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From the archives

Liberal Interpretations

Making sense of Justin Trudeau and his party

Clock Watching

The nuclear threat lingers still

Spending Power

Can compassion and efficiency be combined in the use of public funds?

Tom Slee

Tom Slee has worked in the software industry for 20 years. He writes about the intersections of technology, politics and economics and is the author of No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart: The Surprising Deceptions of Individual Choice (Between the Lines, 2006).

Articles by
Tom Slee

Storm Warnings

Cloud computing's hidden environmental and human costs September 2014
The computer industry generates buzzwords faster than an extroverted 20-year-old sends status updates, and “the cloud” is one of the more evocative ones. It is where your digital music, photos, e-books and personal documents live (or will live). No longer stored on a computer in a corner of the living room, Amazon and Apple and Microsoft now keep your stuff for you so that it can be fetched over the internet whenever you need…

Hacking Society

Three books look at the current state of play in the interconnected world September 2013
In the courtyard of Facebook’s 57-acre campus at One Hacker Way, Menlo Park, California, the single word HACK is laid out in 12-metre letters in the stone. HACK is a big word at Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg recently explained to potential investors: “Hackers believe that something can always be better, and that nothing is ever complete. They just have to go fix it—often in the face of people who say it’s impossible or are content with the status quo.” The courtyard embodies the contradictions of Silicon Valley: self-consciously…

Click to Judge

The dramatic real-life consequences of online ranking, posts and algorithms April 2012
It is unusual to see a work that treats reputation as a topic in its own right, but reputation matters and merits our attention. We rely on reputation—the social distillation of opinion about an individual, product or service—to decide whom to trust or what to buy, and our own reputation precedes us, shaping our interactions and opportunities as it does…