News and Features

Social Scientific Web Wonders: #TDOPicks of the Week

Editor’s Note: On weekends we bring you #TDOPicks – our picks for the best social science features we’ve found on the Internet this week. We feature a variety of content aimed at both the layman and the social science professional. Tell us what you’re reading or watching by tweeting @theDailyOpium with #TDOPicks or posting links on our Facebook page.

Peter Buffet discusses the idea of “Philantrophic Colonialism.”

Inside any important philanthropy meeting, you witness heads of state meeting with investment managers and corporate leaders. All are searching for answers with their right hand to problems that others in the room have created with their left.

Evgeny Morozov writes on the Edward Snowden affair and its implications for how states and other political actors think about technology:

In as much as the Snowden affair has forced us to confront these issues, it’s been a good thing for democracy. Let’s face it: most of us would rather not think about the ethical implications of smart toothbrushes or the hypocrisy involved in Western rhetoric towards Iran or the genuflection that more and more European leaders show in front of Silicon Valley and its awful, brain-damaging language, the Siliconese. The least we can do is to acknowledge that the crisis is much deeper and that it stems from intellectual causes as much as from legal ones.

Map Labs presents hyperreal cartography, unrealized city plans and what might have been:

In postmodernist philosophy, ‘hyperreality’ is the point where fiction and reality become indistinguishable. In Lynch’s collection we see familiar cities like New York and Los Angeles, but it’s as if we are viewing them along a different timeline. What if a web of highways criss-crossed downtown San Francisco? What if the orderly grid of Manhattan were organized like the wheel spokes of Washington D.C.?

Michael Thomsen explores the moral imperative of cheating in video games:

Fun is the relief that comes when open-ended problems are turned into multiple choice questions, or, better still, matters of reflex… What’s fun about video games is not the winning and the losing, but the relief that comes with obedience.