the Week of June 29, 2015
In this issue, we explore the lifecycle of new programming languages, how microaggressions reinforce stereotypes, and children’s toys as surveillance platforms. We look at the rampant dysfunction in technical interviewing, and how constructions of legitimacy are used to gatekeep access to tech careers and financial opportunity. Plus, Silicon Valley through the lens of science fictional utopias, self-tracking technologies and the rise (and fall?) of wearables. Photo CC-BY TORLEY, cropped.
What Liberation Technology Can Learn From Historical Movements
Seven principles that past movements have taught me on sustaining change today, drawing especially from the civil rights movement.
Fitter, Happier, More Productive: The Promises and Failures of Self-Tracking Technologies
We have reduced the notion of health to a set of standards that tend to be binary, arbitrary, or both.
Smart Toys and the Endangered Solitude of Childhood
Though adults are free to opt in and out of advertising services and control the collection and use of their personal data, children have no such power.
Silicon Valley is a Science Fictional Utopia
For every SF utopia, there is an equal and opposite dystopia.
Stop Acting So Surprised: How Microaggressions Enforce Stereotypes in Tech
If you’re someone who identifies strongly with the techie stereotype, then all of these myths about the tech industry and its predictable culture make it sound like a promised land that was built just for you.
The Life Cycle of Programming Languages
New programming language communities are “graded” on how cutting-edge they are: our pattern-matching capabilities associate white men with the cutting edge, especially if they’re talking about monads.
Programmer Legitimacy: Earned, Bought, or Borrowed?
Legitimacy as a programmer universally requires a stamp of approval from institutions with power and privilege over marginalized groups.
Cultural Ramifications of Technical Interviews
Punishing and irrelevant interview processes seek to produce disciplined high-tech employees, jumping through arbitrary hoops at the whims of employers.
This issue is made possible in part by some of our generous readers: Haley Rose Smith, Laura Porter, Matt Pruitt, Chris Eigner, @chort0, Josh Lucas, Jacques Labuschagne and Rishab Ghosh.