Tag: Digital

Soul Force – Arc Digital

While country-wide protests for police reform engulf America, you’d think that the president of the United States would use his pulpit to unify us, not tear us apart. But not this president. A day after announcing his willingness to invade American cities with the military, President Trump attended a vapid, empty, performative photo-op, holding a Bible in his hand in front of a church, giving new meaning to the phrase, “sound and fury signifying nothing.” With no awareness of irony, he even made sure to kick the bishops out first — and to have peaceful protesters dispersed and tear-gassed. (To ... Read more

I’m Sorry, Colin Kaepernick – Arc Digital

When NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling in protest during the national anthem in 2016, I was slightly appalled: He lives in the greatest country in the world and enjoys the pleasures of a well-paying profession. Yet he chooses to disrespect the flag and those who fought and died for him?! The nerve. Those feelings simmered. They stayed with me for a while. But Kaepernick was right to bring light to the situation of police brutality directed at black Americans. No, I don’t agree with his “pig cop” socks (he reportedly stated they were only “meant to represent rogue cops”). ... Read more

New £300m Veterans UK digital transformation contract commences

The £300m contract to digitise the services delivered by the Veterans UK commences. Credit: Roberto Catarinicchia on Unsplash. Sign-up to the Army Technology newsletter New technologies News New products Essential guides The new £300m seven-year Ministry of Defence contract has officially commenced today to digitally transform Veterans UK services. The contract will cover Veterans UK and other organisations, including Ministry of Defence (MoD) Defence Business Services (DBS). Military personnel pay and administration, veterans’ pensions and related services will be digitised under the contract. Shared Services Connected Limited (SSCL) is serving as the supplier to deliver the required range of digitally ... Read more

Fact-Checking Won’t Save Us – Arc Digital

In the age of the pandemic, “fake news” has once again become the subject of a very special type of hand-wringing. We long ago accepted the permanent fixture of fake news as part of our information ecosystem. But COVID’s spread has made its presence particularly acute. Virus-related developments are outpacing the possibility of careful, thorough research, and disrupting activities on a global scale. As a result, the virus and its effects have unleashed great political uncertainty. This has naturally led to the types of unanswered questions and wild speculations which, under our current forms of social and technological organization, create ... Read more

It’s Time for the Defense Production Act’s Digital Transformation

President Donald Trump’s invocation of the Defense Production Act (DPA) marked an important step in the fight against COVID-19. Doing so allowed the president to order 3M to make millions of N95 masks, initiate a 30,000 ventilator contract with General Motors, and force meat processing plants to remain open. Despite these efforts, the administration’s use of the DPA has received mixed reviews. Behind the scenes, America’s capacity to leverage the DPA is running up against a modernization problem. American leaders are flying blind as they attempt to manage this pandemic equipped with antiquated digital technology, spotty datasets, and inaccurate models. ... Read more

Against Latin Virtue Signaling – Arc Digital

Although the phrase in the title means different things to different people, I take the approach that “virtue signaling” involves claiming a desirable trait without inhabiting it. This means that the pursuit of virtue involves living it. This is easiest to see when there’s a lockdown protester wearing a biohazard suit or a mask, or when you hear whining in response to someone exercising their civil right to kneel in protest during a performative act of patriotism. My same hatred for empty performativity vis a vis personal protective gear and freedom of expression applies to what I’ll call Performative Latin. ... Read more

White People Behaving Badly – Arc Digital

If you’ve spent any time on social media over the past week, you’ve probably seen the video of Amy Cooper, a white woman in New York, calling the police after a dispute with a black man named Christian Cooper (no relation) who asked her to put her dog on a leash. Amy Cooper not only accused Christian Cooper of threatening her but repeatedly stressed that he was an African-American male. This set off a predictable firestorm that resulted in Amy Cooper not only getting fired from her place of employment but having her dog taken away (due to cruelty complaints ... Read more

How billionaires like Reid Hoffman and Laurene Powell Jobs are helping Joe Biden try to close Trump’s digital campaign lead

Joe Biden has a problem. Silicon Valley billionaires think they have a solution. Election Day is less than six months away, and Democrats are scrambling to patch the digital deficits of their presumptive nominee. And behind the scenes, Silicon Valley’s billionaire Democrats are spending tens of millions of dollars on their own sweeping plans to catch up to President Donald Trump’s lead on digital campaigning — plans that are poised to make them some of the country’s most influential people when it comes to shaping the November results. These billionaires’ arsenals are funding everything from nerdy political science experiments to ... Read more

Health and Heaven – Arc Digital

The other day, the debate over the COVID-19 lockdowns took a theological turn — not for the first time — when psychologist and Enlightenment values champion Steven Pinker posted an inflammatory tweet blaming belief in the afterlife for cavalier attitudes toward deaths from the pandemic: Religious conservatives like Ben Shapiro and Ted Cruz responded with gleeful outrage while Pinker’s non-religious detractors such as Nassim Nicholas Taleb chimed in with pointed mockery. Even some self-professed Pinker fans voiced disappointment (though a few did back him up). Eventually, Pinker deleted the tweet with no explanation. Did he have a point, though? Pinker’s ... Read more

Of Masks and Men – Arc Digital

Though not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights, some folks treasure the right to be epically offended by the minor inconveniences of life. Wielding the rhetoric of freedom like William Wallace’s great sword, they see themselves as hunting down liberty infringements. What is important is fiercely resisting any and all external impositions, no matter how beneficial they are to the collective good. The opposing forces are equally committed, championing the doctrine of one-size-fits-all administered by the shoehorn of expert opinion. Far from subtle, these sledgehammers of sameness stand ready to chip away at anything that stands in the way ... Read more