The technical is political. A talk revolving around three topics They are not strictly separated from each other
The technical is political. A talk revolving around three topics They are not strictly separated from each other
The technical is political. Technology I won’t talk about code About technology Its use and misuse
The technical is political. Technology, Society Society has changed
The technical is political. Technology, Society & Resistance Last but not least Some remarks before I start *->
Everything I will say has been said. And I am not the one who said it. This talk will quote many people The named are not the only ones Don’t believe me, believe them
This talk is an introduction. It will leave questions unanswered. It will be a broad overview, an introduction It might leave questions unanswered It does so consciously
https://r.ovl.design/cw-ccc-19 Twitter: @_ovlb Slides Sources & Resources Recording Transcript
I want to tell you a story. There will be facts, opinions and swearing
A story about connections Shaping the world Amiss not to talk about the internet *->
What is the internet, really? Spoiler: There is no cloud. There are just other computers
Advanced Research Projects Agency Network University of California, Los Angeles Stanford Research Institute University of California, Santa Barbara University of Utah School of Computing, Salt Lake City
«lo» ☞ The first message on the ARPANet 29 October 1969 Sent from UCLA to Stanford Supposed to be login The ARPANet started with a bug
Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik – Schema des Internets Around 1997
More than fifty percent of humanity are connected to the Internet 4.536.248.808 users, June 2019 1.157 % growth since 2000
Almost sixty percent of humanity are connected to the Internet This also means that forty percent aren’t. They will come online and how they do does matter
«The promise of the internet was that it was going to give voice to the voiceless, visibility to the invisible, and power to the powerless.» ☞ Mike Monteiro – The Road Back https://modus.medium.com/b950aaaa1d1c
New York Times Private infrastructure of a public good
188 shutdowns in 2018 Number: Internet Health Report 2019 Explain shutdown
Kashmir is offline since four months The longest shutdown in a democracy. There have been longer shutdowns of specific services, though
Helani Galpaya in Indonesia, 2015
The Web We Lost It maybe is no more but a distant memory Introduce Anil Dash
«The tech industry and its press have treated the rise of billion-scale social networks and ubiquitous smartphone apps as an unadulterated win for regular people […].» ☞ Anil Dash – The Web We Lost https://anildash.com/2012/12/13/the_web_we_lost/ «They seldom talk about what we’ve lost along the way in this transition»
An unlikely candidate
We could make it ours Entry point into web technology
«We put our stories and songs and messages and artwork where the world could find them. For a while it was beautiful, it was messy, and it was punk as fuck.» ☞ Mike Monteiro – The Road Back https://modus.medium.com/b950aaaa1d1c
Not only have we lost design …
«We’ve lost key features that we used to rely on, and worse, we’ve abandoned core values that used to be fundamental to the web world.» ☞ Anil Dash – The Web We Lost https://anildash.com/2012/12/13/the_web_we_lost/ lost access, openness, collaboration Ownership of data and content Our voice
The Web can be a plethora of awesomeness. Also use other word for plethora
The Web can be a plethora of creepiness.
The Web can be a plethora of everything. And we have to preserve this. Fight against censorship, shutdowns and for net neutrality
The Web is for everyone.
The Web is for everyone?
Stokowski is …
Harassment isn’t harmless. Targets groups that don’t conform to the white male status quo
«We must protect safety over speech.» ☞ Tatiana Mac – Canary in a Coal Mine https://alistapart.com/article/canary-in-a-coal-mine-how-tech-provides-platforms-for-hate/ The web is for everyone But we can’t let hate go unchecked
«You really aren’t allowed to say anything no more man I mean wow free speech and all 9 11 was an inside job.» ☞ Some Random White Guy™ Internet
Shut the fuck up.
«The purpose of the free-speech-crisis myth is to guilt people into giving up their right of response to attacks, and to destigmatise racism and prejudice.» ☞ Nesrine Malik – The myth of the free speech crisis https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/03/the-myth-of-the-free-speech-crisis «It aims to blackmail good people into ceding space to bad ideas, even though they have a legitimate right to refuse.»
We have a legitimate right to refuse. The web is for everyone But we can’t let hate go unchecked
This is not only a tech problem. Tech relies on human labour to get this in check
This is not only a tech problem. You can’t /kickban hate Can ban haters Can’t ban hate
The world we broke
White people gave money to white people to solve the problems of white people. And they did it so proper white that basically everyone else was discarded
Male people gave money to male people to solve the problems of male people. To this day companies founded by women have it harder than companies founded by men to acquire capital
«But we didn’t mean to!» ☞ Tech Bro Internet full-blown shithead.
«Intent does not erase impact.» ☞ Tatiana Mac – Canary in a Coal Mine https://alistapart.com/article/canary-in-a-coal-mine-how-tech-provides-platforms-for-hate/
Tech is not neutral. Technicians can’t be.
