Exploring how technology affects people, business, and politics. Runner | Guitar Player | Fan of the Yankees, Giants, & the Knicks

Buffering & Disconnected

To many, the internet seems ubiquitous. Instant access to the entire history of the world can fit snugly in your pocket. However, not everyone enjoys equal levels of affordability, speed, and accessibility. Disparities in cost, connectivity, and choice have fractured the United States at a pivotal moment: the dawn of the Digital Age. How much longer can we go without widespread, affordable, and reliable internet access when COVID-19 has made remote connectivity essential?

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Expediting Society’s Transition Online

COVID-19 has forced many to work, learn, and socialize remotely more than ever before. Widespread uncertainty and rampant unemployment throughout this society-wide transition online has forced people to wonder both what the “new normal” will look like and when it will materialize. …

Political polarization, foreign influence, and bureaucratic pitfalls have induced stress and distrust within America’s political process. Could blockchain be the answer to Democracy’s demands in the Digital Age?

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The State of Our Nation

Before COVID-19 forced us to physically distance from one another, a 2017 study by the American Psychological Association (APA) reported that “The Future of Our Nation” and the “Current Political Climate” were the number one and number four most prominent stressors for Americans, respectively. A follow up report in July 2020 highlights that on both fronts, stress has increased for many regardless of political affiliation.

The world will look different after the COVID-19 pandemic passes, as methods of human interaction may be fundamentally and permanently altered. Decentralized workforces and an increasing reliance on the internet for facilitating exchanges will fan the flames of the developing digital world. Economic reconstruction will only accelerate this transition online, and those who cannot adapt to the economy of tomorrow will form an increasingly isolated social class that struggles to get by.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered the nature of human interaction. Those who are still employed are working from home now more than ever before. …

People crave the convenience that e-commerce provides. As retail continues its transition online, traditional brick and mortar stores will increasingly be left empty-handed. Sorry Mom and Pop, Amazon is here to stay.

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E-Commerce Industry Overview

In 2019, Amazon accounted for 37.3% of all e-commerce sales in the United States. Research provider eMarketer expects Amazon’s share of the e-commerce pie to increase to 38.7% in 2020, then continue growing in the following years.

How is this possible?

COVID-19 is illuminating the underlying rot of the American economy. The suffering will extend beyond the short supply of hospital beds and leave a lasting impression in the wallets and minds of millions of people.

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A “moderate” COVID-19 scenario could force 200,000 Americans into intensive care, more than double the number of total available ICU hospital beds. In a “severe” scenario, nearly 3 million Americans may need intensive care. Essential supplies like ventilators are either running low or already depleted.

The attacks of September 11, 2001 left New York City, Washington, D.C., Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the United States, and the rest of the world reeling in horror and awe. Roughly 3,000 people from 78 different countries died that day across those three American cities. The attacks were the actualized end goal of meticulous planning on behalf of the offending terrorists, and they forced the United States to solve an important problem: how can the country better protect its people from future terror plots?

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In order to prevent such a tragedy from occurring again, the United States government led by then president George W. Bush, had to strategize and implement policies aimed at counteracting and squashing organized terrorism. The proposed solution was proactive government surveillance like wiretapping and accessing the bank and business records of suspected terrorists and their affiliates. This manifested in the form of the Patriot Act signed into law by then President George W. …

How the Digital Age tech giants profit by knowing you so well

Data tells a story. It might seem counterintuitive or even downright insulting to think that Facebook or Google knows more about you than your friends and family. But it might be true. The sheer amount of data these companies have on you is both staggering and a goldmine.

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When you share your location and publish the movies and music you like on Facebook, you provide the company insight into who you are as a person. When Google Chrome tracks your cookies, you also provide insight into who you are as a person. Companies like Facebook and Google can build an accurate demographic profile for you with singular data points like gender, age, and income. It doesn’t stop there. These companies track what you search for and what your interests are to then create psychographic profiles; these profiles provide more specific estimations as to who you are, your tendencies, your worries, and your overall behavior. Your psychographic profile is then packaged along with other users’ profiles and sold to advertising companies. …

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