petej + openness   203

Facebook’s war on free will | Technology | The Guardian
The engineering mindset has little patience for the fetishisation of words and images, for the mystique of art, for moral complexity or emotional expression. It views humans as data, components of systems, abstractions. That’s why Facebook has so few qualms about performing rampant experiments on its users. The whole effort is to make human beings predictable – to anticipate their behaviour, which makes them easier to manipulate. With this sort of cold-blooded thinking, so divorced from the contingency and mystery of human life, it’s easy to see how long-standing values begin to seem like an annoyance – why a concept such as privacy would carry so little weight in the engineer’s calculus, why the inefficiencies of publishing and journalism seem so imminently disruptable.

Facebook would never put it this way, but algorithms are meant to erode free will, to relieve humans of the burden of choosing, to nudge them in the right direction. Algorithms fuel a sense of omnipotence, the condescending belief that our behaviour can be altered, without our even being aware of the hand guiding us, in a superior direction. That’s always been a danger of the engineering mindset, as it moves beyond its roots in building inanimate stuff and begins to design a more perfect social world. We are the screws and rivets in the grand design.
Facebook  algorithms  artificialIntelligence  surveillance  control  nudge  ZuckerbergMark  hacking  openness  transparency  behaviour  identity  digitalIdentity  multiplicity  engineering  politics  USA  SiliconValley  manipulation  power  dctagged  dc:creator=FoerFranklin 
september 2017 by petej
The Problems of Podemos | Novara Wire
"The problems of Podemos highlight some critical contradictions facing any electoral project of the left. First is the problem of alienating your base of support in the pursuit of the voters of the mythical centre ground. Attempting to appeal to this voter-base through managed discourse and policy moderation can both alienate your own base and fail to win over anyone new. Secondly, a party-movement that wishes to take state power through elections cannot only depend on the ‘autonomy of the political’: the idea that the political world operates separately from society, according to unique laws and principles governing its own machinations. The strength of social movements, popular mobilization, and working class power are all critical to the robustness of any political project inside parliament. Parties should discount the importance of the social sphere at their peril."
Spain  politics  generalElection  PP  RajoyMariano  PSOE  Podemos  UnidosPodemos  Ciudadanos  Madrid  IU  15-M  openness  transparency  IglesiasPablo  ErrejonInigo 
july 2016 by petej
FutureEverything: Notes Against Openness - Whimsley
"If we see civic participation as an end in itself, which I do, then we need to treat civic computing like a cultural activity. That means we need to build some barriers to protect civic-scale groups from large companies who have advantages of scale, and who can deliver “efficiency” but not participation. Tony Ageh of the BBC, speaking at this conference, describes a vision of public domain data as a “commons” but I think he gets it wrong. A commons is not a free-for-all, where anyone can come and take anything they want. A commons suggests a group of people who all have an interest in maintaining and cultivating a shared resource, and that suggests limits to access from outside. There is room for a number of models of providing mixed access to data, from non-commercial licenses, to closed partnerships between cities and citizen groups, to non-standard formats for sharing that reflect the quirks of individual cities and groups. Each of these seems to break the idea of “openness” in one way or another, but we should be prepared to do so. Openness in and of itself is not enough to hold together a worthwhile coalition and it’s time to get over it."
openness  government  openData  transparency  business  CapGemini  Zillow  Coursera  Udacity  MOOCs  Uber  Airbnb  participation  democracy  TheCommons  dctagged  dc:creator=SleeTom 
may 2014 by petej
Open Government Partnership should foster accountability and social justice | Jonathan Gray | Global development |
"In other words, the researchers argued, open government advocates risk conflating technological and political openness, as though the accessibility and usability of information, software, standards, and the digital architecture of government were no different to the openness of official institutions and processes.

Governments are often more comfortable highlighting plans to "go digital", or to enable new businesses by opening up official data, but transparency advocates should not be distracted from their mission to enable citizens to hold power to account.

Perhaps the issue is partly that open government is increasingly considered a tool for transforming inputs into the desired outputs, without regard for who is using it and why.

Cameron's government, for example, has cannily steered the domestic transparency agenda to support its politics of austerity, encouraging citizens to "join the hunt for government savings" and "root out waste" – perhaps not a priority for local citizen groups fighting to protect frontline public services.

Surely what matters is not openness per se, but how this openness is used to improve the lives of citizens by reducing inequality and poverty, tackling corruption and injustice, increasing access to education and healthcare, mitigating the effects of climate change, and so on."
opendata  openness  government  accountability  transparency  policy  business  commerce  austerity  politics  CameronDavid 
november 2013 by petej
Open government should be about accountability and social justice, not the digital economy | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog
"Cameron’s speech typified a broader pivot in open government discourse in recent years from political accountability and social justice towards economic growth and digital innovation, from holding power to account to supporting startups. In recent years senior officials from the US and the UK have started alluding to a trinity of “open governments, open societies, and open economies” in high level transparency talks, as well as to the potential of digital technologies and digital information for innovative new businesses and growth. In addition to the kinds of panels you might expect at a transparency summit, there were also sessions on public-private partnerships, entrepreneurs in civic innovation, and smart cities. Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee remarked in his closing talk, “for me always the most exciting piece of it at the end of the day is economic value”.

