…except I’m sure from the 24th July we are likely to see similar scenes in the UK.
We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed considering the new normal for cybersecurity or uber’s underhanded approach to get its Jump bikes back.
To quote Buckminster Fuller “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
You are seeing aspects of this happening with projects to finally make clear IOT devices more legible and the EU putting weight behind Free and Open software.
Ian thinks: I have read a lot of post covid19 predictions, even started writing my own. But this one really felt more like a manifesto for where to go next.
Ian thinks: Good look at tech policy decisions which directly affect people of colour.
Ian thinks: There is a real murky history of tech companies helping to arm law enforcement with stronger and ways to enforce without real regulation or legal oversight.
Ian thinks: Terrifying story of a man wrongly accused by an algorithm. He’s not the first and won’t be the last, the call for transparency, legibility and legal oversight is ever so strong.
Ian thinks: Taiwan mainly avoided the Covid19 lockdown. Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s Digital Minister, shares how tools/techniques like crowdsourcing, a transparent supplies system and the use of humor on social media have resulted in less than 500 confirmed cases.
Ian thinks: Theres been an uptake in techniques similar to anonymous & occupy in the wake of #blacklivesmatter. Its a mistake they are back when this simply the future of protests?
Ian thinks: Its all American body cameras in the studies, however there are similar aspects in the UK which are starting to stir.
Ian thinks: Great summary of techniques to defeat facial recognition complete with demos. Take your pick which most suits your style.
Ian thinks: I know a lot people prefer paper to digital, and the node zine is a great e/book covering a lot of the digital technologies I cover in the public service internet newsletters. You can download if for free or order a nice print copy.
Ian thinks: There’s a lot debate over the advantages and disadvantages of working from home. Each case is different but I found this economist video had all the points nicely wrapped up in short video. Lots to think about as the world starts to open again.
Find the archive here
Many companies still consider diversity policies solely in terms of dealing with separate categories of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, socio-economic class, religion or disability. However, a better awareness of how these strands overlap — a concept known as intersectionality — can improve an organisation’s understanding of its staff.
I can’t tell you how many times I have expressed this problem with traditional diversity to people. Most thing they are doing a great thing focusing on diversity, and I never want to stop that. However they miss the point of true diversity…
Treating people as individuals is key to improving this perception, she says. Taking an intersectional view means recognising individuals can have multiple identities that overlap, for example an Asian LGBT woman or a white disabled man.
In the case of the complainant, who alleged discrimination by her employer on the basis of sex and race, the Tribunal found that the discrimination she experienced was intersectional, and observed:
While the findings of discrimination made in this case are of sufficient gravity that Ms Baylis-Flannery could succeed on either enumerated ground of race or sex, or on both grounds, one set following the other, the law must acknowledge that she is not a woman who happens to be Black, or a Black person who happens to be female, but a Black woman. The danger in adopting a single ground approach to the analysis of this case is that it could be characterized as a sexual harassment matter that involved a Black complainant, thus negating the importance of the racial discrimination that she suffered as a Black woman. In terms of the impact on her psyche, the whole is more than the sum of the parts: the impact of these highly discriminatory acts on her personhood is serious. (2003 HRTO 28, para 145)
But as Jonathan points out lets look beyond legal discrimination, as its easy to see the problem. He uses a good example of himself to show how in certain contexts he has advantages and disadvantages.
…he says: “Being a 6ft 2 man has its advantages in the workplace but being black has disadvantages, at different times and different places.”
This also gets more tricky once you have a number of people who share similar categories. My example I always use is if you have a large number of white women from a middle class background, how does this effect the inclusion or culture of the business for other non-white or working class women? Outside the workplace I have no issue with women in tech initiatives, but I really do like what Sarah Lamb did with the Girl Geekdinners, which felt a lot more inclusive due to the 50% invited rule.
Its complex but thats the point, diversity and inclusion isn’t a thing you can throw magic dust/money at. Likewise training is good but its not something you think about away from base then come back and forget.
The way to build empathy, foster inclusiveness and create trust in the workplace, according to Mr Ashong Lamptey, is to discuss difficult topics in employee groups or staff networks that share a common identity. “Instead of guessing, ask the people who are having those experiences,” he says.
