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The Economist – Open Future

Part I: The antidote to civilisational collapse

  An interview with the documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis  | PART I   “It’s ‘fuck off’ to everything,” says Adam Curtis, describing public sentiment today. The British documentarist sees himself as an optimist amid dystopians, and as a classical journalist whose medium happens to be film. For 30 years he has produced a rich body of documentaries on politics and society for the BBC—and in the process, has emerged as a cult-hero to young thinkers trying to comprehend a chaotic [...]

December 13th, 2018|The Economist-Open Future|

Is technology re-engineering humanity?

  An interview with Brett Frischmann, co-author of “Re-Engineering Humanity”   “We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” This truism—by the media-scholar John Culkin about the work of Marshall McLuhan—is more potent than ever in the age of data and algorithms. The technology is having a profound effect on how people live and think. Some of those changes are documented in “Re-Engineering Humanity” by two technology thinkers from different academic backgrounds: Brett [...]

November 1st, 2018|The Economist-Open Future|

The catastrophe if another global financial crisis strikes

  Multilateral co-operation is on the wane today but is essential, says Arancha González of the International Trade Centre   IT IS 2020. The world economy is in a deep recession. Two years have passed since America imposed tariffs on many of its trading partners, prompting retaliation from China, Canada, the European Union and others. Negotiations to resolve differences faltered amid tensions over trade surpluses and deficits. The effects of the protectionist measures seemed modest at first, when global economic [...]

October 5th, 2018|The Economist-Open Future|

Can white people experience racism?

  Accusations of “reverse racism” haunt an American professor   START with this truth of American society: disparaging remarks about white people as a whole that would be simply impermissible for other sets of people are largely permissible and carry few repercussions. This fact seems to enthrall the left and enrage the right. Sarah Jeong, a newly hired editorial writer for the New York Times, found herself embroiled in a controversy of this sort after critics dredged up her old tweets [...]

September 27th, 2018|The Economist-Open Future|

The case for and against assisted dying

  Why, as part of our Open Future initiative, The Economist has asked proponents and opponents of assisted dying to write for us   LITTLE doubt exists as to where The Economist stands on assisted dying. In 2015 we ran a cover calling for laws to be changed in Britain and elsewhere to allow doctors to help the terminally ill and the suffering to choose when they die. We wrote: "In a secular society, it is odd to buttress the sanctity of life in [...]

September 18th, 2018|The Economist-Open Future|

Why the world should adopt a basic income

  UBI improves lives, enhances freedom and is a matter of social justice, writes Guy Standing   A BASIC income (BI) is defined as a modest, regular payment to every legal resident in the community, paid unconditionally as a right, regardless of income, employment or relationship status. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the case for BI does not rest on the assumption that robots and artificial intelligence will cause mass unemployment or that it would be a more efficient way of [...]

September 11th, 2018|The Economist-Open Future|

Dystopian democracy—and how the brave fight back

  A book excerpt and interview with Yascha Mounk, author of “The People vs Democracy”   “THE fact that my family has been in the wrong place at the wrong time for at least three generations probably played an important role in sensitising me to the speed with which seemingly stable, peaceful and tolerant societies can break apart,” says Yascha Mounk, about why his political antennae are so attuned to the symptoms of populism. Mr Mounk is Jewish, his parents [...]

September 6th, 2018|The Economist-Open Future|
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