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    Science of Us | Sharon Weinberger | 9/28/20 | 29 min
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    Science of Us
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    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
      3 weeks ago

      With Karp, as with Palantir, it’s often hard to know what is real and what is mythmaking. It’s often repeated in articles, for example, that Karp studied in Germany under Jürgen Habermas, perhaps the most influential living philosopher. “The most important thing I learned from him is I couldn’t be him, and I didn’t want to be him,” Karp confided on a recent podcast with a sort of knowing intimacy. In fact, as Moira Weigel, a historian of media technologies, has pointed out, Karp not only didn’t do his dissertation under Habermas, he didn’t even study in the same department.

    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekReading streakScout
      3 weeks ago

      Palantir’s public offering is founded on the company’s sales pitch that its software represents the ultimate tool of surveillance. Named after the “Seeing Stones” in The Lord of the Rings, Palantir is designed to ingest the mountains of data collected by soldiers and spies and police — fingerprints, signals intelligence, bank records, tips from confidential informants — and enable users to spot hidden relationships, uncover criminal and terrorist networks, and even anticipate future attacks.

      Karp blames the darlings of Silicon Valley, not Palantir, for violating people’s privacy. It’s companies like Facebook and Google, he argues, that are selling their users’ data, while Palantir targets terrorists and criminals. The engineering elite of Silicon Valley may know more than most about building software,” he observed in the company’s filing to go public. “But they do not know more about how society should be organized or what justice requires.” (His argument ignores the fact that Palantir has been used to analyze data from social media, including Facebook posts.)