Here are ten pieces picked by Dani Rodrik, Alondra Nelson, Hari Kunzru, and Joan Subirats.
Superstar Cities and Left-Behind Places [open access]
a document selected by Dani Rodrik
Regional inequality increased in the U.S. until the Second World War, and then began to come down — a process that ended around 1980, Since the, income inequality across space has increased yet again, with the rise of super-cities that attract talent and the most productive firms, and pay high wages. This important study provides a general theory of these swings, focusing on the rise of new technologies and how they become easier to diffuse across space over time.
The Global Financial Resource Curse [open access]
an article chosen by Dani Rodrik
Access to financial capital flows from abroad is a good thing, right? Actually no. As this study argues, capital inflows from the rest of the world into the US economy may be one reason why manufacturing lagged in the U.S. and low-productivity services expanded.
a document picked by Alondra Nelson
A thought-provoking exploration of “the social life of time” and its implications for social inequality. Racial equality will require a resetting of political temporality, Mills suggests, more specifically, a politics of time that begins prior to domination and propels a future forward out of this reimagined past.
Genetic Ancestry Testing among White Nationalists [open access]
an article marked by Alondra Nelson
A powerful example of how “genealogical aspirations”—in this case, white nationalist desires for certain racial identity—shape the interpretation of genetic ancestry testing results. Consumers generate explanations that variously reject, negotiate, and reinterpret genetic ancestry inferences to suit white supremacist ideology.
Racial Categories in Machine Learning [open access]
a document selected by Alondra Nelson
Biased or unfair AI result in part from the use of simplistic nominal categories (e.g., “Black”, “woman,” etc.) as proxies for complex phenomena like social roles or structural inequality. Grounded in “racial formation” theory, this creative paper proposes a sociotechnical methodology to identify bias upstream in the machine learning process, identifying known (and unexpected) data segregation, and initiating an iterative process that might produce a more comprehensive and fairer AI output.
Art After Money, Money After Art [open access]
a video marked by Hari Kunzru
Financialization transforms us all into an agent of its reproduction – we all imagine ourselves as entrepreneurs. Everything – our friendships, our community. Our sense of self is material for this process. A survey of art that takes on the financialization of art.
Wages Against Artwork [open access]
a podcast chosen by Hari Kunzru
Artists and others are often expected to be in formal ‘work-like’ situations without being remunerated. During the pandemic, much of our wage labor has been paused. ‘What we do when we live in a world that is structured and governed by the expectation of a wage, by the laws of a wage, but at certain moments we’re not being waged?
an article marked by Hari Kunzru
Neoliberalism displaces and redraws the boundary between secular and religious and appropriates an aura of sacredness while concealing itself behind an authoritative secular rational façade.
a document picked by Joan Subirats
As the vulnerability of cities to the effects of climate change and now with the Covid-19 crisis increases, so does the urgency of and interest in urban transformational adaptation. The question is how “everyday” urban politics shape the multi-scalar political constraints that prevent municipalities from implementing transformational adaptation.
New Angles on Inequality [open access]
an article selected by Joan Subirats
A volume devoted to pose two critical questions with respect to inequality: the eruption of far-right politics and the geographic separation between haves and have-nots.