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+ - Does Even Amazing Partisan Tech Deserve Applause? 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "The press has been filled with wide-eyed articles about how Obama’s tech team pulled out the stops in their race against the Republicans. But as exciting as some of the new techniques dreamed up may be, Tom Steinberg points out it's important to reflect on the difference between choosing to use tech skills to win a particular fight, versus trying to improve the workings of the democratic system, or helping people to self-organize and take some control of their own lives. 'I am still filled with an excitement about the prospects for non-partisan technologies that I can’t muster for even the coolest uses of randomized control trial-driven political messaging,' writes Steinberg. 'The reason why all comes down to the fact that major partisan digital campaigns change the world, but they don’t do it in the way that services like eBay, TripAdvisor and Match.com do. What all these sites have in common – helping people sell stuff they own, find a hotel, or a life partner – is that they represent a positive change in the lives of millions of people that is not directly opposed by a counter-shift.'"
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Does Even Amazing Partisan Tech Deserve Applause?

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  • Yeah, it is a bunch of meh. All they've done is take targetted marketing techniques to an entirely insane level. Ain't nothing good that could come out of this in the long run. Its kind of like a reverse space-program - instead of getting things that benefit the civilian world as a side-effect, we get things that make the civilian world worse off.

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays", 1928

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