Escaping the Algorithmic Prison

IF SOME LATTER-DAY PATRICK HENRY were to stand up in Congress today and reprise his “Give me liberty or give me death” speech, the target of its invective would likely be the rulers of the Internet.

The liberation Henry demanded in 1775 was not just from England. After the Revolutionary War had been fought and won, he refused to attend the Constitutional Convention, lest a too-strong national government become as tyrannical as that of King George III. To counter the fears of Henry and other anti-Federalists, a Bill of Rights was appended to the Constitution that explicitly upheld individuals’ rights of worship, a free press, trial by jury, the right to petition the government, ...

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