“Organisations should make this part of a long-term strategy,” Mr Ashong Lamptey says.
I have to say I especially like the idea of the reverse mentoring whereby managers are mentored by a minority staff member.
If only we could take a number of these practices and group them into something we could test and write up the studies of?
But interestingly the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation may get in there ahead of any setup/network disruption. In the Guardian I saw a piece called Getting your data out of Tinder is really hard – but it shouldn’t be.
Its all about getting data back from Tinder (which remember is part of IAC/Match group)
…Duportail eventually got some of the rest of her data, but only on a voluntary basis, and only after she identified herself as a journalist. Her non-journalist friends who followed suit never got responses to similar requests.
Finally armed with the 800 pages she had clawed back from Tinder, Duportail wrote a story reflecting on her own relationship with her data, and the myopic view Tinder had of her love life. I feel her story helps bridge the chasm between those with information stored in the database and the architects behind it, providing much needed neutral common ground to democratically discuss power distributions in the digital economy.
Given the popularity of her story, and my overflowing inbox, I would say many agree. And indeed, you should expect more similar stories to be unearthed in the future because of the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). From May 2018, the new European-level regulation will come into force, claiming wider applicability – including on US-based companies, such as Tinder, processing the personal data of Europeans – and harmonising data protection and enforcement by “levelling up” protections for all European residents.
I know there is a lot of push back from the big American internet corps, but this is coming and the there is no way they can wriggle out of it?
…beyond the much older right of access, the true revolution of GDPR will come in the form of a new right for all European citizens: the right to portability.
It seems like such a small thing but actually it has the potential to be extremely disruptive. Heck its one of the things I wanted back in early 2011. Imagine all those new services which could act like brokers and enable choice! It could be standard to have the ability to export and import rich data sets like Attention profile markup language (APML).
I also like Doc Searls have a problem with rating people.
I’ve hated rating people ever since I first encountered the practice. That was where everybody else does too: in school.
After all, rating people is what schools do, with tests and teachers’ evaluations. They do it because they need to sort students into castes. What’s school without a bell curve?
As John Taylor Gatto put it in the Seven Lesson Schoolteacher, the job of the educator in our industrialized education system is to teach these things, regardless of curricular aspirations or outcomes:
- class position
- emotional dependency
- intellectual dependency
- provisional self-esteem
- that you can’t hide
It’s no different in machine-run “social sharing” systems such as we get from Uber, Lyft and Airbnb. In all those systems we are asked to rate the people who share their cars and homes, and they are asked to rate us. The hidden agenda behind this practice is the same as the one Gatto describes above.
I use Uber now and then especilaly when outside of Manchester for work. I also have used Airbnb and of course host on Airbnb. I’m under no illusion how the rating system influences peoples opnions and behaviour too. Its meant to weed out bad behaviour but always seems to cause unintended consequences. I’m sure the people behind the scence have good intentions but fail to think about the law of unintended consequences.
To be clear I don’t have a problem with rating a piece of media or something non-human, for example I rate most of the media I watch. But rating a person feels a little hostile/weird. As the Black Mirror episode nosedive (s3ep1) clearly demostrates to great effect.
Recently I have been in a few Uber’s for other people (not sharing the fee) and its been interesting to see how people have rated each other. More interestingly is the social contract/mulipulation which spring into action. It starts with the driver stopping the journey and saying “I’m going to rate you 5 stars.” My friend then turns around and says they will do the same, and does. This is classic Law of Reciprocity as described in Influence.
As I tend to think about these things too much, I also find the loop holes in the system equally interesting.
On my holiday to Iceland, the host(s) moved me to another room and I went along with it because I was fed some line about helping them out. But actually there was something dodgy going on, as I met the Airbnb which was moving into my room I had booked.
@airbnb Question: What to do if someone doesn't post a review because they know mine will be bad & they don't want it to be public?
— Ian Forrester (@cubicgarden) March 24, 2017
I was peed off but not quite enough to want seek a refund, I wanted other people to be aware of this and my review explained exactly what happened. Also brought this up with the hosts the day of this happening and private messaged them through Airbnb. My rating was fair I felt because it was unfair to lie to me about their motives, especially when I’d be very open with them. No rating system could really capture this.
