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Let Them Eat Code

In the tech community, the plight of homeless people has gone from being an unnoticed barnacle of urban life to a cause at once mourned, criticized, and celebrated. For many in Silicon Valley, homeless people are the “noble savages” of today. {…}

By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
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The Return of Karl Polanyi

In the first half century of Dissent’s history, Karl Polanyi almost never made an appearance in the magazine’s pages. On one level this is surprising, because Polanyi was a presence in socialist circles in New York City from 1947 through … {…}

By Margaret Somers and Fred Block
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Women and Other Art Objects

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner Scribner, 2013. 383 pp. At the National Book Awards ceremony this past November, Rachel Kushner read a section from her second novel, The Flamethrowers, a finalist in the fiction category. She chose a scene set … {…}

By Natasha Lewis
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Work It! The New Face of Labor in Fashion

The 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh evoked iconic moments in labor history when primarily young, female participants in the garment industry suffered and organized for their lives. Today, the chain of young, female, often migrant … {…}

By Annemarie Strassel
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The Computer Did It? Technology and Inequality

Does technological change breed inequality? This notion, in some version or other, has become a staple explanation for our growing economic divide. It features prominently in the “meritocracy” defense of the 1 percent, which assumes (as Harvard economist Greg Mankiw … {…}

By Colin Gordon
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Beyond “Conflict Minerals”: The Congo’s Resource Curse Lives On

January 6, 2014. It’s the opening night of the Consumer Electronics Show, and it seems as if the whole of Silicon Valley has descended on the Las Vegas Convention Center and Venetian hotel to peddle its wares. On the show … {…}

By Colin Kinniburgh

Exchange on Henry Wallace

Editors: Eric Arnesen’s review (Fall 2013) of Henry Wallace’s 1948 Presidential Campaign and the Future of Postwar Liberalism, Thomas Devine’s book on Henry Wallace, troubled me, less because of what it said than because of what it didn’t. I have … {…}

By Linda Gordon and Eric Arnesen
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“Is there racism against drones?” The moderator of a panel at DARC, the Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference in New York City last autumn, was attempting to summarize a question from the audience. A technologist in a suit had just … {…}

By Joanne McNeil and Ingrid Burrington
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Limits of the Locavore

Labor and the Locavore: The Making of a Comprehensive Food Ethic by Margaret Gray University of California Press, 2013, 240 pp. In 2011 Barry Estabrook published Tomatoland, a harrowing exposé of the labor conditions of tomato pickers in South Florida. … {…}

By L.V. Anderson
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Wages for Facebook

When visitors enter the University Art Gallery at the University of California, San Diego, they normally find a white reception desk to their left with an attendant tapping at a laptop. However, during the exhibition And How Are We Feeling … {…}

By E. Alex Jung
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