Gentlemachines
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Gentlemachines
What's new at the crossroads of culture, technology and science
Curated by Artur Alves
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Ethics isn’t just for philosophers—designers need to take responsibility, too

Ethics isn’t just for philosophers—designers need to take responsibility, too | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
A few years ago, I was doing PhD research and interviewing designers around the world to identify the limiting factors in designers integrating sustainability into their work. Nearly everyone I interviewed had, at some point, learned about the systemic implications of rapid innovation and how to make better decisions. Yet most of them stil
Artur Alves's insight:
"Design is an incredibly powerful social scriptor. The designed world creates us, so if we create designed artifacts, cities, communities, and the technologies that guide it all, then why aren’t we having bigger, louder, stronger, and more significant public debates about the ethics of our collective choices? Who gets to decide what we end up with and what is not a good collective decision to invest in? I mean, do we even want AI? 

Ethics is not an option—the conversations need to transpire out in the open, not behind locked doors or protected by the privileged and perverse legal structures of proprietary information. Things that will dramatically impact the planet, and all of us on it, need to be collectively agreed upon. Otherwise, we will lose much of the incredible beauty our species has created over the last millennium of complex evolution, development, and negotiation around what it means to be a human living on this planet."
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Rethinking the Computer at 80

Rethinking the Computer at 80 | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

«Dr. Neumann (pronounced NOY-man) has remained a voice in the wilderness, tirelessly pointing out that the computer industry has a penchant for repeating the mistakes of the past. He has long been one of the nation’s leading specialists in computer security, and early on he predicted that the security flaws that have accompanied the pell-mell explosion of the computer and Internet industries would have disastrous consequences.

“His biggest contribution is to stress the ‘systems’ nature of the security and reliability problems,” said Steven M. Bellovin, chief technology officer of the Federal Trade Commission. “That is, trouble occurs not because of one failure, but because of the way many different pieces interact.”«

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What tech offices tell us about the future work – Kate Losse – Aeon

What tech offices tell us about the future work – Kate Losse – Aeon | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Twitter has log cabins and Facebook has graffiti — what do the offices of tech giants tell us about the future of work?
Artur Alves's insight:

«What connects Facebook’s incongruous graffiti and Twitter’s incongruous log cabins is their expense. Both represent a complete renovation of the space, making graffiti and log cabins (not in themselves luxurious) seem like high-end amenities. The homesteader who originally lived in Twitter’s log cabin lived a much more rugged life than the office worker, and this contrast is part of the log cabin’s frisson in the office. Likewise the men’s clothing shops in fashionable areas of San Francisco such as Hayes Valley and the Mission that sell multiple styles of artisanal leather boots and allow the tech worker to model himself on a rugged 19th-century labourer. The rough-hewn, old-fashioned look of Twitter’s cabins is repeated in all the reclaimed wood that has crept into the high-tech workspace in recent years. Any splinters you get from these textures is a small price to pay for the tactile, pre-modern feeling of a place that is otherwise devoted to the collection of ethereal data. It is this very need to represent high-tech luxury at the same time as invoking its opposite that drives the modern baroque of early 21st-century tech offices.«

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Cities in the Digital Age

Cities in the Digital Age | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

Interaction designers can shape “smart” urban environments...

For many people, the draw of cities is their pulse and flow, the veer and crush of humans, our shared machines, the vertical, the symmetrical, the seemingly impossible.

We connect, go forward, are thrust. We revel in the contrasts of urban materials—steel, stone, leaf, blade, glass, branch, Plexiglas, vinyl, flesh. The sheer matrix of it, the complexity of relationships and their potential outcomes, is almost a will unto itself, compelling us to be shaped, inviting us to form and move with it.

This type of interconnected environment has evolved into an interface to computation that is nowhere near as conversational as it might be, as philosopher-scientist Paul Dourish has noted. I’d argue that this makes interaction design evermore crucial in the world, as we work to support people and the technologies upon which they’ve come to rely within the built environment...


Via Lauren Moss, paradoxcity
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