The system is your review goes live once the other person also writes a review. Part of the review is rating out of 5 stars which is the bit which bugs me, because boiling down everything to 5 starts seems too simple.
Generally I only rub sholders with this stuff every once in a while. For example my Uber rating is 4.92 out 5 (partly because I don’t use Uber that much and treat the drivers like people not drivers, I talk to all the taxi drivers regardless). I’m also a superhost on Airbnb because I don’t take a lot of people and very careful who I host at my own place.
— Ian Forrester (@cubicgarden) January 27, 2017
Due to these ratings I get a skewed view on each of these system. On uber I only get uber drivers which are rated 4.5 upwards (I hadn’t noticed till one of the drivers pointed it out to me a while ago). With Airbnb I have the luxury of being stricter with who I accept, partly because I don’t need to have guests all the time. However as a guest myself, things are different. Here are my 3 guest experiences
- (Japan) was so bad I stayed for 30mins and complained to Airbnb, getting my money back after a long back and forth with Airbnb & the host in question.
- (Portugal) was perfect
- (Iceland) was good till the end when the host lied and “double booked” the room (see the review here).
But this is about rating people…
Ratings are misleading and a horrible way to understand human complexity. They can be gamed and easily used to spread inequality. We play along unaware how we all contribute to this all.
In a year where you can’t help but rather it wasn’t, the snoopers bill was passed into UK law. The government has been trying to put this through for a long while and although there were changes, its still really bad. Dare I say chilling effect.
The Bill will mean the police and intelligence agencies have unprecedented powers to surveil our private communications and Internet activity, whether or not we are suspected of a crime. Theresa May has finally got her snoopers’ charter and democracy in the UK is the worse for it.
I am a subscriber to the codpast which is a excellent podcast about dyslexia and dyspraixa. Almost every episode is great and I started going through the back catalogue a while ago. There are some suprises like how I kind of warmed to Peter Stringfellow (I never thought I ever would).
But the most recent one really got me rewinding once I finished in the shower (I tend to listen to podcasts in the morning while getting ready for work)
Creativity is often seen as the preserve of artists, musicians and writers, but Chris Arnold, founder of ad agency The Garage, sees creativity as an essential aptitude needed to make it in the world of business.
With dyslexia and creativity tightly linked, Chris put his money where his mouth is and courted controversy when he posted a job ad stating, ‘Only dyslexics need apply’!
I wish there was a transcript but its such a great listen…
What do I make of the advert? Well the word “Should” makes all the difference in my mind. If they said they would “only” accept dyslexic people that would be rightly breaking equality law. The law which is setup to help.
On Friday 24th June I woke up in another universe, one where 51.9% of Britain voted to exit from the European Union. I had gone to bed just as I heard the news Sunderland had voted to leave the EU. There is so many things to say but I want to say…
I am so embarrassed to all my EU friends and collaborators for the #brexit result 🙁 Dreading the future of this nation
— Ian Forrester (@cubicgarden) June 24, 2016
I reiterate, I am so so so embarrassed and ashamed to be british to all my EU friends and collaborators for the #brexit result… Kat says it exactly right
Woken up ashamed to be British.
— Kat Sommers (@dogwinters) June 24, 2016
I don’t usually watch much live/broadcast TV but it was on at work, so I watched a bit of coverage. There was quite a bit with people from both sides. What I found really interesting from most of the people who voted leave, was the need to have control. control of our borders, control of our laws, control of immigration, control of our money, control, control…
…fear will not last, and just as the dreams that the politicians once promised turned out to be illusions, so too will the nightmares. And then, our politicians will have to face the fact that they have no visions, either good or bad, to offer us any longer.
Watching the leave campaign talk about what next after the decision was, lacking in vision to say the very least. They got everything they wanted including the head of Cameron.
But back to control… Control seems at odds with collaboration and cooperation. It’s exactly the kind of thing you expect from young children not reasonable adults. This was even clearer watching back some of the panel debates (the world was watching too) on the run up to Thursdays vote, although there’s enough dust kicked up to make both sides look like screaming children.
