Rapid advances in machine learning have prompted much debate about the sinister implications of ‘black-box’ algorithms. Yet fears about the opacity of computer code are as old as software itself, writes Kathrin Passig. Indeed, black boxes are all around us, not just inside our computers…
Essays | Eurozine
This year’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day (27 January) was marked by a row over a new Polish law that would criminalize any suggestion that Poland was responsible for Nazi atrocities. In a prescient speech delivered just days earlier, historian Ferenc Laczó observes that the Europeanization of Holocaust remembrance still has a long way to go.
Following the first wave of the #MeToo movement, a new phase of reflection has set in. Here, four authors and journal editors from the US and Europe assess #MeToo’s achievements and potential, but also its limitations in changing a culture of sexual harassment.
After controversy at last year’s book fairs in Gothenburg and Frankfurt over the participation of far-right publishers and the question of who was – and who should be – allowed to attend, ‘Index on Censorship’ asks four thinkers and decision-makers to explain their stance on the issue.
Throughout its recent political upheavals, Ukraine has looked to Europe as a beacon of liberal democracy. Yet Europe has been unwilling to reciprocate, as it did with other countries in the socialist bloc. This has held back not only Ukrainian development, argues Andrii Portnov.
Rewriting Russian history
A battle for the future shape of Russia’s education system is under way. Not only is the Kremlin increasing its control over what it considers the correct version of the country’s history, there are also signs of a gradual ideological turn towards promoting the glorification of Joseph Stalin.
War and digital memory: How digital media shape history
Social media platforms have changed the way that people mobilise and act collectively. But as Kateryna Iakovlenko discovers in the context of war-affected Ukraine, the visual record created by apps like Instagram are forcing researchers to reconsider what constitutes an objective record, a subjective perspective – or possibly both.
Hostility to Catalan regional autonomy from Spain’s conservative People’s Party since 2010 is what has catalysed the current secession debate, argues Nora Räthzel. Moderate defenders of the democratic process are now squeezed between hard-line independentistas and far-right defenders of ‘the unity of the Spanish nation’.
The lessons of the ICTY for transitional justice
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia closed at the end of 2017 after 24 years in operation. It made a major contribution to the rise of global justice, writes political theorist Peter Verovšek. But did the tribunal do anything to promote reconciliation in former Yugoslavia?