In a recent Fast Company article, Profs. Jenn Rossmann and Benjamin Cohen advanced their discussion about how the transcontinental railroad corridor shaped the modern internet and contributed to structural racism.

Addressing the inequality baked into today’s algorithms requires excavation of technology’s layered history, Rossmann, professor of mechanical engineering and Cohen, associate professor of engineering studies and environmental studies, relay in the article.

“With trains, it was the labor that built the network, the workers along the lines, and the peoples displaced and killed along the way; with the internet, it is likewise the labor that’s gone into building the networks as well as the forms of discrimination built into the structure by code and algorithms,” they wrote.

Fast Company is a monthly American business magazine published in print and online that focuses on technology, business, and design.

Rossmann and Cohen last month also covered the topic in their discussion of their co-authored paper, “The Internet Is Railroads,” as part of the Olmsted Series on Race and Racial Justice.

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