more 99%I teaching content on bicycles.
Posted: 17 November, 2022
99% invisible does it again – a story about people representing wild rice in the US legal system.
Posted: 19 July, 2022
Interview with Vauhini Vauna who is a tech writer. She wrote an essay collaboratively with the open AIs GPT3. End of the interview touches on this, and particularly the affective dimensions of working with AI. It would be a good unexpected teaching case.
Posted: 9 May, 2022
Sensitive podcast on American’s relationship with an endangered species. Takes a kind of socio-technical systems / actor-centred approach to Grouse as an issue.
Posted: 2 May, 2022
The default metaphor for intellectual property in modern times is “ownership.” In this model of ownership, all ideas, stories, inventions, characters, product names, techniques are understood to be inherently born as the property of their creator. These thoughts-made-real are seen to be owned by the mind that births them. You think them, you own them. With this status of ownership, intangible creations such as a novel, a musical melody, a plot, a phrase, formula, etc — all things created by a mind — are given a monopoly of rights in order to encourage further creations by the same creator. And to spur others to create. This lawful monopoly — such as copyright, patents, trademarks — protects the creation from being used by others for gain. By current law, this inherent monopolistic ownership is held strongly for long periods of time, ranging from decades to a century, depending on the conceptual type (patents may be 17 years while copyright may exceed lifetimes). This awarded monopoly has a few exceptions for very limited special cases, such as “fair use” and public domain. In these modes anyone can fairly use the invention for their own purposes. Certain restrictions may apply, like if the use might need to be for education, or for parody, or so used in a transformative way, or bettered by the use. These exceptions were to be kept to an absolute minimum in order to maximize the monopoly of the hard working creator. This framing plays into both the modern idea of ownership as the sacred foundation of wealth and prosperity, but it also plays into the idea of creator as a hero, or at least as the bedrock of progress.
Posted: 4 February, 2022
Big tech companies’ research budgets are massive
Posted: 24 January, 2022
An inventor finally offers an interesting take on responsibility, centring on narratives and the ability to talk about the ambivalences of NFTs.
Posted: 15 November, 2021
Podcast with Max Chafkin, author of a book on Peter Thiel. Has a really nice bit of emerging tech disassembly on a scary technology (Palantir) and an example of how the wrong assessment of some tech visionaries about a problem (9/11 – failure of surveillance) led to its development.
Posted: 6 October, 2021
Surreptitious data sharing mental health apps
Posted: 8 August, 2021
Uranium mining in the USA
Posted: 3 August, 2021
Economist article on Google releasing petition folding predictions
Posted: 29 July, 2021
Government creates a new science and technology council, chaired by the prime minister, to make decisions about research to address societal challenges.
Posted: 21 June, 2021
Great case study of funding and technological change and its imbrication in politics (it made Britain better at being Imperialistic)
Posted: 22 May, 2021
Profile of a bioengineering person who doesn’t think in terms of genes and is trying to drive regeneration using bioelectrical signals. Very reminiscent of Karen barads talks
Posted: 5 May, 2021
Academic title = The role of digital technologies in changing international politics: the case of diplomacy
Posted: 3 May, 2021
How collaboration shapes knowledge production: "A 2009 study showed that about 80 per cent of Central Africa’s research papers were produced with collaborators based outside the region. With the exception of Rwanda, each of the African countries principally collaborated with its former coloniser. As a result, these dominant collaborators shaped scientific work in the region. They prioritised research on immediate local health-related issues, particularly infectious and tropical diseases, rather than encouraging local scientists to also pursue the fuller range of topics pursued in the West."
Posted: 25 April, 2021
Amazing article about how AirPods are evil
Posted: 19 April, 2021
Somatosphere forum on the origins of the coronavirus responsible for this pandemic.
Posted: 6 March, 2021
You could imagine a future in which the pandemic drives vaccine development which negates the need for eradicating mosquitoes from the world.
Posted: 1 March, 2021
More future organisms from the BBC
Posted: 23 February, 2021
Dazed and confused is a cool magazine. This is from 2013 and is basically all arty tropes.
Posted: 23 February, 2021
James Somers on how an English professor in the US (10 years ago) dealt with student feedback – by emailing with students as they go through the course.
Posted: 18 February, 2021
Posted: 3 March, 2020
Steve Jobs
February 6, 2007
Posted: 27 January, 2020
Apple has a long relationship with Adobe. In fact, we met Adobe’s founders when they were in their proverbial garage.
