Thursday, May 21, 2015

Technology, democracy, civil society

Loved this quote from Nathan Schneider in an article on the "slow technology" movement:
"There is a habit in tech culture of saying that the latest app is “democratizing” whatever it happens to do. This is lovely, but best not to confuse it with actual democracy. Democracy is about participation with control, freedom with accountability, privacy with transparency. Tech companies tend to pick and choose from that list rather inventively."*
Finding this on the same day that Pew Research shows just how little trust we Americans have for our data in the hands of either government or companies, I can't help but say, "Right! And now is the time for civil society to offer alternatives for the safe, secure,  ethical, and effective uses of digital data!"

And I'm looking forward to reading Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology, by Kentaro Toyama, Associate Professor at the University of Michigan.  Those of you in DC on June 4th might consider checking out the book at New America Foundation's OTI event.

*Nathan Schneider, "The Joy of Slow Computing," The New Republic, Accessed online May 20, 2015 at

No comments: