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Technological Utopianism

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
November 16, 2010 |

Kentaro Toyama’s insightful essay punctures the cyber-utopian hype surrounding ICT4D initiatives and resists the allure of quick technological fixes for political and social problems.

But Toyama says relatively little about how to design ICT4D projects that apply the same good sense. In the absence of a clear-cut prescription, policymakers may believe that simply by acknowledging the failures of previous technologies, they ensure that their new initiatives avoid the same fate.

Oliver Sacks on The Mind's Eye and Neurological Afflictions

  • By
  • Jamie Holmes,
  • New America Foundation
November 15, 2010 |

The late anthropologist Colin Turnbull once described an interesting experience he had driving a tribal man through an open park. This man had never left the dense jungle before. Several miles below the road they were traveling on, a herd of buffalo grazed. "What insects are those?" the man asked. He laughed at first at the answer, but as the car approached, he grew silent as the "insects" increased in size.

Programs:

Mexican American ID Puzzle

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
November 15, 2010 |

Writing from Mexico City

California's Most Powerful Woman

  • By
  • Joe Mathews,
  • New America Foundation
November 12, 2010 |

The conventional wisdom has hardened quickly: Californians, in rejecting Silicon Valley CEOs Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, supposedly declared in last week's elections that they don't want corporate executives running their government.

Nonsense. California voters may have turned down the applications of Whitman and Fiorina for the governorship and a U.S. Senate seat, respectively. But in the very same election, they voted to put a female corporate executive from the Bay Area in charge of their state's government.

Steve Jobs, a New Mogul With Old Methods

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
November 12, 2010 |

The iPhone was beautiful. It was powerful. It was perfect. After demonstrating a few features, Jobs showed that the iPhone could access the Internet, remarkably, through a real browser. Jobs then introduced Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who walked on to the stage wearing an incongruously long orange tie. The two men shook hands warmly at center stage, like two world leaders.

Programs:

Ted Turner, the Alexander the Great of Television

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
November 11, 2010 |

In 1968, a businessman named Ted Turner purchased WJRJ, a small UHF station in Atlanta, Ga., that was still broadcasting in black and white. It didn't take long after that for Turner to develop grandiose ambitions for the conquest of television, a master plan founded on the idea of the cable network. "Television," announced Turner with prophetic zeal, "has led us, in the last 25 years, down the path of destruction. I intend to turn it around before it is too late."

Programs:

Steve Ross, Time Warner, and Growth for Growth's Sake

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
November 10, 2010 |

In a typical photo, Steve Ross wore a tuxedo with a large bow tie as he stood, silver hair shining, with a celebrity or one of his cronies. Ross, the man who built Time Warner Inc., was the first of a new archetype: the media conglomerator.

Programs:

Adolph Zukor, the Architect of Hollywood

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
November 9, 2010 |

Adolph Zukor, the longtime president of Paramount Pictures and the true founding mogul of Hollywood, once said that his greatest fascination was "understanding audiences." Yet his true talent lay elsewhere, in his mastery of industrial structure. It was Zukor who created the model for the integrated film studios that defined early Hollywood and that still form the blueprint for the way the film industry works.

Programs:

Sacramento: Don't Bother with a Budget

  • By
  • Mark Paul,
  • Joe Mathews,
  • New America Foundation
November 9, 2010 |

Elections in democracies are supposed to be instruments through which citizens pick their leaders and send them their marching orders. But not in California. After a year of campaigning and millions of dollars spent on electioneering, Sacramento will remain stuck in quicksand, with no immediate prospect of rescue.

Here's a Way to Drive More Donations to Charity

  • By
  • Jamie Holmes,
  • New America Foundation
November 8, 2010 |

Among the many casualties of the Great Recession are charitable groups. Last year, for example, donations dropped 11 percent, the largest drop in 20 years, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

But as in other areas, this adversity presents an opportunity to create new, more innovative and better ways to encourage sustained giving to charitable causes. I propose a new idea that appears untested: "angel lanes."

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