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Feb 22, 2017

2.22: blockchain; biomedicine; trade secrets


updates and ideas from the D&S community and beyond

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New Listen Episode:
Data Science, from Wall Street to Startups to Academic Biomedicine

Last call: Seeking engagement leads for Labor and Accountability; apply by Feb 24.

Around the Institute

Life, Liberty, and Trade Secrets: Intellectual Property in the Criminal Justice System
“I argue that recognizing a trade secret’s evidentiary privilege in criminal proceedings is harmful, ahistorical, and unnecessary. Withholding information from the accused because it is a trade secret mischaracterizes due process as a business competition.” —Rebecca Wexler

Book-Smart, Not Street-Smart: Blockchain Smart Contracts and The Social Workings of Law
Karen Levy suggests that blockhain “smart contracts” are based on a thin conception of law, and neglect how people use contracts as “social resources to manage their relations.”

Bonus: Ed Felten ponders Karen’s new article with Smart Contracts: Neither Smart nor Contracts? and characterizes “these virtual objects as nothing more or less than mindless mechanisms.”

Moving Civil Society into the Digital
“However we define what a ‘digital infrastructure’ for civil society might be, it’s true of all infrastructure that maintenance is necessary for it to stay healthy. It’s hard to see though, who is willing to do that potentially boring work – and perhaps more crucially, who is willing to fund it.” —Zara Rahman

Around the Around

Fake news. It’s complicated.
“They understand that we’re much less likely to be critical of visuals. We’re much less likely to be critical of information that supports our existing beliefs. And, as information overload exhausts our brains, we’re much easier to influence.” —Claire Wardle

What Facebook Owes to Journalism
“There’s no doubt that the digital revolution — built in no small part by these four companies — has made reporting much easier for the journalists still remaining in local newsrooms. But we urgently need far more of those journalists.” —Steven Waldman

How to Talk to Your Facebook Friends about Fake News
“When people are engaging at that [value] level, they are not interested in hearing counterpoints,” [Alice] Marwick adds. “And that goes just as much for people on the left side of the spectrum as for people on the right.” —Brooke Borel