Twitter’s algorithms might indeed make following a hashtag easier for us, but what is it doing for Twitter? When tens of people like an educational tweet for example, how did that happen, what are the consequences and for whom?
Here is a list of heuristics taken from ‘Researching a Posthuman World’ by Catherine Adams and Terrie Lynne Thompson
Describe how the object or thing appeared, showed up, or was given in professional practice. What happened?
Following the actors
Consider the main practice you are interested in. What micro-practices are at work?
Who-what is acting? What are they doing? Who-what is excluded?
How have particular assemblages come together? What is related to what and how? What work do they do?> > Choose an object of interest. What is the sociality/materiality around it?
Listening for the invitational quality of things
What is a technology inviting (or encouraging, inciting, or even insisting) its user to do?
What is a technology discouraging?
Studying breakdowns, accidents and anomalies
What happens if an object breaks or is unexpectedly missing? What practices then become more visible?
Applying the Laws of Media
This heuristic draws on the tetrad of McLuhan and McLuhan (1988) and poses the questions they proposed.
What does a technology/medium enhance?
What does it render obsolete?
What does it retrieve that was previously obsolesced?
What does it become when pressed to an extreme?
How have particular gatherings come to be and how do they maintain their connections?
What unintended realities come into being as everyday practices unfold?
What is entrenched? Who-what is excluded?
Note: I'm writing this post on my personal blog as I'm still learning about GDPR. This is me thinking out loud, rather than making official Moodle pronouncements. 'Enjoyment' and 'compliance-focused courses' are rarely uttered in the same breath. I have, however, enjoyed my second week of learning from Futurelearn's
Doug Belshaw breaks down a number of points associated with the GDPR. During TIDE, he also makes the point that this will set a precedence moving forward in regards to the collection of data so will therefore have an influence on everyone. Eylan Ezekiel also provided a useful discussion a few months a go.
On the 8th of December at The Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney Australia, BVN hosted its bi-annual conference – Futures Forum 2. The theme was ‘Knowledge and Ethics in the Next Machine Age’.
23:21 Larry Prusak: Knowledge and it’s Practices in the 21st Century
Prusak discusses the changes in knowledge over time and the impact that this has. This reminds me of Weinberger’s book Too Big To Know. Some quotes that stood out were:
Knowledge won’t flow without trust
Schools measure things they can measure even if it is not valuable
Again and again Prusak talks about going wide, getting out and meeting new people.
1:21:59 Professor Genevieve Bell: Being Human in a Digital Age
Bell points out that computing has become about the creation, circulation, curation and resistence of data. All companies are data companies now. For example, Westfield used to be a real estate company, but they are now a data company.
The problem with algorithms is that they are based on the familiar and retrospective, they do not account for wonder and serendipity.
As we design and develop standards for tomorrow, we need to think about the diversity associated with those boards and committees. If there are only white males at the table, how does this account for other perspectives.
We do want to be disconnected, even if Silicon Valley is built around being permanently connected. One of the things that we need to consider is what is means to have an analogue footprint.
Building on the discussion of data and trust, Bell makes the point:
The thing about trust is that you only get it once.
In regards to the rise of the robots, our concern should be the artificial intelligence within them. One of the big problems is that robots follow rules and we don’t.
The future of technology that we need to be aspiring to develop a future where technology can support us with our art, wonder and curiosity.
A comment made during the presentation and shared after Bell had finished:
Is your current job the best place for you to make the world a better place?
2:49:51 Phillip Bernstein: The Future of Making Things: Design Practice in the Era of Connected Technology
Berstein unpacks six technical disruptions – data, computational design, simulation analysis, the internet of things, industrial construction and machine learning – and looks at the implications for architecture.
3:51:44 Dr Simon Longstaff: Ethics in the Next Machine Age
Dr Longstaff explores the ethics associated with technology. This includes the consideration of ethical design, a future vision – Athens or Eden – and the purpose to making. Discussing the technology of WWII, Longstaff states:
Technical mastery devoid of ethics is the root of all evil
He notes that just because we can, it does not mean we ought.
He also used two ads from AOL to contrast the choices for tomorrow:
Interesting listening as always. Just a couple of quick points. In regards to the distraction of technology, my mother used to bring knitting (is that technology?) when she would watch me play cricket. I remember once I had lasted only a few balls, going out for a duck. As I walked off, she congratulated me and told me that I had played well. I knew that she neither had a clue what was going on or how I had played. That was long before the smartphone.
Another wondering was associated with the discussion of different identities online. Do you think that the #IndieWeb and the correlating principles counter that, with focus on POSSE and collective identity?
The problems of technology – and the problems of the storytelling about the computing industry today, which seems to regularly turn to the worst science fiction for inspiration – is bound up in all this. There’s a strong desire to create, crown, and laud the Hero – a tendency that’s going to end pretty badly if we don’t start thinking about care and community (and carrier bags) and dial back this wretched fascination with weapons, destruction, and disruption.
We take a look at three sectors in which China is beginning to dominate: trade, artificial intelligence and energy.
In this episode of Future Tense, Prof Nick Bisley, Will Knight and Tim Buckley discuss the investments that China is driving, whether it be opening up the Pakistan corridor or control of important resources and rare metals. Having travelled through some of South-East Asia in the past, it is amazing how much investment China has made.
Excerpt from my book Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play
Resnick discusses some of the problems with the way that we see technology. He points out that the notion of ‘technology’ encompasses more than an iPhone:
Techno-skeptics often argue that children should spend more time with crayons and watercolors, rather than tablets and laptops. But they tend to forget that crayons and watercolors were viewed as “advanced technologies” at some point in the past. We see them differently now because they’ve become integrated into the culture. Computer pioneer Alan Kay likes to say that technology is anything that was invented after you were born. For kids growing up today, laptops and mobile phones aren’t high-tech tools — they’re everyday tools, just like crayons and watercolors.
He also explains that the problem with technology is not necessarily the tool itself, but the way in which it is used. With this in mind he suggests that we try and maximise ‘creative’ time
Spending all your time on any one thing is problematic. But the most important issue with screen time is not quantity but quality. There are many ways of interacting with screens; it doesn’t make sense to treat them all the same. Time spent playing a violent video game is different from time spent texting with friends, which is different from time spent researching a report for school, which is different from time spent creating and sharing an interactive story with Scratch. Rather than trying to minimize screen time, I think parents and teachers should try to maximize creative time.
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This is pretty vague. Who is responsible for the account? The teacher? The student?