— Glyn Moody (@glynmoody) June 24, 2016
And it goes much deeper than just the EU.
The vote blew the lid off tensions between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Could stir up trouble between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Threw a series of molotov cocktails at the already growing differences between the lower and middle classes. Then dug a hole the size of the channel tunnel, straight through the baby boomer generation and every generation who followed.
— Luke Lewis (@lukelewis) June 24, 2016
How different would things be if 16-17 year olds could have voted? Heck what about all the other people who made the UK their home from the EU?
Feel very sad for the 16 & 17 year olds that were denied a vote and whose future has been marred by this referendum.
— Suzanne Richards (@CllrSuzanne) June 24, 2016
The referendum is advisory rather than mandatory. The 2011 referendum on electoral reform did have an obligation on the government to legislate in the event of a “yes” vote (the vote was “no” so this did not matter). But no such provision was included in the EU referendum legislation.
What happens next in the event of a vote to leave is therefore a matter of politics not law. It will come down to what is politically expedient and practicable. The UK government could seek to ignore such a vote; to explain it away and characterise it in terms that it has no credibility or binding effect (low turnout may be such an excuse). Or they could say it is now a matter for parliament, and then endeavour to win the parliamentary vote. Or ministers could try to re-negotiate another deal and put that to another referendum. There is, after all, a tradition of EU member states repeating referendums on EU-related matters until voters eventually vote the “right” way.
Theres also a petition with almost 2 million encouraging parliament to step in and debate the legality of the EU referendum. I signed it as something as devastating as leaving the EU must be debated in a rational way, not children paying in the mud that was the previous campaigns. Even if it doesn’t become legally binding some of the damage is already done and there will be collateral damage as a good part of the 51.9% will cry foul, maybe turning to greater supporters, further stiring up troubles?
I cling to the fact I never voted to leave and all the places I’d lived
- Bristol (61.7%)
- London Croydon (54.3%)
- London Bromley (50.6%)
- London Greenwich (55.6%)
- Manchester (60.4% )
All voted as a majority to stay.
I am so greatly sorry to be British, in a similar way to how Americans use to have to apologize for George W Bush and the middle east war. Well the shoe is on the other foot now.
My country is acting like spoilt little children, fallen for the lies and needs to get a clue that the future is about collaboration & relationships not control & dominace.
Cory Doctorow’s agreements are usually pretty powerful but recently these two have had me reaching for the sky…
Techdirt breaks it down…
So today we have marketing departments who say things like “we don’t need computers, we need… appliances. Make me a computer that doesn’t run every program, just a program that does this specialized task, like streaming audio, or routing packets, or playing Xbox games, and make sure it doesn’t run programs that I haven’t authorized that might undermine our profits”. And on the surface, this seems like a reasonable idea — just a program that does one specialized task — after all, we can put an electric motor in a blender, and we can install a motor in a dishwasher, and we don’t worry if it’s still possible to run a dishwashing program in a blender. But that’s not what we do when we turn a computer into an appliance. We’re not making a computer that runs only the “appliance” app; we’re making a computer that can run every program, but which uses some combination of rootkits, spyware, and code-signing to prevent the user from knowing which processes are running, from installing her own software, and from terminating processes that she doesn’t want. In other words, an appliance is not a stripped-down computer — it is a fully functional computer with spyware on it out of the box.
Cory on “User uploads to YouTube hit one hour per second” (worth reading the whole thing)
A common tactic in discussions about the Internet as a free speech medium is to discount Internet discourse as inherently trivial. Who cares about cute pictures of kittens, inarticulate YouTube trolling, and blog posts about what you had for lunch or what your toddler said on the way to day-care? Do we really want to trade all the pleasure and economic activity generated by the entertainment industry for *that*? The usual rebuttal is to point out all the “worthy” ways that we communicate online: the scholarly discussions, the terminally ill comforting one another, the distance education that lifts poor and excluded people out of their limited straits, the dissidents who post videos of secret police murdering street protesters.
All that stuff is important, but when it comes to interpersonal communications, trivial should be enough.
