Know Thy Futurist | Boston Review

Know Thy Futurist; Cathy O’Neil; In Boston Review; 2017-09-25.

tl;dr → Cathy O’Neil, who is not bitter, envies the scholar-gentleman futurists as she aspires to their life of the mind, for which she writes.
and → futurists are scary people; they are serious people; they are never sour or defeated people; they are not silly people.
and → A “four box” model, two axes, four quadrants; named Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4.
and → Facebook is bad.

Models

The Latent Model, single-axis [the lede is buried-last]
  • Men ↔ Women
    (bad) ↔ (good)
The Declared Model, orthogonal-axes
  • Worried ↔ Exuberant
  • Dystopian ↔ Utopian

Indictment

  • data scientists are creating machines
    data scientists are creating machines they do not fully understand.
  • data scientists are creating machines that separates winners from losers,
    data scientists are creating machines that separates winners from losers for reasons that are already very familiar to us
    These reasons are enumerated, by iconic euphemism-cum-epithet as:

    • class
    • race
    • age
    • disability status
    • quality of education
    • and other demographic measures (“other”).
  • [data scientists' activities in the creation of machines] is a threat to the very concept of social mobility.
  • [data scientists' activities in the creation of machines] is the end of the American dream.

Wherein a data scientist is a statistician who lives in San Francisco and performs their work-product on a Macintosh computer [ref].

Separately noted.