The Perils of Perfection

“Solutionism has become a problem, in part, because both the public and the policymakers are so excited about having technology companies step in and solve problems that were previously handled by some public agency or, more likely, were not seen as problems at all. So as gadgets and connectivity become ubiquitous, it becomes possible to track everything we do and thus steer us away from doing things we shouldn’t be doing, be it smoking or eating unhealthy food; for policy-makers – and we can already detect some of that rhetoric coming from the pro-nudging crowd – it’s much easier to have your smartphone tell you not to eat something than to engage in deep and structural reform that would make other alternatives easier to find. So, at a very basic level, having Silicon Valley handle some of these problems – and its CEOs are keen to emphasize their own commitment to various problem-solving initiatives (I have many quotes) – may be solving the problems but only at the cost of complicating the life of citizens, placing an additional burden on them.”

-Evgeny Morozov, about his case against Silicon Vally’s “Solutionism” ideology.

This was the cover and inside illustration for today’s Sunday Review for The New York Times.  The AD was wonderful Aviva Michaelov, who always calls me for assignments that I immensely enjoy.