Tag: technology

From Gates, by Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews, loc 9378: Developers trying to cut deals with Microsoft often divulged their technology and/or their business plans. According to the complainants, Microsoft then used the knowledge for its own gain. The case of Go was the most widely publicized. The Silicon Valley startup, headed by ex-Lotusian Jerry […]

From The New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff, loc 730-744: At the same time, society’s greatest inventions and innovations of the past two hundred years— rockets to the moon, penicillin, computers, the internet— were not bestowed upon us by lone entrepreneurs and firms operating in free markets under conditions of healthy competition. They were […]

From To Save Everything, Click Here by Evgeny Morozov. For a talk about dystopias I’m doing next month, I’m trying to consider the implications of this technology at the level of social ontology. What does it mean to see sinister possibilities inherent in ‘innovations’ like this? Is there anything we can say in the abstract […]

Who could object to a project that seeks to stop killer robots? The UK government apparently: The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, an alliance of human rights groups and concerned scientists, is calling for an international prohibition on fully autonomous weapons. Last week Human Rights Watch released a report urging the creation of a new […]

In their Webcam, Daniel Miller and Jolynna Sinanan offer what they describe as a theory of attainment. While I’m not sure they’d accept my terminology, I read this as an attempt to theorise the causal powers of technology in relation to the causal powers of human beings. They start by recognising that “people have relationships with people and they have […]

Again I find myself somewhat repelled, though perhaps with less justification than in the previous lecture. The second lecture opens with the pronouncement that “we modern men presumably have not the slightest notion how thoughtfully the Greeks experienced their lofty poetry, their works of art – no, not experienced, but let them stand there in […]

An interesting article from ZDNet (HT Jean-Loup Richet) made a case for why all technologists should become technology sociologists. It contends that the question of how and why technology will be used tends to be occluded by the continual focus of technologists on the properties of the artefact itself: We’ve looked at the technology. But, no one is asking […]

There’s a really nice post on Jon Rainford’s blog which talks about Howard Becker’s Writing for Social Scientists and its potential lessons for bloggers: This second edition examines some of the changes in technology in the twenty years since it was first published, especially in terms of ways in which computers have enhanced the ability […]

In a powerful paper which has circulated widely on Twitter, Ros Gill argues that digital technology is implicated in both an intensification and an extensification of academic labour: Alongside the intensification of work in academia, we are also experiencing its marked  extensification (Jarvis and Pratt, 2006) across time and space. Paradoxically, as University lecturers have increasingly reported […]

Do you administer a JISCMail? I administer two: asexuality-discuss and socialmedia-discuss. Though I’m shit at administering them and, partly for this reason, nothing much happens on them. This is a shame because my initial motivation still stands: I thought there was inadequate dialogue taking place on both topics and I wanted to try and help […]

What do we do online? This is an issue I’ve pondered in a variety of guises but I’ve been thinking about it today as a result of running a fun (though badly attended) workshop about ‘demystifying social media’. As someone who runs social media workshops in universities, I’ve become ever more convinced that many of the confusions […]