… digital humanities itself functions as an organizing principle that frames how race, gender, sexuality, and ability are embodied […] focusing on the impetus on ‘making’ and ‘coding’ for humanities folks, while the comp sci / engineering / STEM folks are not required to think about, learn, or even consider how their designs create structural inequalities in (computer) code.
- TressieMC’s article Digital Humanities: Egalitarian or Just A New Elite? presents a DH2013 panel with an important focus.
Topic above: announced insights by panelist Jarah Moesch.
Google might be blinded by its own smarts. It’s an honest to god braintrust, filled with people who want to make the future. But here’s the thing about the future: it should make the way we live our lives better, not dictate the way we live our lives. It’s unintentional—the company truly thinks Google+ is super cool. And maybe it is, to the engineers behind it. But for those of us who aren’t data-crazed boy geniuses, it’s a nerdy imposition.
Google told us Android’s search would be stellar because it would know everything about our lives—where we eat, where we live, where we work, constantly following our moves and tastes in order to provide intricate answers when we need them. But the whole deal presumes we’re comfortable being followed and memorized like that. To Google, it’s a non-grievance. Who would ever care? Why would you turn down a computer that knows the details of your personal life, and can predict the next one?
Another consequence of the trend to only talk about data and not society, norms, politics, values and everything else confusing about the analogue world is the victim-blaming implicit in most of these articles. The cause of the problem? Women sharing data. The solution? Women need to better control their data
(Source: The Atlantic)
Tech writers […] have focused too much on the data and have forgotten the social world in which the data is situated.
(Source: The Atlantic)
I watched this video spread around my friends, every single one of them posting what a great cause it was and this worried me. What worried me wasn’t the cause, but the way nobody questioned it.
… there are some amazing tools for social scientists to use to study technology, but rarely are they used to help create technology. This is foolish. Technology creators are not idiots. Their work is certainly affected by the social environment. Yet, their creations also do affect the social culture. It is a bi-directional, non-deterministic process.
- danah boyd wrote this in 2004 - it still cannot be repeated and underlined enough today (2011).
Les réseaux sociaux font peur aux parlementaires - 25.08.2011
Copyright Radio Télévision Suisse - InterCités
La politique est une affaire de société, de nous tous!
Et le “vice versa” est un peu vrai, aussi.
Much of the time engineers resist the idea that their work has moral or political consequences at all. Many see themselves as interested in efficiency and design, in building cool stuff rather than messy ideological disputes and inchoate values.
At times, this attitude can verge on a “Guns don’t kill people, people do” mentality — a wilful blindness to how their design decisions affect the daily lives of millions.
[…] when the social repercussions of their work are troubling, the architects of the online world often fall back on the manifest-destiny rhetoric of technodeterminism.
Technodeterminism is alluring and convenient for newly powerful entrepreneurs because it absolves them of responsibility for what they do. Like priests at the altar, they’re mere vessels of a much larger force that it would be futile to resist. They need not concern themselves with the effects of the systems they’ve created.
- Eli Pariser FTW