i get very angry about politics, and very excited about technology. sometimes i combine the two

While the A-level results algorithm has been scrapped, this is just the beginning of the fight against encoding bias

The image of hundreds of students camped outside the Department of Education chanting “Fuck the algorithm” is one out of a science fiction movie; forced to leave their homes to protest for their futures, which are almost entirely dependent on the whims of a mythical ‘algorithm’. They have not sat any exams, and the grades their teachers have predicted for them have been deemed invalid. Instead, they have been graded by lines of code and statistical inputs, and more than a third of them have been downgraded.

The algorithm was fed a few different strands of raw data. The…


According to John Locke, this makes the US overdue for a revolution, but in what form?

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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Social contract theory is based on a real or hypothetical agreement between the people and their rulers, whereby people agree to surrender some of the freedom they enjoyed in a ‘state of nature’ (life without government), in return for the protection and security of government.

This theory has been developed by a number of philosophers, however, for the purposes of this article, I focus on the writings of John Locke. I do so because the Lockean concept of the social contract was invoked in the United States Declaration of Independence, making it the most contextually significant.

The context in question…


As Boris Johnson falls victim to his government’s disastrous COVID-19 policy, can we hope for a new age of empathetic politics?

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In John Rawles’ 1971 book ‘Theory of Justice’, he wrote about a thought experiment which would come to be known as the ‘Veil of Ignorance’. In it, Rawls proposed that the only way for a person to design a truly just society would be behind a veil of ignorance where they are deprived of all knowledge of their personal state -including but not limited to their race, religion, gender and social class.

The rationale behind this is simple: humans are focused on self-preservation - a diplomatic way of saying we are inherently selfish- and will naturally tend to favour what…


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It is currently looking almost certain that Boris Johnson is going to be the the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. This is a man who said that women wearing niqabs look like “letter boxes” and “bank robbers”, who has referred to Black people as “picanninies” with “watermelon smiles” and who once compared gay marriage to three men marrying a dog. He also compared the EU to Hitler, and advocated for the recolonisation of Africa.

The best fate for Africa would be if the old colonial powers, or their citizens, scrambled once again in her direction; on the understanding…


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It was the night of 27 January 2011, in Cairo, Egypt and the country was in the throes of a revolution. The Arab Spring was in full swing, and the Egyptian government did something a state had never before done, setting a dangerous precedent, the effect of which can still be seen nearly a decade later. They cut off Internet access to the entire country, including SMS messaging and mobile data, in a bid to halt communication between protestors.

This — the severing of more than 20 million people’s connection to the internet- was nothing short of historical. While countries…

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