53 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. extropianism of the 80s and 90s,

      A techno-optimist / rationalist thing, connected to transhumanism and cryogenics.

    2. using engineering to repair a complex system like our planet.

      This sounds very problematic to me. Engineering is not meant for complex issues, it needs reductionism to complicated but highly predictable causal chains to be able to engineer it. Also wrt environment I don't see actual evidence of techno-optimism having had positive impact, let alone at geo-engineering scale. Environmental achievements wrt sulfur (acid rain), ozon (HFCs), living rivers (pesticides, discharges) etc. result from regulations limiting what engineers had previously introduced.

  2. Apr 2024
    1. [Steve Jobs]: If you sort of dig beneath the surface,one of the real successes of the Lisa programwas creating an environment where all these crazy people that could reallybe very, very successful.And I guess that's one of the things that Apple's done best.

      appreciate the framing of technologists at the early Apple Inc. as "these crazy people".

    2. [Narrator]: The Cluttered Desk, Index Card,file folders, the in-out basket, the calculator.These are the tools of the office professional's past.Since the dawn of the computer age, better machines have always meant bigger and more powerful.But the software could not accommodate the needs of office professionals who are responsiblefor the look, shape and feel of tomorrow.

      In 1983, at the dawn of the personal computer age, Apple Inc. in promotional film entitled "Lisa Soul Of A New Machine" touted their new computer, a 16-bit dual disk drive "personal office system", as something that would do away with "the cluttered desk, index cards, file folders, the in-out basket, [and] the calculator." (00:01)

      Some of these things moved to the realm of the computer including the messy desk(top) now giving people two messy desks, a real one and a virtual one. The database-like structure of the card index also moved over, but the subjective index and its search power were substituted for a lower level concordance search.


      30 years on, for most people, the value of the database idea behind the humble "index card" has long since disappeared and so it seems here as if it's "just" another piece of cluttery paper.


      Appreciate the rosy framing of the juxtaposition of "past" and "future" jumping over the idea of the here and now which includes the thing they're selling, the Lisa computer. They're selling the idealized and unclear future even though it's really just today.

  3. Mar 2024
    1. Ongweso Jr., Edward. “The Miseducation of Kara Swisher: Soul-Searching with the Tech ‘Journalist.’” The Baffler, March 29, 2024. https://thebaffler.com/latest/the-miseducation-of-kara-swisher-ongweso.

      ᔥ[[Pete Brown]] in Exploding Comma

    2. Sam Harnett’s 2020 paper “Words Matter: How Tech Media Helped Write Gig Companies Into Existence” remains one of the best accounts of how swaths of the media enthusiastically generated on-demand propaganda for the tech industry, directly setting the stage for these firms to exploit, codify, and expand legal loopholes that largely exempted them from regulation as they raided their users for data and generated billions in revenue. Such intellectual acquiescence would, as Harnett writes, “pave the way for a handful of companies that represent a tiny fraction of the economy to have an outsized impact on law, mainstream corporate practices, and the way we think about work.”

      Harnett, Sam. “Words Matter: How Tech Media Helped Write Gig Companies into Existence.” SSRN Scholarly Paper. Rochester, NY, August 7, 2020. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3668606.

    3. The long and short of it is that Swisher is not a good journalist—or, framed more generously, that she thrived in an industry with remarkably low standards for which we are still paying the price. For decades, tech journalism and criticism has primarily consisted of glowing gadget reviews, laudatory profiles, and reprinted press releases, all of it colored by Silicon Valley’s self-aggrandizing vision of itself as a laboratory of a brighter future.

      The tech press is responsible in part for a large portion of our techno-utopianism. They wore rose colored glasses and didn't ask the more probative questions they should have been asking until it was too late?

      Where was our tech Cassandra?

    4. Internet technology accelerates connections. It does so beyond the human beings evolved ability to cope with inputs. As a result it will accelerate the bad portions of humanity of which there are many we gloss over too often with our rose colored glasses. If we don't approach the world from a humanistic perspective, the bad will swamp us.

