26 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2022
  2. Jul 2022
    1. Techno-optimism is the belief that technology will produce more good than bad. To defend techno-optimism, we must first establish what our values are, and then discover the facts that preserve those values. Modest techno-optimism acknowledges the problems in technology, but couples that to an optimism in human institutions and virtues.
  3. Jun 2022
  4. May 2022
  5. Mar 2022
    1. The tech industry's historical amnesia — the inability to learn about, to recognize, to remember what has come before — is deeply intertwined with the idea of "disruption" and its firm belief that new technologies are necessarily innovative and are always "progress." I like to cite, as an example, a New Yorker article from a few years ago, an interview with an Uber engineer who'd pleaded guilty to stealing Google's self-driving car technology. "The only thing that matters is the future," he told the magazine. "I don't even know why we study history. It's entertaining, I guess — the dinosaurs and the Neanderthals and the Industrial Revolution, and stuff like that. But what already happened doesn't really matter. You don't need to know that history to build on what they made. In technology, all that matters is tomorrow." (I could tie this attitude to the Italian Futurists and to fascism, but that’s a presentation for another day.)
    1. http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/trs/97-21/97-21.html

      A view of internet technology from 1998. It's filled with techno-utopianism, but provides some thought and admonishment against watching out for design which may have future deleterious consequences.

      It's a bit amazing how many problems he highlights as relatively easily solvable are still unsolved and largely untouched: search/search engines, academic publishing workflows, democracy, and general digital humanism.

    2. Distance education by tele-mentoring, tele-lecturing, and computer mediated conferencing is gradually reshaping education, and is likely to accelerate as the technology becomes more widely available. Additional research and development is needed to ex plore how education can be reshaped in a 24-hour electronic environment in which the teacher shifts from being the "sage on the stage to the guide on the side." The web supports collaborative teaching methods in which students do more than surf the net - - they learn to make waves. Ambitious team projects can provide valuable services to clients who are outside the classroom. These authentic projects can be highly motivating to students as they learn business-oriented and personally enriching skills of communicating, critiquing, and collaborating (Shneiderman, 1998b).

      Example of techno-utopianism within the edtech space which largely hasn't come to fruition.

      Were there prior references to "sage on the stage to the guide on the side" that indicated the guide on the side not being a person, but the Internet or technology instead?

    3. Of course, users are still the source of the insight that makes a complete document also a compelling document.

      Nice that he takes a more humanistic viewpoint here rather than indicating that it will all be artificial intelligence in the future.

    4. Refinement is a social process: New ideas are conceived of by individuals, and then they are refined through reviews from knowledgeable peers and mentors.

      Refinement is a social process. Sadly it can also be accelerated, often negatively, by unintended socio-economic forces.

      The dominance and ills created by surveillance capitalism within social media is one such result driven by capitalism.

    5. Since any powerful tool, such as a genex, can be used for destructive purposes, the cautions are discussed in Section 5.

      Given the propensity for technologists in the late 90s and early 00s to have rose colored glasses with respect to their technologies, it's nice to see at least some nod to potential misuses and bad actors within the design of future tools.

  6. Jan 2022
  7. Dec 2021
  8. May 2021
    1. The point here is not to defend the uses of surveillance technology in China, the point is to emphasize that when big tech talks about China they are stoking Sinophobia in order to distract from their own malfeasance. By screeching with nationalistic panic “look what they’re doing over there!” the tech companies shift the conversation from what they themselves are doing over here.
  9. Oct 2020
  10. Dec 2018
  11. Sep 2017
    1. Citizens were asked to take over responsibilities that were previously handled by the state, and participants would “recognize problems only insofar as technology can operationalize and solve them.”
    1. Many movements have become somewhat unsta-ble and decentralized. This instability allows for fluidity and moments where cultures become complicit in neoliberalism and globalization. This complicit exploitation is espe-cially visible when we consider the relationship between maker publics and technolo-gies. In buying, creating, and re-purposing technologies, hacker and maker groups engage capitalist enterprises that span the globe.

      [...] Frequently, these groups rent space, pay for electricity, buy parts, and otherwise deeply participate in highly capitalized high technol-ogy industries. In other words, they sometimes espouse open resistance to the very capi-talism that their actions support. The conflicting narratives surrounding hacker/maker cultures identify elements of their ideology that are in tension and inconsistent.

    1. To put Giddens in conversation with Morozov, the threat of civic hackers is not that they naively employ “solution-ism.” Quite to the contrary, they debate ethics of technology design, seek collabora-tions with local organizations, and attempt to re-think how government services might be more sensitive to resident needs.

    Tags

    Annotators

  12. Jul 2017
  13. Sep 2016
    1. “It’s more complicated than that.” No kidding. You could nail a list of caveats to any sentence in this essay. But the complexity of these problems is no excuse for inaction. It’s an invitation to read more, learn more, come to understand the situation, figure out what you can build, and go build it. That’s why this essay has 400 hyperlinks. It’s meant as a jumping-off point. Jump off it. There’s one overarching caveat. This essay employed the rhetoric of “problem-solving” throughout. I was trained as an engineer; engineers solve problems. But, at least for the next century, the “problem” of climate change will not be “solved” — it can only be “managed”. This is a long game. One more reason to be thinking about tools, infrastructure, and foundations. The next generation has some hard work ahead of them.

      Also a good foot note related with the ones at beginning. A problem solving language doesn't mean to be enchanted by the magic of techno-solutionism. It can be an invitation from a particular point of view to action and dialogue. This seems the case here. Thanks Bret.