How should we react when certain voices are shut out of public debate? It was the question current Berggruen Fellow Jamie Susskind posed in a 2018 op-ed piece on the role tech firms now play in regulating online debate and civil discourse. Who should be included and, perhaps more controversially, excluded? How do we re-learn how to talk to each other, but online?
“We cannot have a society, in which, if two people wish to communicate the only way that can happen is if it’s financed by a third person who wishes to manipulate them.” Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not A Gadget, laments. “The speed, idiocy, and scale of false social perceptions have been amplified to the point that people often don’t seem to be living in the same world, the real world, anymore.”
“Humankind’s journey into the future ironically marks a reversion as well as progress,” Susskind wrote in the Berggruen Institute’s report, Renewing Democracy in the Digital Age. And so, how do we move forward? “To what extent should our lives be governed by powerful digital systems—and on what terms? That is the central political question of this century.”
To read Renewing Democracy in the Digital Age, click here.
To order Jamie’s first book, Future Politics, click here.