… 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.
Tech writers […] have focused too much on the data and have forgotten the social world in which the data is situated.
(Source: The Atlantic)
If we can’t resist the spread of information, we are likely to adapt our own values to match it. We’ve talked often about how social [normes] about privacy are changing as new generations are raised with more information disseminating technologies.
- Article brought to my attention by Estelle Métayer
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
The systems approaches may not provide a good explanation of day-to-day actions, activities, and interactions among individuals. At the same time, the interactionist approaches may not provide a good explanation of the structures of society and how these affect the individual. This gap is sometimes referred to as the agency-structure issue, and some theorists have attempted to simultaneously address both agency and structure.