What is open government really all about? What should it be about? Last year two researchers at Princeton wrote a paper about the increasing ambiguity of the phrase ‘open government’ in its contemporary usage – contending that while it used to carry a “hard political edge”, referring to “politically sensitive disclosures of government information” pushed for by transparency and accountability campaigners, it now increasingly refers to technologies for sharing information and “politically neutral” regimes of disclosure which allow even the most draconian and regressive of governments to self-describe as ‘open’.

In other words, they argued, open government advocates risk conflating technological openness with political openness – of associating the openness and usability of information, software, standards, and the digital architecture of government with the openness of official institutions and processes to the citizens they are supposed to serve. While sometimes it may be more more comfortable for governments to highlight their plans to ‘go digital’ or to enable new businesses by opening up official data, transparency advocates in should not be distracted from its mission to enable citizens to hold power to account and to fight for social and environmental justice."
opendata  government  openness  economics  business  CameronDavid  ToryParty  accountability  OGP 
november 2013 by petej
Open Wide – The New Inquiry
"In the digital world, limiting openness is one way to restrict the encroachment of capital and to maintain digital commons as alternative spaces. Like urban commons, digital commons can be spaces of hope, but only if the contradictory relationship between commons and commerce is acknowledged and addressed, if the destructive influence of capital can be limited, and if some of the accepted wisdom around digital commons is challenged — including the unquestioning acceptance of “openness” as a virtue."
TheCommons  capitalism  commodification  openness  resistance 
june 2013 by petej
The Amanda Palmer Problem -- Vulture
"And that, really, is why I address this, because I think there’s a lesson to be learned from Palmer, and it’s not the falling-into-the-crowd lesson she offers. Yes, she’s correct: The web offers an opportunity to fall into the open arms of fans, in ways that weren’t available before. Here’s the catch: The web also makes it near-impossible to fall into the arms of just one’s fans. Each time you dive into the crowd, some portion of the audience before you consists of observers with no interest in catching you. And you are still asking them to, because another thing the web has done is erode the ability to put something into the world that is directed only at interested parties. Its content isn’t like a newsletter mailed discreetly to private homes; it’s like a magazine on a newsstand, asking to be purchased. Telling the world all about your life can look generous to fans and like a barrage of narcissism to everyone else. Those who used certain mobile devices to visit Palmer’s blog with the intention of mocking her poem were greeted with a pop-up asking if they’d be interested in downloading the official Amanda Palmer app. This is a way of using technology to reach out to and engage interested fans, yes, but it’s also indistinguishable from the intrusive begging of any corporation — say, if I went to the Hardee's website to marvel at the number of calories in their food and was greeted with requests to sign up for a customer loyalty program. In recent months, Kickstarter’s been used to crowd-source funding for a Veronica Mars movie (i.e., a corporate endeavor, using grassroots methods to mitigate economic risk); it’s currently being used by well-known actor Zach Braff to fund an independent project, sparking predictable disdain from people who dislike Braff and wouldn’t see his film no matter how it was funded. They might feel like he’s asking them to pitch in anyway, and the truth is that he is: It’s damnably difficult to carve a private audience out of the open web, and the artist reaching out to fans is, ultimately, not necessarily any different from a commercial entity reaching out for sales, market share, and the kind of customer engagement that nets Applebee’s enthusiasts the occasional free appetizer coupon. It just depends on if you like Applebee’s or not. It’s amazing how many of the decisions Palmer makes wind up exposing precisely that disconnect, between the way things look to the interested and the way they look to everyone else."
PalmerAmanda  music  fans  community  celebrity  publicity  communication  media  socialMedia  openness  crowdsourcing 
may 2013 by petej
Google Reader - A Product vs. A Symbol | Clay Allsopp
"Google Reader is a symbol of a time just before the Yet-Another Rise Of The Wall Gardens; when the web looked to be on the verge of more semantic and open rather than proprietary; where information was becoming easily accessible and machine-readable instead of more locked up and fragmented.

Today, news and blog content is relatively open and parseable because of RSS and Google Reader's leverage, but all the recent social information about ourselves is locked behind protocols unique to each website and app. Google Reader did some damage to this cause of "openness", but it should remind us of a time before Twitter and Facebook swallowed our capacity for consumption and threw away the key.

I get why Google finally killed Reader. It was essentially free infrastructure and storage for an ecosystem of apps that generated more value (both financial and intangible) than the product itself. Google shouldn't be in the business of doing non-business, and it makes sense to turn off the lights. But it's another sign that we've entered a darker timeline in the history of the net, where information is becoming even more closed and out of reach."
Google  GoogleReader  RSS  openness  Twitter  Facebook  socialMedia  socialWeb  walledGarden  Web  interoperability 
march 2013 by petej
Hitler finds out Google Reader is shutting down - YouTube
"Anyone who thinks social media is a valid replacement for an RSS-reader, leave the room now."
Google  GoogleReader  RSS  RSSreader  standards  openness  Downfall  YouTube  video  humour 
march 2013 by petej
Wow. Google is... | Facebook
Particularly shows the open web continues to be under attack. We have to come into the walled gardens of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn to read and share. Here's a problem: a few of my friends have deleted their Facebook accounts. Dave Winer and Ryan Block, to name two famous examples.

So they will never see my words here. The open web is going away and this is another example of how.
Google  GoogleReader  RSS  RSSReader  openness  standards 
march 2013 by petej
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