“computational politics require access to expensive proprietary databases, often controlled by private platforms, and the equipment and expertise required to effectively use this data. At a minimum, this environment favors incumbents who already have troves of data, and favors entrenched and moneyed candidates within parties, as well as the data–rich among existing parties.”
“Digital technology obscures, in so many ways. It obscures at the interface level, by making complex tasks opaque behind seamless, glass-smooth interactions. And it obscures at the software level too, it is made of code, unreadable to most, inaccessible at source. Tap one button and our devices spin into life, communicating with distant servers, juggling tasks, presenting results, accomplishing things, in a second, in an instant, and we do not know how they do it.
The paradox…is that while the digital defaults to illegibility, it also renders that operation more legible to those who can read it, who do have access, because its logical nature, the nature of its operation, means it must be written down. Unlike previous forms of power, intention must be explicitly encoded into the machine. This intention can be hidden, but it’s always present.”
“People, you never tweeted about [topic x] before and after 48 hours or so you’ll never tweet about it again, so please stop signaling to all of us how near and dear to your heart [topic X] is.”