Socio-Political Considerations of Informing Technology in the 21st Century

Socio-Political Considerations of Informing Technology in the 21st Century

Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8036-3.ch006
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This chapter addresses socio-political issues surrounding informing technology in the 21st century. The chapter begins by considering the role that computers and informing technology have played in US elections. The chapter then critically examines what prosperity informing technology and turbo-capitalism has brought society. Next, global indexes that measure human well-being are considered within the broader context of growing economic equalities. The role that trade unions play in such measures is also considered. The chapter next considers the relationship between informing technology and the deep web and dark webs as well as its relation to corruption. Attention is then paid to the relation between informing technology and democracy as well as the socio-political impacts of hackers. The chapter concludes by considering the role informing technology has played in dictatorships and its role in the 2020 coronavirus pandemic as well as the positive impacts of hackers.
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The Simulation And Algorithmization Of Democracy1

In the 1950s, the first commercial computer in the world, produced by Remington Rand for the Census Bureau, was UNIVAC I. CBS News used it for election night, and the show’s host, renowned journalist Walter Cronkite, called it the “miracle of the modern age, the electronic brain.” This computer was supposed to predict the results before the final results were even known: “This is not a joke or a trick,” said CBS journalist Charles Collingwood: “it’s an experiment. We don’t know. We think it’ll work. We hope it will work.” UNIVAC developers were able to predict early on in the evening that Eisenhower would win. Still, they were not brave enough to trust their computer and announce the expected result, for they sought to avoid being disgraced in the event of an error.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Gini Index: An index used to measure a country’s wealth inequality.

Deep Web: The part of the Internet not searchable by traditional search engines such as Google.

Turbo Capitalism: A highly unregulated form of capitalism, associated with some of the early financial successes of large technology companies.

Cambridge Analytica: A British political consulting firm notable for its role in the 2016 US presidential election in connection with Facebook.

Algorithm: A sequence of computer instructions (mathematics-based) used to solve a well-defined problem.

Black Economy: The part of the economy whose activities fall outside of official rules and regulations.

Dark Web: A part of deep web that is intentionally hidden and that requires specific software and authorization to access.

Simulmatics: An early US data firm that used informing technologies to provide information about voters.

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