It’s The Economic Ideology, Stupid:

Back in 1992, the famous campaign mantra was "it's the economy, stupid." This was the seemingly populist motto that people like Wall Street CEO Bob Rubin piggybacked on to help vault Bill Clinton into the White House, and himself into the corner suite at the Treasury Department. Today, there is a slightly amended motto operating in advance of the 2008 election: "It's the economic ideology, stupid."

The variation may appear semantic. But like the differences between the classic TV show What's Happening!! and its can't-conjure-the-old-magic update What's Happening Now!!, there is a vast chasm between the two economic campaign slogans. Whereas in the good ol' days of 1992, candidates were campaigning against the real-life consequences of a crushing recession on working folks and for concrete real-world goals to help working folks, today candidates are campaigning against even recognizing real life, and for an ideology that their own economic advisers acknowledge has no connection to actual information. A new piece in Businessweek gives you a good idea of how this works.

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

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