I202 Review for Exam 1: Basic Outline of lectures terms to consider
Can Technology be political?
Social Informatics is not the study of impacts of technology in society, but we do recognize that technologies are powerful social forces.
Technology is not good, or bad, or neutral.
University of Chicago
∙ Open system for wif
∙ “creates” more “knowledge”
∙ Uses a registered login system
Look it up, kinda funny yet unimportant
Revolution in Middle East
∙ Uses social media for communication
∙ Governments shut down certain websites
∙ VPNs used to try and circumvent it
∙ “The authoritative allocation of scarce resources” (Easton)
∙ “Arrangements of power and authority in human associations as well as the activities that take places in those arrangements” (Winner)
∙ “Who gets what, when, how” (Laswell)
Do artifacts have politics?
Power in architecture:
Lecture hall, professor has power.
Circular set up, makes for conversation
Robert Moses, city planner; supposedly racist
Jones Beach, no public transit, only personal cars could get there. Therefore, no poverty stricken, minorities, etc.
Other designs kept people from public goods
Designed pool with particularly cold water because there was a theory that African Americans don’t like cold water???
Paris and Hausmann(the architect/city planner):
Designed beautiful boulevards
smaller streets before Hausmann.
Revolts blocked off the small streets
Hausmann designed giant boulevards that couldn’t be blocked off near as easily Berlin Wall We also discuss several other topics like what is Two factor theory?
Meant to divide east and west Berlin
Detroit Race Wall
Technologies meant to keep homeless from sleeping in public space
Designed to browse web anonymously
Limits ability to censor
Technologies can be inherently political or have unintended consequences Biases:
∙ VR designs
∙ Cockpits too big for female pilots
∙ Crash test dummies lead to less safe cars for women
∙ Turn Facebook activity into credit score
∙ People given scores in china based on lots of things If you want to learn more check out what is the total molecular equation?
∙ Infrared tech doesn’t work well on black people or tattoos on wrist. Emergent Bias
∙ Confrmation bias
∙ Gives you info that reinforces your opinion
∙ Twitter taught Microsoft’s AI chatbot to be a racist asshole in less than a day (best title ever)
What is one way in which technology has politics?
Technical Bias- Apple watch
Emergent bias- VR
Pre-existing- Robert Moses Don't forget about the age old question of Runaway train effect
You can anticipate, but not control a social (market)
Sociotechnical system- a heterogenous system composed of both social and technological elements
Technologies mostly fail
Offices that are different from traditional
Open offices, flexible workspaces If you want to learn more check out What are the four Myers-Briggs dichotomies?
Architectures of creativity
Hot desking doesn’t work
Office layouts are a form of memory
Working from home doesn’t always work
Google thinks play increases productivity
Facebook has nap pods
Laptops for education for children in developing countries
Social Informatics w4l1
Video killed the radio star
One laptop per child
Kids don’t necessarily know how to use computers
3 big frameworks
Social Construction of Technology
Framework Defnition: Narratives, Theories, Ways of thinking and talking about things, ways of understanding
Technology impacts society
Tech drives change, society adapts
Technological development follows a natural logic, which is beyond cultural or political influence. Developments impact
Example of Technological Determinism
Robots and automated machines put human laborers out of job Typewriter brought women into workforce
Social media makes us narcissistic
The printing press brought the age of enlightenment We also discuss several other topics like Who is the first to propose evolutionary mechanism?
The birth control pill created the sexual revolution
Ideal of progress- technology used to attempt to remedy social problems Analyze John Gast’s American Progress
Telegraph wires and poles
Chicago World Fair
Motto was: Science fnds, industry applies, man conforms
Technological determinism is popular because it feels scientifc because it offers a single cause and single effect
Utopian/dystopian visions and stories
Weaknesses of Technological determinism
Implies suspension of ethical judgement or social control
People may be treated as a means to an end
Shown to be inaccurate in serious historical study
It can lead to a simplistic and misguided technological interventions in complex social situations
How do we escape TD?
Guns in Japan
Mennonites and Amish
The wheel was not adopted everywhere
Technologies are so appealing that most consumers will buy them if you can. Counter argument
Tech is always part of a larger system
Why do technologies get adopted?
Study guide will be provided for exam
Some multiple choice
Some write ins
Roger Cohen is guest speaking next Wednesday If you want to learn more check out what is mental image?
Extra credit for writing him questions (do that)
Technological determinism: perspective that tech drives social change, tech impacts society
Self-driving cars used by uber puts people out of jobs.
Why do technologies get adopted?
Technological determinism doesn’t hold up when we look at it historically Questions to ask when getting out of tech determinism
1 in what other way could the tech be developed
Factory work is amazing…NOT
Society --> Technology
What actors are involved in the development of technology?
Investors, consumers, developers, researchers, politicians, inventors, competitors Internet explorer
Social shaping of technology
Tech -> society: Tech Determinism
Tech <- society: SCOT
“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”
“You don’t bring a knife to gun fght” -Chuck Norris
Mutual/co-shaping of tech and society
To explore mutual shaping, remember that artifacts have politics Disciplinary architectures
Intended and unintended consequences
Mutual shaping distributes agency and power
Roger Cohen guest speaker
Columnist for NY Times
Grew up in Britain/South Africa
A lot of noise in the world
Got news from 3 networks or newspapers in the past
False statements and accusations that aren’t based in fact i.e. false Distinction between true and false is blurred
Autocratic society needs to destroy the line between true and false Autocracy needs a disoriented public
Speed>Truth for some god forsaken reason
Too late once a story is out
Nobody fact checks anything anymore, they just pass it around Horner started story that Clinton paid protestors 3500 to go protest Was not true
How can you build an algorithm to sort true from false?
Post-truth- when facts are less important to peoples opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.
Britain leaving the EU
Said they give 350M a year to EU
Voted themselves out
Learned it wasn’t 350M
Fake news is unfortunately successful