hellman, Henry Corrigan-Gibbs