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futuribile / curating futures - Issue #42 - Crisis disciplines

futuribile / curating futures
futuribile / curating futures - Issue #42 - Crisis disciplines
By Marta Arniani • Issue #42 • View online
Aloha,
In describing the nascent field of conservation biology in 1985, Michel Soulé defined it as a “crisis discipline”:
“In crisis disciplines, one must act before knowing all the facts. Crisis disciplines are thus a mixture of science and art, and their pursuit requires intuition as well as information”.
While Big Tech “moves fast and breaks things”, those concerned with the broken things (minutiae like democracy, or mental health) have difficulties constituting a united front. Earlier this month, a multidisciplinary group of 17 authors proposed the study of human collective behaviour as a crisis discipline: they argue that without a shared understanding of the collective behavioral effects of novel technologies, it is hard to preserve our endangered democratic ecosystems. They propose to unite different strains of social science and to learn from ecology and biology, as the lead author Joe Bak-Coleman explains in this interview:
There’s been a lot of work that’s been done here, and I don’t think we’re trying to reinvent that wheel at all. But I think what we’re really trying to do is just highlight the need for urgent action and draw these parallels to climate change and to conservation biology, where they’ve been dealing with really similar problems. And the way they’ve structured themselves, like climate change now involves everything from chemists to ecologists. And I think social science tends to be fairly fragmented in subdisciplines, without a lot of connection between them.
I’ll pause in August: I hope you can too, and that you will be able to be inspired by approaches and experiences that are out of your everyday radar. See you in September!
Aloha,
Marta Arniani

The Zizi Project (2019 - ongoing) is a collection of works by Jake Elwes exploring the intersection of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and drag performance
The Zizi Project (2019 - ongoing) is a collection of works by Jake Elwes exploring the intersection of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and drag performance
New rights
Neuro-rights. This month Chile started redrafting the Constitution to replace the one from Pinochet’s regime. Not only within a year the country could see the official acknowledgment of its indigenous population. Hopes are high for a good dose of regulatory innovation also on the tech front: a new set of “neuro-rights” would defend citizens’ mental activities from neurotechnologies. The rights include “the rights to personal identity, free will, mental privacy, equal access to cognitive enhancement technologies, and protection against algorithmic bias”.  🧠
Urban rights. Some European cities came together into a new initiative called the Urban AI Observatory: their objective is to lobby Brussels to have a greater say in AI regulation. This year they aim for three outputs: “a report on the ethical governance of algorithms in a municipal context, an atlas of good AI practices in cities and a report on the use of facial recognition technology in public spaces”.
Allora ok.
Allora ok.
Shots
/// CityNet is a multi-modal dataset for smart city applications coming from China: by mixing different types of datasets researchers hope to provide more accurate predictions about city life.
/// LANDBACK U is an online learning platform to engage in political education and discussions on topics critical to the Indigenous movement to reclaim land and relationship to land.
/// Screenshots are the Gremlins of the Internet.
/// Access Guide is a friendly introduction to build accessible digital content. 🤓
/// Alternative Internet: a collection of interesting networks and technology aiming at re-decentralizing the Internet.
Oh, dear!
Postdates is a fully operational parody of a company that gets your stuff back from an ex.
Postdates is a fully operational parody of a company that gets your stuff back from an ex.
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That’s all for this monthly tour of tech discovery under a socio-cultural lens. Share online and forward to support my work, hit reply for feedback.
Aloha,
Marta
Did you enjoy this issue?
Marta Arniani

A monthly newsletter at the intersection of technology innovation and social justice. Insights and news about technology impacts on society and how society can strike back.

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