Facts, Power, and the Bias of AI

I spent last Friday and Saturday at the 7th Annual Text as Data conference, which draws together scholars from many different universities and disciplines to discuss developments in text as data research. This year’s conference, hosted by Northeastern, featured a number of great papers and discussions. I was particularly struck by a comment from Joanna J. […]

Ideal Power

I think a lot about power. Or at least I write a lot about power. Without doing an inventory of my own writing, I suspect that much of my language seems negative – or at best critical – on the subject. Analyze power. Fight power. Systemic power…entrenched inequality resulting from systemic power. These are all […]

Power and Corruption

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” These ominous words from historian John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton have joined the canon of popular catch phrases. And while some psychological studies argue that power simply “heightens pre-existing ethical tendencies” – bringing out a person’s best or worst […]

The Power of Tension

The Oxford English Dictionary has several definitions of  the word tension, but many are along the lines of “a straining, or strained condition, of the mind, feelings, or nerves.” That doesn’t sound too good. Indeed, the word tension seems to conjure images that are arguably negative. “You could cut the tension with a knife,” or […]