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I write about the potential of technology to both reduce and entrench existing inequalities, and offer suggestions on how to use it for the former. CS Student.
by Jacob Lund from Noun Project

Digitalisation: the act of converting something physical to something digital as part of a wider transformation effort

Digitalisation is a word that has become increasingly familiar to the British population over the past year, as essential services have been moved online across the course of the pandemic: from grocery shopping to GP consultancies, to virtually every form of education. COVID has ensured that the physical has become digital in virtually every facet of life.

But while the word may have only recently entered public consciousness, digitalisation is not a recent development. We can see it beginning as far back as…

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.

So how did the algorithm work?

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

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

What is Social Contract Theory?

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…

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…

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…

27 January 2011: the Egyptian government did something a state had never before done, setting a dangerous precedent, the effects 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; a desperate attempt to halt a popular uprising that would become known as part of the Arab Spring.

This — the severing of more than 20 million people’s connection to the internet — was nothing short of historic. While countries such as China and Iran have notoriously…


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