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Evan Selinger
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Entries by Evan Selinger

Digital Age Etiquette: Or, the Perils of Effortless Communication

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 4:03 PM

Etiquette has a bad rap. We're used to think of it as something old and stuffy -- gestures embodying too much class snobbery and self-serving social hierarchy to be of much value in a pluralistic democratic society. Add technology to mixture and things get worse. Where one person sees bad...

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Did My Daughter Have to Grow Up Because Selena Gomez Did?

(25) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 6:02 PM

For the past few weeks, my six-year-old daughter has been obsessed with Selena Gomez reprising her role as Alex Russo on the Disney show Wizards of Waverly Place. Like many of her friends, Rory has seen every episode of Wizards and religiously listens to Selena's music....

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What Sci-Fi Can Teach Us About the Present and Future of Information

(5) Comments | Posted January 24, 2013 | 6:22 PM

Combine growing attachment to smartphones with advances in cutting-edge goggles (think Google Glass), and what do you get? Acceptance of augmented reality (AR), which supposedly became ready for "prime time" last year. With the technology out of the incubator and in our living rooms,...

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The Online Funeral

(2) Comments | Posted November 10, 2012 | 5:26 PM

My grandfather died on Halloween. Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, none of the New York family members could attend the funeral in Massachusetts. Fortunately, another option became available: The ceremony was streamed online, and so my wife, daughter and I gathered around a laptop in our living room to watch the...

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Would Outsourcing Morality to Technology Diminish Our Humanity?

(10) Comments | Posted September 19, 2012 | 8:54 AM

My colleague Thomas Seager and I recently co-wrote "Digital Jiminy Crickets," an article that proposed a provocative thought experiment. Imagine an app existed that could give you perfect moral advice on demand. Should you use it? Or would outsourcing morality diminish our humanity? Our...

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Impatience as Digital Virtue

(3) Comments | Posted September 6, 2012 | 12:12 PM

Apple's Siri commercials promise a perfectly anthropomorphized digital assistant; a virtual, voice recognition secretary programmed to serve every scheduling and questioning whim by celebrity and average citizen alike.

But what -- beyond a willingness to endure gentle caricature -- does Siri ask us from us in return? The superficial...

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Lab Rats in the Social Experiment of Personalized Advertising

(3) Comments | Posted August 29, 2012 | 4:10 PM

Advances in biotechnology, nanotechnology, and nuclear energy have turned society into what Dutch ethicist Ibo van de Poel calls a large-scale laboratory for experimenting with the unforeseen consequences of new technologies. In comparison, personalized advertising -- also called targeted and behavioral ads -- doesn't seem nearly so dangerous. It is...

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