Next read is "Concrete Economics" by Stephen S. Cohen and J. Bradford DeLong.
First book from the #NewConsensus reading list.
I finished "The Power" by Naomi Alderman today.
I didn't enjoy the read, but it was thought provoking. The central thesis of the book seemed to be, "our society is based on power, and if women were stronger than men we would see the same oppressive dynamics we see now, reversed."
That's a grim thought.
Next book is The Entrepreneurial State, by Mariana Mazzucato.
I'm going to try not to overdo it with the social notes. It's a library book due back soon, and I'm not sure writing down everything helps me absorb the content.
Still, I'm excited to dive into another #NewConsensus book.
I didn't realize when i bought it that the book was written 2006, but I'm still pretty interested to read "Producing Open Source Software," by Karl Fogel.
I just joined an #opensource software company and I have a lot to learn.
The book starts with a story of how the author, a #trans*, femme-presenting non-binary person, is typically stopped and searched at the airport because her body "deviates" from the pattern expected by the millimeter scan.
This is an example how "larger systems - including norms, values, and assumptions - are encoded in and reproduced through the design of sociotechnical systems."
"Yet [#CRMs] remain niche services, used by ony a relatively tiny group of professionalized campaigners. They typcially cost money to use, often based on the number of ocntacts in the campaign database, and they require a significant investment of time and energy to learn. They will in all likelihood never be widely adopted by the vast majority of people who participate in social movements."
"Instead, most people, including social movement #activists, organizers, and participants, use the most popular corporate social network sites and hosted services as tools to advance our goals. We work within the addordances of these sites and work around their limitations. We do this even when these tools are a poor fit for the specific task at hand, and even when their use exposes movement participants to a range of real harms."
#WhatsApp in a nutshell.
"Why do the most popular #socialmedia platforms provide such limited affordances for the important work of community organizing and movement building? Why is the time, energy, and brilliance of so many designers, software devlopers, product managers, and others who work on platforms focused on optimizing our digital world to capture and monetize our attention, over other potential goals (e.g. maximizing civic engagement, making environmentally sustainable choices, buiding empathy ... ?)"
"Put another way, why do we continue to design technologies that reporduce existing systems of power #inequality when it is so clear to so many that we urgently need to dismantle those systems?"
"'The Design of Everyday Things' is a canonical #design text. It's full of useful insights and compelling examples. However, it almost entirely ignores race, class, gender, disability, and other axes of #inequ. Norman very briefly states that capialism has shaped the design of objects, but says it in passing and never relates it to the key concepts of the book. Race and racism appear nowehere. He uses the term "women" only once..."
"He thus firmly subscribes to the individual/medical model of disability that locates #disability in 'defective' bodies and as a problem' to be solved, rather than the social/relational model (that recognizes how society actively disables people with physical or psychological differencces, functional limitations, or impairments through unnecessary exclusion, rather than taking action to meet their access needs)..."
"..., let alone the disability justice model, created by Disabled B/I/PoC as they fight to dismante able-bodied supremacy as a key axis of power within the #MatrixOfDomination."
"In other words, the book is a compendium of designed objects that are difficult to use that provides key principes for better design, but it almost entirely ignores questions of how #race, #class, #gender, #disability, and other aspects of the matrix of domination shape and constrain access to affordances. #DesignJustice is an approach that asks us to focus sustained attention on thes questions, benning with "how does the matrix of domination shape afforance perceptibility and availability?"
"An object's affordances are never equally *perceptible* to all, and never equally *availabe* to all; a given affordance is always more perceptible, more available, or both, to some kinds of people. #DesignJustice brings this insight to the fore and calls for designers' ongoing attention to the ways these differences are shaped by the matrix of domination."
"Most designers, most of the time, do not think of themselves as sexists, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, ableist, or settler-colonialist. Some may consider themselves to be capitalist, but few identify as part of the ruling class. Many feel themselves to be in tension with #capitalism, and many even identify as socialist. However, #DesignJustice is not about intentionality; it is about process and outcomes."
"#DesignJustice asks whether the affordances of a designed object or system disproportionately reduce opportunities for already oppressed groups of people while enhancing the life opportunities of dominant groups, independently of whether designers intend this outcome."
"As Chemaly notes: 'The underlying design assumption behind many of these errors is that girls and women are not 'normal' human beings in their own right. Rather, they are perceived as defective, sick, more needy, or 'wrong sized,' versions of men and boys. When it comes to #healthcare, male-centeredness isn't just annoying --- it results in very real needs being ignored, erased, or classified as 'extra' or unecessary...'"
"'...To give another, more tangible example, one advance artificaial heart was design to fit 86% of men's chest cavities, but only 20% of women's... the device's French maniifacturer Carmat explained that the company had no plans to develop a more female-friendly model as it 'would entaill significant investment and resources over multiple years.'"
"What's more, although design that discriminates based on race and/or gender is often seen as problematic, social norms under #capitalism do support systems design that intentionaly reproduces class-based discrimination. For example, the intended purpose of a predictive algorithm used by the credit industry to determine home loan eligibility is to afford the loan officer a heightened ability to descriminate between those who are likely to be able to make loan payments..."
"...Such a tool, by definition, promotes class-based discrimination, and when it does so, it is seen to be doing its job. However, when it disiriminates based on a single-axis characteristic (race OR gender OR disability) that is explicitly protected by the law, then it is said to be biased."
"In preexisting bias, bias that exists in a broader society, culture, and/or institutions is reproduced in the computer system, either intentionally or unintentionally, by systems developers. For example, graphical user interfaces typically embody a preexisting bias against vision-impaired people because the designers do not consider their existence at all, not because they consciously decide to exlude them."
That...just wow. When was this? I'm flabbergasted that anyone could conceive of uttering such a phrase. Was there more context?
@pasco citation is, Chemaly, Soraya. 2016. The problem with a technology revolution designed primarily for men https://qz.com/640302/why-is-so-much-of-our-new-technology-designed-primarily-for-men/
@Argus If there was some nuance that could have explained these examples of bias I could well have excused them but these are all flagrant failures and all of them are phenomenons that have frequent mainstream media coverage. Surely even a roomful of men would have had a thought. Do none of them have girlfriends, wives, daughters, sisters? Do they pay no real attention or have no truck with such issues?
@pasco I think the issue the author is highlighting is that people who are aren't deliberately [thing]ist can still create a system that perpetuates bias unless they actively seek to design otherwise.
Doncha' think its how it functions? A public library with ac's and the internet vs. Mar-el-Lago.
@Argus Because the "we" who build [or pay for the building of] systems is not the "we" who feel that need for change.
@Argus short answer, because there's no money in it.
I have an ongoing project to create, essentially, a niche anarchist community organizing platform... but I'm likely never going to get paid for it so it's always a third or fifth priority in my time and energy.
Most people are surprised that something like Fedi exists. They love hearing that the #timeline is chronological.
One simply reprlies with "Does it make #money?"
Can't win em all.
@Argus Those platforms are advertising businesses. It's not typically the purpose of an advertising business to promote empathy or civic engagement, unless it's for the purpose of getting you to buy something.
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