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How do we deal with these chilling effects? I suggest we take the comparison of oil and data all the way: If oil leads to global warming, then data leads to Social Cooling.
Social Cooling is an accessible narrative about the large scale chilling effects are starting to become visible, and whose effects countries like China are actively embracing. Here in the west studies show a rise in self-censorship and a growing culture of risk-aversion. For example, after the Snowden revelations fewer people visit Wikipedia pages about subjects like terrorism. We see doctors hesitating to operate on patients because a death will lower their score.
This comparison is not meant to scare, but to give us hope: our move away from oil offers us a valuable blueprint on how to deal with this issue. In this talk we’ll go into the narratives we need. In a data-driven world, a good story can still be the best hack.