Paul Krugman on the Distressing Reality Behind the Inflation Cult

Paul Krugman has a bee in his bonnet. He will not rest until he figures out what exactly is behind the demonstrably crazy behavior of people, politicians and pundits who cling to a belief no matter how many times it is proven wrong. It is, the columnist says in Friday's column, very much akin to cult-like behavior, followers who believe in their prophet no matter how many times his (usually it's a he) foretold apocalypse does not arrive.

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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.

What you can do:
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