It's a long holiday this weekend in the U.S. Here are a couple of excellent articles about the "Moral Economy" to keep you busy during your travels and parties. What's the moral economy? Well, read them. They aren't just smart, they are well written and often humorous.
The Moral Economy of Tech by Maciej (of Pinboard.in fame):
As computer programmers, our formative intellectual experience is working with deterministic systems that have been designed by other human beings. These can be very complex, but the complexity is not the kind we find in the natural world. It is ultimately always tractable. Find the right abstractions, and the puzzle box opens before you.
Then shortly after:
But as anyone who's worked with tech people knows, this intellectual background can also lead to arrogance. People who excel at software design become convinced that they have a unique ability to understand any kind of system at all, from first principles, without prior training, thanks to their superior powers of analysis. Success in the artificially constructed world of software design promotes a dangerous confidence.
This is something that I think is sinking Silicon Valley's attempts at "science."
Kieran Healy slices the same topic slightly different and manages to reference Oscar Wilde and Dr. Seuss along the way:
Either way, these technologies continue to hoover up vast quantities of data for collection, maybe for analysis, destined eventually to be shared, breached by hackers, or otherwise abused in some way. If, like McBean’s machine, the thing really works, then we have one set of implications for our future—a future where individual tastes and and potentials are accurately and predictably sifted from gigantic datasets in an ongoing flow of profitable mutual co-ordination and anticipation. If it doesn’t really work, another future presents itself—one where technologies are more like (in Maciej Cegłowski’s phrase) “money laundering for bias”, or ritualized applications of nonsensical or procrustean methods. We may face some version of Oscar Wilde’s dilemma, where the only thing worse than the moral economy of technology working as advertised is the moral economy of it not working as advertised.
I think it's fair to say I'm excited for the upcoming release of Scrivener for iOS. Between this and the new DEVONthink for iOS, 2016 is going to be a huge year for researchers and writers.
Literature and Latte now has a series of preview posts on their ...
David Batty at The Guardian has an interesting piece about using social media to bust rich deadbeats:
Hall, a former lawyer turned corporate investigator, said most investigations were more complex, and involved using social media to map a target’s family and business networks. For example, they might use the ...
The Backblaze alternative to Amazon S3 is out of beta with new support for Synology Cloud Sync. I'll be sticking with my Amazon Cloud syncing because it works for me and is cheaper. But I have to say the Backblaze B2 option is pretty compelling. By my calculations it ...
Unfortunately, in some industries, these thefts are not one-off occurrences. For the past five years, the agriculture community in California's Central Valley has struggled with continuous nut heists plaguing the industry. According to CargoNet, a network of cargo shipping firms and law enforcement with a common goal ...
This week BusyCal 3 for Mac is available and this release marks a first for BusyMac, an iOS companion app. I've used BusyCal for Mac since the first version was released six years ago. It's not the best looking calendar app but it's by far the most ...
A good deal on a bunch of excellent software. I recommend DEVONthink Pro Office, TaskPaper and Scrivener if you don't already have them. An excellent collection of research and writing tools.
In case you haven't followed the Scrivener blog, they've been hard at work on an iOS version. I'm not on the beta but I think their Mac app is one of the best all around writing tools on the market. Now I see word on Twitter that ...
From the amazing Cryptography Engineering summary:
A much more promising approach is not to collect the raw data at all. This approach was recently pioneered by Google to collect usage statistics in their Chrome browser. The system, called RAPPOR, is based on an implementation of the 50-year old randomized response ...
Pythonista 3 for iOS is now available on the App Store.
It's on sale for $5 as a new purchase. If you love Python or just want to take automation to the next level on iOS, there's no better app than Pythonista. Version 3 brings Python 3 as ...
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