API documentation should not be static. It should always be driven from OpenAPI, JSON Schema, and other pipeline artifacts. Documentation should be part of the CI/CD build process, and published as part of an API portal life cycle as mentioned above. API documentation should exist for ALL APIs that are deployed within an organization, and used to drive conversations across development as well as business groups–making sure the details of API design are always in as plain language as possible.
Last year, I wrote that women just recounting their experiences of sexism did not seem like enough. I wanted action, legislation, measurable markers of change. Now I think that the task at hand might be more rudimentary than I assumed: The experience of making the spreadsheet has shown me that it is still explosive, radical, and productively dangerous for women to say what we mean. But this doesn’t mean that I’ve lowered my hopes. Like a lot of feminists, I think about how women can build power, help one another, and work toward justice. But it is less common for us to examine the ways we might wield the power we already have. Among the most potent of these powers is the knowledge of our own experiences. The women who used the spreadsheet, and who spread it to others, used this power in a special way, and I’m thankful to all of them.
Technology is a trip. Web technology is a delusion-ally virtual trip. It really seems to have many of us by the balls (pun intended), and working us like a puppet. I still perform this act on a daily basis via API Evangelist. Why? Because it makes me money! Of course, I’m always working to minimize the bullshit. Something I’m continuing to do by eliminating the mission driven rhetoric, but I just can’t quit API Evangelist. I’ve assumed this persona, and can’t seem to shake it. As I keep working to understand the beast I’ve created, I will continue to tell the story here on the blog.
Kin Lane reflects on the addictive nature of technology and the way in which he has convinced himself over time that he is actually doing good. This touches on the some of the ideas around ‘automating inequality’.
Rather than thinking of AI as “artificial intelligence,” Eubanks effectively builds the case for how we should think that AI often means “automating inequality” in practice.
danah boyd reviews a book by Virginia Eubanks which takes a look at the way(s) that algorithms work within particular communities. Along with Weapons of Math Destruction and Williamson’s Big Data in Education, they provide a useful starting point for discussing big data today.
Some 370 million years ago cladoxylopsid trees stood at least eight meters tall, capped by branches with twiggy appendages instead of leaves. They looked a bit like spindly palm trees. Today their scant remains reveal little about their insides; in most cases their innards had rotted before the trees fossilized, and storms had filled them with sand. But the recent find of two well-preserved fossils in China has exposed the trees' inner workings—which are like no other species studied before.
Daisy Yuhas documents the discovery of an extinct tree with a trunk made up like laticework, a hollow core and no leaves.
via Freshly Brewed Thoughts by Laura Hilliger
In the end your smartphone use is helping to build up a picture of who you are and the kind of advertising you're interested in for companies like Google, Facebook, and others -- even if an app isn't part of a massive advertising network, it may well sell its data to one. Apple stands apart in this regard, keeping the data it tracks for its own use and largely on a single device, though of course the apps that run on iOS have more freedom to do what they want. Even if you're reasonably content to put up with some monitoring on Android and iOS, it's important to know what kind of data you're giving up every time you switch your smartphone on. Whether it means you uninstall a few social media tools, or disable location tracking for a few apps, it gives you some semblance of control over your privacy.
Mark Nield explains some ways that phones track users, including capturing location settings via photographs. He also provides some tips for how to regain some of the control through the privacy settings. Along with Adam Greenfield’s breakdown of the smartphone, these posts help to highlight what data is being gathered about us and how.
The best thing for Zuck to do is get the hell out, let it finish failing, and start over with something new and better, based on what he and others have learned from the experience. (Which tends to be the best teacher. And hell, he's still young.) It should help him—and all of us—to know that all companies fail; they just fail faster in Silicon Valley.
Despite the common saying, imitation is not flattery. It’s transformation that is flattery: taking what you’ve stolen and turning it into something new.
Austin Kleon returns to an idea that is central to his book Steal Like an Artist. Summarising TS Eliot, Kleon suggests that the secret is not imitation, but rather transformation. This reminds me of Harold Bloom’s idea of ‘anxiety’. I also love Kleon’s closing remarks:
If you met the artist you’re stealing from in a stalled elevator, would they shake your hand or punch you in the face?
Under what conditions and for what purposes is it better to learn in a face-to-face context rather than online? And when and how should they be used to complement each other when both are readily available?
The idea that the solution to the nefarious effects of constant high-stakes measurement is to bring in more high-stakes measurement – albeit of a different thing – is palpably insane. It is further evidence, if we needed any, that we have surrendered our profession to a cultish scientism whose mantra is measurement.
JT Dutaut wonders about a future where the solution to too much testing in education is more testing.