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racism in, racism out

May 15th, 2018 | 1 min read

By Matthew Loftus

This article about Palantir is something else:

“The world changed when it became clear everyone could be targeted using Palantir,” says a former JPMorgan cyber expert who worked with Cavicchia at one point on the insider threat team. “Nefarious ideas became trivial to implement; everyone’s a suspect, so we monitored everything. It was a pretty terrible feeling.”

Reading it reminded me of another great essay, an even longer one at The New Atlantis examining the algorithms used in criminal sentencing and the thorny issue of racial bias. Both articles point out the chicken-and-egg problem of technology: a society oriented towards greed and a justice system steeped in racism will indeed produce tools that perpetuate these problems, but the tools themselves can also exacerbate these problems themselves.

Matthew Loftus

Matthew Loftus teaches and practices Family Medicine in Baltimore and East Africa. His work has been featured in Christianity Today, Comment, & First Things and he is a regular contributor for Christ and Pop Culture. You can learn more about his work and writing at