The First Modern Election

We just witnessed the first fully modern campaign cycle. If you are versed in science fiction, it played out exactly as predicted. It wasn’t pretty.

The public discussion about technology’s impact on the election has mostly centered on the direct-to-consumer populism of Donald Trump on social media, but this goes way beyond Twitter and Facebook. The real story is about what it means to operate a democracy in a world of perfect memory and free communication.

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That’s a scenario Kissinger probably never contemplated but that could prove his words even more true.

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Shaunak Khire, James Mitchell and 6 others commented on this article.
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Hillary Clinton has been dogged throughout the campaign by email records—those on her private server and those found by WikiLeaks—which didn’t exist as a recorded medium even a few decades ago.