«It is not reasonable for a scientist or technologist to insist that he or she does not know – or cannot know – how [technology] is going to be used.» ☞ Joseph Weizenbaum The Tech; April, 9th 1985
Facebook is bullshit. If Sandberg says that «inclusivity is a core value for our company» she lies FB makes 98.5 % of its revenue with ads
The problem goes deeper than ads. As if ads aren’t bad enough. Predictive policing Amazon providing Ring recordings to law enforcement Palantir and Hessendata
Your models are wrong … no matter the inputs. Google photos Apple credit card
«Even if race & gender are not inputs to your algorithm, it can still be biased on these factors. Machine learning excels at finding latent variables.» ☞ Rachel Thomas https://twitter.com/math_rachel/status/1191064500834750464 Runaway feedback loops
«Data from the past should not build the future.» ☞ Nushin Yazdani Wenn KI, dann feministisch; netzforma* e.V. Barcamp, 2019
«Our technology is accelerating at a frightening rate, a rate faster than our reflective understanding of its impact.» ☞ Tatiana Mac – Canary in a Coal Mine https://alistapart.com/article/canary-in-a-coal-mine-how-tech-provides-platforms-for-hate/
Means of Production A very short history of computing
Imagine a programmer
👨👨👨👨👨👨👨👨👨👨 Mostly white, male and able-bodied
Imagine a computer
First occurrence of computer in print
At Harvard the catalogues tens of thousands of stars
«By the mid-twentieth century, computing was so much considered a woman’s job that […] mathematicians would guesstimate their horsepower by invoking ‹girlyears›.» ☞ Claire L. Evans – Broad Band Portfolio/Penguin; 2018; p. 11 Units of machine labour to one «kilogirl»
Ada Lovelace Mid 19th century Charles Babbage Difference Engine
Kathleen «Kay» McNulty, Betty Jean Jennings, Elizabeth «Betty» Snyder, Marlyn Wescoff, Frances Bilas, and Ruth Lichterman University of Pennsylvania WWII
A Colossus Mark 2 codebreaking computer being operated by Dorothy Du Boisson (left) and Elsie Booker (right), 1943
Telling the story is Women were creating compilers and high-level-programming languages
Who is a programmer? At the end of the 60s there was a «software crisis», missing programmers 1968 the NATO held a conference in Garmisch — without women *->
«The most significant change they made, arguably, was semantic: programming, they decided, would heretofore be known as engineering.» ☞ Claire L. Evans – Broad Band Portfolio/Penguin; 2018; p. 77 «Engineering is a job with clear credentials, not a shadowy priesthood.» Shift in vocabulary -> focus on technical skills Concrete factors -> childcare, mentoring, wage discrimination
White men hire white men to solve the problems of white men.
Broaden the access. Break the cycle Change things for the better Orgs -> women who code Feminist hackspaces -> heart of code, talk yesterday by Julia
You Gotta Fight ✊✊✊✊✊
Be playful. Reclaim the web we lost Creating entry points
«Keep making fun stuff.» ☞ Cassie Evans – Interactive Web Animations With SVG https://beyondtellerrand.com/events/berlin-2019/speakers/cassie-evans Fun is what makes tech accessible and open
Shape detection API -> tech can be used for good and evil
Tech can even be plain useless
«In a world that becomes more dystopian by the day, we can also use technology for good.» ☞ Cassie Evans – Interactive Web Animations With SVG https://beyondtellerrand.com/events/berlin-2019/speakers/cassie-evans There’s something in playfulness that’s more than fun Throughout history computing women building communities, teaching
Educate yourself. Educate others. Learning & Unlearning Book clubs Cause a scene
«[…] you needed people with more vocabularies.» ☞ Grace Hopper Interviewed by Uta C. Merzbach, July 1968
www.selfdefined.app Initiated by Tatiana Mac, maintained by the community
Hear and amplify the voices of endangered groups. White people have to use their safety.
Hear and amplify the voices of endangered groups. Men have to use their safety.
Hear and amplify the voices of endangered groups. Straight people have to use their safety.
It’s not about empathy. Kim Crayton, consultant «building a Healthy, Sustainable Tech Ecosystem» pre: «Empathy relies on someone else being able to “understand” the suffering of others in order to do anything about it.» *->
«We don’t need to ‹understand› the suffering of others to take action to minimize their pain. We only need to be aware that the potential for suffering exists.» ☞ Kim Crayton https://twitter.com/KimCrayton1/status/1207072440045785089
Organise. Not only if you are the one feeling the impact
Communities over competition. Prioritise
Communities over companies. «Tech companies have hijacked the notion of community, and they’ve done this by design. Most tech workers are first and foremost members of their company community. The company looks out for them, and they protect the company’s interest.» Monteiro
Communities over nations.
Employees at GitHub fight against their company maintaining a contract with ICE (United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement)
We are in this together. And we can make it count.
«When we organize, they have a problem. Even the biggest companies in the world are made up of people like us.» ☞ Mike Monteiro – Ruined by Design Self-published; 2019; p. 176 In his book
Collective action will be challenged. Recent Google and Kickstarter And again: they are retaliating against the most vulnerable. Four out of five fired Googlers are queer
«I encourage everyone in tech to stop giving management the benefit of the doubt, to join unions, and continue to organize […].» ☞ Kathryn Spiers https://medium.com/@ksspiers/b86c41ef91b9
Whose streets? Our streets. Streets on which marginalised people can walk without fear
Streets on which marginalised humans can walk without fear.
Meet Antifa’s Secret Weapon Against Far-Right Extremists
«Antifa was a level of mad about racism and fascism that I was glad to see. They were definitely not quiet rainbow peace people.» ☞ Megan Squire https://www.wired.com/story/free-speech-issue-antifa-data-mining/
A bit like
Stand together against fascism and oppression. At all levels. Whatever the means. How the concrete action looks will vary: hackspace, workspace organising, antifa, knowledge platforms
We need to act. If we don’t want to look like a bunch of overpaid bollocks. If we just sit on our privilege we are complicit 2nd: cause that’s our current look
«Act! Act! Courageously, resolutely, consistently!» ☞ Rosa Luxemburg – What are the Leaders Doing? https://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1919/01/07.htm
https://r.ovl.design/cw-ccc-19 Twitter: @_ovlb Slides Resources Recording Transcript
Danke. Thank you. Oscar Braunert code & design www.ovl.design email@example.com Merci. спасибо. ♡ Name is See you on the barricades