October 29, 2018

Interesting Things on the Internet: October 29th 2018

And a great talk from Anand Giridharadas (as featured in last week's Interesting Things...) challenging us to make actual progress on society, rather than looking for not-really-effective-but-inoffensive-to-propose "win-win" solutions...

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October 20, 2018

Interesting Things on the Internet: October 20th 2018

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October 08, 2018

Interesting Things on the Internet: October 8th 2018

  • Launching the Trust & Technology Initiative. A good primer on the dangers of not caring about how we trust technology
  • If the Point of Capitalism is to Escape Capitalism, Then What’s the Point of Capitalism? I'm not sure, but in our finer moments you can see glimpses of this post-capitalist world in the DoES Liverpool community, in the pursuit of ideas rather than money. And I suppose a lot of it comes down to a community managing the commons for the good of its members.
  • Second System Syndrome. Nice. A name for something I've long noticed (and perpetually resisted) in software teams: the desire to throw everything away and start from scratch. Actually, it occurs to me that's a similar urge to the pattern for grand masterplanning in the built environment. It's the wrong answer there too.
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October 01, 2018

Interesting Things on the Internet: October 1st 2018

  • The Myth of the Ethical Shopper. Turns out our ethics and principles might need us to do more than just buy things.
  • If Software Is Eating the World, What Will Come Out the Other End? "The world is still real. Software hasn’t eaten it as much as bound it in a spell, temporarily I hope, while we figure out what comes next."
  • Preparing a conference talk. Good explanation of how to prep a talk. I don't follow this completely, blurring the work out the narrative and the write the slides parts, but the general principles are all sound.
  • Corbyn Now. "Corbyn’s critics[...], not the electorate, are unwilling to tolerate any serious challenge to a political status quo which is extreme when judged by the same comparisons – to history, to other nations, to public opinion – that show how moderate Corbynism is. The neoliberal character of the status quo doesn’t reflect a public consensus, and it hasn’t for a long time: for example, no opinion poll since the mid-1980s has shown popular support for public sector privatisation."
  • Reading Adam's latest essay on smart cities, Shaping Cities contribution, “Of Systems and Purposes: Emergent technology for the skeptical urbanist”, I realised that my mantra of "judge us (and others) on what we do, not what we say" is a people equivalent of Stafford Beer's "the purpose of a system is what it does"
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