LPE Originals

Learning Like a State: Statecraft in the Digital Age

Like all modern organizations, modern states are subject to a “data imperative”: a mandate to mine data and to decide what to manage based on what can be measured. In service of data-hungry machine learning techniques, the state (and its contractors) find themselves compelled not only to seek and demand new kinds of data, but also to mine it in a somewhat agnostic fashion to find the relations that stick. It is no longer necessary to flatten society to make it legible (as high modernism required); instead, ubiquitous data capture means that categories emerge inductively from regularities observed in the data.

LPE Originals

Buybacks are the Symptom, Shareholder Power the Disease

People claim to be worried about stock buybacks. In fact, the buybacks are a stand-in for what we can all see: business in this country works for wealthy shareholders, not workers, customers, or communities. Buybacks are in the news as policymakers contemplate a bailout of several major U.S. airlines, all of which have relatively little…

LPE Originals

Guiding Innovation’s Hand: Industrial Policy Against Inequality

This is the second post in our series discussing The Meritocracy Trap by Daniel Markovits. Click here to read all posts in the series.  Most of the critical attention directed at Daniel Markovits’s The Meritocracy Trap has focused on its claim that well-off parents launder inequality through schooling. While Markovits brings masterfully comprehensive reams of data…