Tags: empowerment

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Make me think! – Prototypr

Maybe being able to speak a foreign language is more fun than using a translation software.

Whenever we are about to substitute a laborious activity such as learning a language, cooking a meal, or tending to plants with a — deceptively — simple solution, we might always ask ourselves: Should the technology grow — or the person using it?

See, this is what I’m talking about—seamlessness is not, in my opinion, a desirable goal for its own sake. Every augmentation is also an amputation.

Some questions for us to ask ourselves as we design and build:

  • Empowerment: Who’s having the fun?
  • Resilience: Does it make us more vulnerable?
  • Empathy: What is the impact of simplification on others?

Designing digital services that are accountable, understood, and trusted (OSCON 2016 talk)

Software is politics, because software is power.

The transcript of a tremendous talk by Richard Pope.

Turing Complete User

A superb 2012 essay by Olia Lialin. J.C.R. Licklider, Vannevar Bush, Ted Nelson, Douglas Engelbart, Don Norman, Lawrence Lessig, Jonathan Zittrain, Douglas Rushkoff and Cory Doctorow all make an appearance.

There’s a lot to think about here. I’m particular struck by the idea that calling people “users” isn’t necessarily the dehumanising Lakoffian language we think it is; users have power and control. If we stop treating people like users, we may end up infantilising and disempowering them.

But when you read it in a broader context, the denial of the word “user” in favor of “people” becomes dangerous. Being a User is the last reminder that there is, whether visible or not, a computer, a programmed system you use.

Here is to ones who see things differently

An interesting observation on the changes in Apple’s advertising campaigns: it’s no longer about “here’s how great you (the user) can be”, instead it’s increasingly about “here’s how great we (the company) can be.”

::HorsePigCow:: marketing uncommon » The insidious danger of danger

Tara talks about the damaging effect on women who believe that to protect themselves, they cannot be truly open online.

The New Wisdom of the Web - Next Frontiers - MSNBC.com

Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake are on the cover of Newsweek. How cool is that?