Dubya vs Seung-Hui Cho: Who's The Greater Menace?

Officials in Virginia are taking heavy flak for their failure to act on early warnings that South Korean Seung-Hui Cho, who massacred 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech, was a seriously disturbed menace to his community

How then to judge the United States Congress which continues to ignore overwhelming evidence that George W. Bush is an infinitely greater threat to his countrymen; indeed to the entire globe.

Wait, you say, how can you compare the august President of the United States with a dangerously deranged 23 year old South Korean?

You can if you consider the relative menace that each of them poses. Acting by himself, and armed with only a couple of pistols, Seung-Hui Cho managed to kill 32 people. Dubya, on the other hand, commands the most fearful military apparatus the globe has ever known—not to mention a vast intelligence network with thousands of specialized agents ready to do his clandestine bidding in any corner of the globe, from Iran to Somalia to Malaysia.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

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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