  4. Feb 2024
    1. I remember feeling good about nanotechnology after reading Enginesof Creation.

      Here's an example of Bill Joy reading about nanotechnology and having positive feelings.

      Why are people so pro-technology? Have we evolved this way over 10,000 years? Are there too many technologies with bad effects?

  5. Dec 2023
    1. i think it's in chapter nine of the book i actually 00:52:31 or chapter eight i i i mentioned these folks all of the ones you just talked about curtsville tinker diamandis all of them are all mentioned and i refer to them as techno optimists
      • for: techno-optimist - critique, Steven Pinker - critique, Ray Kurzweil - critique, Peter Diamandis - critique, Elon Musk - critique
  6. Jul 2023
  7. May 2023
  8. Apr 2023
  9. Mar 2023
    1. Sustainable consumption scholars offer several explanations forwhy earth-friendly, justice-supporting consumers falter when itcomes to translating their values into meaningful impact.
      • Paraphrase
      • Claim
        • earth-friendly, justice-supporting consumers cannot translate their values into meaningful impact.
      • Evidence
      • “the shading and distancing of commerce” Princen (1997) is an effect of information assymetry.
        • producers up and down a supply chain can hide the negative social and environmental impacts of their operations, putting conscientious consumers at a disadvantage. //
      • this is a result of the evolution of alienation accelerated by the industrial revolution that created the dualistic abstractions of producers and consumers.
      • Before that, producers and consumers lived often one and the same in small village settings
      • After the Industrial Revolution, producers became manufacturers with imposing factories that were cutoff from the general population
      • This set the conditions for opaqueness that have plagued us ever since. //

      • time constraints, competing values, and everyday routines together thwart the rational intentions of well-meaning consumers (Røpke 1999)

      • assigning primary responsibility for system change to individual consumers is anathema to transformative change (Maniates 2001, 2019)
      • This can be broken down into three broad categories of reasons:

        • Rebound effects
          • https://jonudell.info/h/facet/?max=100&expanded=true&user=stopresetgo&exactTagSearch=true&any=jevon%27s+paradox
          • increases in consumption consistently thwart effciency-driven resource savings across a wide variety of sectors (Stern 2020). -sustainability scholars increasingly critique “effciency” both as:
            • a concept (Shove 2018)
            • as a form of“weak sustainable consumption governance” (Fuchs and Lorek 2005).
          • Many argue that, to be successful, effciency measures must be accompanied by initiatives that limit overall levels of consumption, that is, “strong sustainable consumption governance.
        • Attitude-behavior gap

        • Behavior-impact gap

    2. hese challenges demand an ethos not of technologicalcleverness, but of social prudence, of acting with humility and cautionwhen confronted by risk and uncertainty. The French philosopherHans Jonas calls this the “imperative of responsibility.”

      // - see also Kevin Anderson's presentation on "The Ostrich and the Phoenix" - https://jonudell.info/h/facet/?max=100&expanded=true&user=stopresetgo&exactTagSearch=true&any=ostrich+and+the+phoenix - humans opt for the just-in-time techno path because we can "kick the can down the road" and procastinate and allow the next generation deal with the problem - As Anderson shows, there isn't enough time for renewable energy to scale to make a difference in the short term and the difficult social problem of massive social behavior change is unfortunately the best way to solve the problem - the allure of technology is that it can fix any problem - the reality is that last generation's technology is unfortunately often the source of this generation's problems - technology not only produces progress, but the unintended consequences produce progress traps which become the inspiration for new technology in an endless cycle of self-created problems giving rise to avoidable solutions

  10. Feb 2023
  11. Jan 2023
  12. Dec 2022
  13. Aug 2022
  14. 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.
  15. Jun 2022
  16. May 2022
  17. 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.

  18. Dec 2021
  19. 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.
  20. Oct 2020
  21. Dec 2018
  22. 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.

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  23. Jul 2017
  24. 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.