This TED talk warranted multiple pull quotes…
The greatest danger that now faces liberal democracy is that the revolution in information technology will make dictatorships more efficient than democracies.
In the 20th century, democracy and capitalism defeated fascism and communism because democracy was better at processing data and making decisions. Given 20th-century technology, it was simply inefficient to try and concentrate too much data and too much power in one place.
A dictator may not be able to provide me with good health care, but he will be able to make me love him and to make me hate the opposition. Democracy will find it difficult to survive such a development because, in the end, democracy is not based on human rationality; it’s based on human feelings… And is somebody can manipulate your emotions effectively, democracy will become an emotional puppet show.
I particularly enjoy the TED talk format. The generally shorter nature of each presentation ensures that the speaker has spent at least some time distilling their message. This particular talk is about Fascism– but it’s also about “Big Data” and how even those of us with the best intentions, are paving the way to Fascism. Not, “might be” paving, but “are paving.” Give it a listen.