Archive

You Are Not a Digital Native (and that’s OK)

You may have heard peo­ple come up to you and say like, Hey, you’re young. That makes you a dig­i­tal native.” Something about being born after the mil­len­ni­um or born after 1995 or what­ev­er, that makes you sort of mys­ti­cal­ly tuned in to what the Internet is for, and any­thing that you do on the Internet must be what the Internet is actu­al­ly for. And I’m here to tell you that you’re not a dig­i­tal native. That you’re just some­one who uses com­put­ers, and you’re no bet­ter and no worse than the rest of us at using com­put­ers.

What Do Algorithms Know?

The Tyranny of Algorithms is obvi­ous­ly a polem­i­cal title to start a con­ver­sa­tion around com­pu­ta­tion and cul­ture. But I think that it helps us get into the cul­tur­al, the polit­i­cal, the legal, the eth­i­cal dimen­sions of code. Because we so often think of code, and code is so often con­struct­ed, in a pure­ly tech­ni­cal frame­work, by peo­ple who see them­selves as solv­ing tech­ni­cal prob­lems.

Working on ENIAC: The Lost Labors of the Information Age

The largest part of the ENIAC team by far were the peo­ple that were actu­ally build­ing the thing. And it’s inter­est­ing they’ve been for­got­ten by his­tory, because although their job titles were wire­men, tech­ni­cians, and assem­blers, being a busi­ness his­to­rian I looked up the account­ing records, and some­times they spell out the pay­roll. You sud­denly see all these women’s names like Ruth, Jane, Alice, Dorothy, Caroline, Eleanor show­ing up.

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