rachwhatsit + tech   27

mySociety
We are a not-for-profit social enterprise. We are based in the UK, where we run a number of projects designed to give people the power to get things changed; we also work internationally to support partners who deploy our technology in countries around the world. This work is partially supported by providing software and development services to organisations that can benefit from our experience in civic technologies.
civic_innovation  civic  tech 
august 2015 by rachwhatsit
Slow Reading in a Hurried Age — David Mikics | Harvard University Press
Reading, Mikics says, should not be drudgery, and not mere escape either, but a way to live life at a higher pitch. A good book is a pathway to finding ourselves, by getting lost in the words and works of others.
books  tech 
april 2015 by rachwhatsit
IASC: The Hedgehog Review - Volume 17, No. 1 (Spring 2015) - The Algorithmic Self -
Few of us have recognized that behind most encomiums to the power of “Big Data” and “predictive analytics” there is a vast and often unaccountable apparatus of sensors and data controllers. Indeed, there may be a cultural trend afoot to participate in such surveillance, to turn it on oneself via “lifelogging” or on others via casual voyeurism. Few will pause to consider the many pernicious effects of persistent digitized memory, as explicated in Anita Allen’s prescient work on surveillance.17 Allen, a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, observes that there are psychological hazards in store for selves committed to recording and quantifying their every move, ranging from excessive rumination on mistakes to the persistence of traumatic memories. Predictable demands for the sharing of such data threaten to make every connected device a future snitch, ready to hold us to account for inefficient or antisocial behavior. But it is hard to communicate such distant and abstract risks; this leaves what Allen calls “unpopular privacies” at the mercy of technological evolution and chaotic consumer choices.
tech 
april 2015 by rachwhatsit
A Brief Primer on Human Social Networks, or How to Keep $16 Billion In Your Pocket — Medium
Technology will not alter these basic realities because technology doesn’t make us into new kinds of humans; rather, it just alters the environment in which we act.
tech 
april 2015 by rachwhatsit
79 Theses on Technology: On Attention | The Infernal Machine
If attention is a good that I can spend well or badly, then it is under my control. I could, on such an account, also lose my attention, in the same way that I lose my keys. And this distributive notion of attention seems to underpin many of our contemporary anxieties about our current moment of digital distraction. The constant notifications from Twitter, Facebook, and my iPhone are all greedy consumers of my attention. If I were just focused, I could assert my powers of distribution and maintain control of my limited units of attention. I would be able to decide exactly which among the myriad objects clamoring for my attention deserves it.
tech  theology 
april 2015 by rachwhatsit
A tale of many cities | MIT Senseable City Lab
As physical space is increasingly suffused with digital technologies, data from communication networks allow us to better understand human behavior. New meaning can be revealed within these datasets, outlining characteristic usages and dynamic patterns at both the individual and collective scale.
tech  city  network 
march 2015 by rachwhatsit
Empathy is a stepping stone to a more important place: understanding - O'Reilly Radar
We had so much empathy for them, in fact, that for several weeks, we couldn’t solve the problem. It seemed intractable, given what we knew about the condition and the state of technology at the time.

It wasn’t until we were able to step away from the diabetics’ perspective and become less empathetic that we were able to come up with a product concept. We needed distance — a psychic removal — in order to really assess the problem and take action to change it. In other words, we had to act like designers, which meant we had to be more objective, to sit outside and to the left of the problem space. As this experience taught me, too much empathy can be as crippling as too little.
data  tech 
march 2015 by rachwhatsit
The Millions : Reader, I Muted Him: The Narrative Possibilities of Networked Life
A decade later in Presov, Slovakia, a solo viola performance by Lukas Kmit was interrupted by the ubiquitous Nokia ringtone. Kmit paused, casting a frustrated eye on the audience — toward the guilty party, presumably, who isn’t visible in this viral video of the event. But rather than stop his performance or abandon the stage, he played the ringtone back on his instrument, adding an improvisational touch and incorporating the moment into his concert in a spontaneous acknowledgement — despite the frustration and rudeness — of the human nature of live performance. The disruption of art became art.
tech  art  writing 
march 2015 by rachwhatsit
Reliance on smartphones linked to lazy thinking -- ScienceDaily
Our smartphones help us find a phone number quickly, provide us with instant directions and recommend restaurants, but new research indicates that this convenience at our fingertips is making it easy for us to avoid thinking for ourselves
tech 
march 2015 by rachwhatsit
Death Is Optional | Edge.org
In terms of history, the events in Middle East, of ISIS and all of that, is just a speed bump on history's highway. The Middle East is not very important. Silicon Valley is much more important. It's the world of the 21st century ... I'm not speaking only about technology.

In terms of ideas, in terms of religions, the most interesting place today in the world is Silicon Valley, not the Middle East. This is where people like Ray Kurzweil, are creating new religions. These are the religions that will take over the world, not the ones coming out of Syria and Iraq and Nigeria.
tech 
march 2015 by rachwhatsit
Algorithms Who Art in Apps, Hallowed Be Thy Code | The Infernal Machine
The algorithm has taken on a particularly mythical role in our technology-obsessed era, one that has allowed it to wear the garb of divinity.
algorithms  tech  theology 
march 2015 by rachwhatsit
When the Made Remakes the Maker: Theology and Technoculture – By Brian Brock - The Marginalia Review of Books
Something does not quite ring true about followers of a first-century prophet-sage imagining themselves in the image of a hero of technological modernity, the mathematically and technologically sophisticated pilot battling a storm. Perhaps they might imagine themselves more like the premodern seafarer who must respond to the gentle breath of the reconciling Spirit. This would be to treat the events of this world not as totems and hints of an unseen world, but as real appearances of what has been genuinely begun in Jesus Christ and already being realized in a measure among us. A pilgrim understood in these terms would aim to navigate the storms unleashed by the ceaseless technological disruptions of the material and social worlds by hoping and looking for real-life moments of peace and human flourishing today.
tech  theology 
march 2015 by rachwhatsit
FAQs — OpenEligibility.org
Aunt Bertha's taxonomy for discovering benefits
tech  benefits  government  data 
february 2015 by rachwhatsit
Touchstone Archives: A Girl with a Palantír
Anthony Esolen on Education, Handheld Devices, and a Young Girl Reading
tech  education 
january 2015 by rachwhatsit

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