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What's New in Publishing 07 Apr 2021 07:00

Why Silicon Valley’s most astute critics are all women

There’s no scientific method within John Naughton’s piece for The Guardian, but his observations are nonetheless interesting. He noticed that the authors of the most insightful critiques of digital technology as deployed by the tech companies were women.

Why Silicon Valley's most astute critics are all women

This tells us quite a lot, and Naughton draws a few conclusions: “The industry that is reshaping our societies and undermining our democracies is overwhelmingly dominated by males. Yet – with a few honourable exceptions – male critics seem relatively untroubled by, or phlegmatic about, this particular aspect of the industry.”

The tech bros who dominate Silicon Valley are unlikely to have experienced social exclusion, racism, misogyny, poverty, or physical abuse. But they are making and profiting from machines that monitor and control people. “Democracies need smart, informed, critical perspectives on the asymmetries of power implicit in such abusive technologies,” he concludes. And he has a list of women who are up to the job.

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John Naughton