etraces

Le projet e-traces aborde le Web 2.0 dans le contexte de l’instauration progressive d’une société de la surveillance.

  • Engineered for Dystopia
    https://thebaffler.com/latest/engineered-for-dystopia-banks

    Engineering is full of authoritarians who, predictably, take all the wrong lessons from pop culture Some of the first people to be called “engineers” operated siege engines. A siege engine is a very old device used to tear down the walls of an enemy city. Depending on the century and the army it might have had a battering ram, a catapult, or even a simple ramp that would let soldiers jump over the walls. Engineering has long had a reputation as a “war-built” discipline, to borrow a phrase from (...)

    #algorithme #domination #démocratie #militarisation #solutionnisme #discrimination

    • On a glance :

      the mentality that corporate-led engineering accreditation organizations have fostered over the years.

      They are taught early on that the most moral thing they can do is build what they are told to build to the best of their ability, so that the will of the user is accurately and faithfully carried out. It is only in malfunction that engineers may be said to have exerted their own will.

      Technology is ordering our lives and inflicting stricter, more authoritarian modes of control. For the modal engineer, this is a good thing. It brings order to entropy, limiting individual autonomy in favor of systems performance.

      [The best would-be engineers] notice that the career fairs are dominated by military contractors and vigorously apolitical tech companies. They chafe at the needlessly imposed hierarchy and sacrifice-the-body-for-the-mind culture.

      Demanding recognition outside given categories, radically changing the environment a system must work in, and dismantling long-held practices and theories are equally frustrating for the aspiring dictator and the aspiring engineer. It is that tradeoff between latitude and freedom, as Kelly puts it, that is at the center of the authoritarian–neoliberal–engineer Venn diagram.

      there is something about engineering pedagogy that encourages authoritarianism.

      Those students who brave out the bait-and-switch still make up a diverse cohort but it is increasingly the case that the STEM fields are not only crowding out other subjects in curriculums, but are increasingly being lobbied for, to the disadvantage of other college majors

      Most of the talk of the liberal arts in technology rarely goes further than justifications for letting the children of petit-bourgeois parents major in literature.

      The subservient role of the critical disciplines to engineering, has left the door open for a particularly robust version of hegemonic ideology. That is, without conscious training in more critical fields of study, engineers interpret media as technocrats even in the face of obvious satire.

      The people at Axon (né TASER) have interpreted both of these movies as roadmaps for utopia, not obvious warnings of a path toward dystopia.

      The authors of the report [about the U.S. National Academy of Engineering’s report, Grand Challenges for Engineering] warned that the United States was in danger of experiencing the main plot of the film [Live Free or Die Hard}: a wholesale hijacking of the nation’s digital infrastructure.

      Perhaps, instead of such fictions, we should have more stories about engineers coming to terms with the consequences of their creations.

      [Instead,] Every time a new privacy invention is produced under the auspices of individual privacy, that technology is no doubt also useful to the powerful entities that we want privacy from.

      James Damore, the former Google engineer who wrote a memo decrying Google’s diversity initiatives as a “politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence.” He was quickly fired

      Engineers need to think of their work as both a humble contribution to the ongoing social order but also as an imposition—as a normative statement with politics and consequences.