Posted: 27 January, 2020
Posted: 11 January, 2020
Journalists doing stuff that academics haven’t with data and tracking, again.
Posted: 19 December, 2019
Aside from the fact that this is a really nice policy report between science and the humanities, it contains this quote for anyone following new / emerging / novel things: “Professor Agar explains how data-driven decisions are older than commonly thought, and how concerns about privacy and automation go back much longer than any data revolution. He emphasises that policymakers focus too much on governing new technologies, when it is often the older ones that really matter.”
Posted: 12 October, 2017
Contra this, ‘the people tend to be one or two rings down, who have actually spent the time creating technologies and now find themselves trying to extract themselves from it’. > “It may or may not be relevant that Rosenstein, Pearlman and most of the tech insiders questioning today’s attention economy are in their 30s, members of the last generation that can remember a world in which telephones were plugged into walls. It is revealing that many of these younger technologists are weaning themselves off their own products, sending their children to elite Silicon Valley schools where iPhones, iPads and even laptops are banned. They appear to be abiding by a Biggie Smalls lyric from their own youth about the perils of dealing crack cocaine: never get high on your own supply.”
Posted: 7 October, 2017
A couple of things interesting to STS: 1. The question about ethics and political power of the technology he builds becomes one of whether people are comfortable about acceleration. 2. ‘Democratise’ here means spread as far as possible. Of course they’re just snippets of an interview transcript but they seem familiar patterns. And of course, he is the CEO. It would be unprecedented if he acknowledged what a lot of people see as a critical position had any validity.
Posted: 7 October, 2017
“This can be achieved by, for example, using open processes in the planning stage of power plants that allow the public to comment on and influence the terms and consequences of models, or by including forms of international peer review for national modeling assumptions.” This is one of my discomforts with my own work and others in the field. That we are essentially saying, when we make recommendations like this, that such processes are less likely to a) fail or b) produce catastrophic failure if they do. But this is even less testable than the accuracy of models and comes with a significant burden. The next sentence does suggest a way forward — finding ways to protect the poor — but this is not a technologically-specific solution but a question of equity.
Posted: 1 October, 2017
"Now it is the turn of artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, 3D printing and quantum computing to transform the global economy."
Posted: 16 July, 2017
A suggestion from a guardian columnist about how to deal with megacompanies. Note the reference to knowing the future in the Nature paper. Interesting.
Posted: 8 July, 2017
This is the staying with the trouble lecture by Donna Haraway.
Posted: 16 April, 2017
Neat article about the relationship between modern preference-based and travel apps and their relationship to aesthetics.
Posted: 8 March, 2017
Of course, it’s human error! More machines please!
Posted: 12 February, 2017
A historian talking about the idea of science producing goods, and the shifts that it entails.
Posted: 31 January, 2017
Interesting because after the fall comes acquisition by Gingko.
Posted: 25 January, 2017
An old piece of writing by Anil Dash about the internet and how it changed. It’s a nice example of how to turn critique into something constructive. Reminders of normative turn in STS, particularly because he talks about alternatives and future apps and web services that will ‘look different’ (he uses this term).
Posted: 1 January, 2017
At the Grand Challenges Annual Conference is a guy from the Gates foundation talking about how to fund global health challenges with a choice hyping quote about being able to treat all disease.
Posted: 30 November, 2016
A quietly depressing piece about the amount of money going into the Gates’ foundation grand challenge scheme, name checking a person talking about global health and talking up the fact that what they fund are technological fixes.
Posted: 29 September, 2016
"To increase public understanding and energise the political debate, we need more than facts – we need a programme that resonates with people’s everyday experiences, offering not just warnings but opportunities and improvement." On first read, this seems like a weird conflict, between facts and people’s experiences. On a second read, it seems much closer to STS.
Posted: 7 September, 2016
The first complete chromosome to be published from the Synthetic Yeast 2.0 project. Interesting because it stands in contrast to many visions of synthetic biology: It employed a team of undergraduates instead of robots.
Posted: 18 August, 2016
A website from ASU and other people about the future that looks good. Not sure what to do with it, other than remember it exists at the moment.
Posted: 16 May, 2016
Article that links to the release of the Research Council’s budget new budget. The headline thing is the launch of the global challenges research fund.
Posted: 9 May, 2016
Amazing description of synthetic biology PhD from Alistair Elfick at Edinburgh
Posted: 7 April, 2016