The reason nearly everything we put on the Internet seems “trivial” is because, seen in isolation, nearly everything we say and do is also trivial. There is nothing of particular moment in the conversations I have with my wife over the breakfast table. There is nothing earthshaking in the stories I tell my daughter when we walk to daycare in the morning. This doesn’t mean that it’s sane, right, or even possible to regulate them
And yet, taken together, the collection of all these “meaningless” interactions comprise nearly the whole of our lives together. They are the invisible threads that bind us together as a family. When I am away from my family, it’s this that I miss. Our social intercourse is built on subtext as much as it is on text. When you ask your wife how she slept last night, you aren’t really interested in her sleep. You’re interested in her knowing that you care about her. When you ask after a friend’s kids, you don’t care about their potty-training progress — you and your friend are reinforcing your bond of mutual care.
If that’s not enough reason to defend the trivial, consider this: the momentous only arises from the trivial. When we rally around a friend with cancer, or celebrate the extraordinary achievements of a friend who does well, or commiserate over the death of a loved one, we do so only because we have an underlying layer of trivial interaction that makes it meaningful. Weddings are a big deal, but every wedding is preceded by a long period of small, individually unimportant interactions, and is also followed by them. But without these “unimportant” moments, there would be no marriages.
I just had a quick look at my audioscrobbler/last fm rss and noticed i'm listening to the same 3 tunes over and over again. Its not a mistake, its actually me loving these tunes which I stayed up to 2am searching for the other day. I've had them all of 2 days I believe and can not wait to do a mix with these new tunes. What are the tunes, you maybe asking?
- FB Featuring Edun – Who's Knocking (Ferry Corsten Rmx)
- Gabriel and Dresden feat. Molly – Tracking Treasure Down
- Kosmas Epsilon – Innocent Thoughts
They've been on my list for quite some time but finally went actively searching for them on Trancetraffic and found them all there in 320kps Lame encoded Mp3 format. Mighty impressive quality and great tunes which could not be found on iTunes and Allmp3.com.
I simply will not buy music which is DRM'ed, practially Fairplay DRM (what a joke for a name) does not play on my ipaq, mobile phone and certainly not in my Dj application Virtual DJ. I mean why the heck would I buy music from the iTunes store and put up with the fact that I could not mix with it? Insane I tell you. So much for the mix in Apple's Rip Mix and Burn tagline from years ago.
Anyhow talking about Insanity, dance music and mixing. I saw this Digital DJs Unaware of Copyright Law on Slashdot recently.
The BBC reports that if you're a DJ, playing your digital copies of files off a laptop or mp3 player is illegal. The UK royalty collection agency, PPL, demands that such DJs pay £200 for a license in order to do so. From the article, 'Many DJs are still unwittingly breaking the law by playing unlicensed digital copies of tracks months after a new permit scheme began, the BBC has found. This includes legally-purchased downloads, which are normally licensed only for personal use, as well as copies of tracks from records or CDs.
What the heck? Geez this is the kind of thing I hear about in America not in the UK. Going through the comments it seems this headline grabbing story may not be all its craacked up to be. The first informative comment goes like this…
I think the article summary is a touch misleading. My reading was that the public performance of songs whose copyright the DJ doesn't hold is what's illegal, and the £200 is for a licsence that remedies the situation. Nobody is telling anybody they can't play music on their laptops, and I'm sure the submitter didn't intend this, but I think it's important to point out that this only relates to public performance. Additionally, DJs do not need to pay the liscence if they are playing from CD or vinyl.
So this still applies to someone like me it would seem? I don't get it why because its digital I have to pay a license fee on top of all the music I'm playing on my laptop? As someone said, its a specific license tax on just those who utilize digital delivery systems. Some comments which sum up better than myself.
So a DJ can play a CD, but if she plays the same track ripped to an MP3, she has to pay an extra 200 pounds for a license? Where's the sense in that? The US compulsory license scheme actually seems sane by comparison.
Hey you thief, don't you dare be playing my tracks where lots of young impressionable kids will get to listen to them and then afterwards possibly go out to their local DJ shop and buy my records/CDs! Well unless you give me 200 big ones!