Wakanda as a technotopia

I recently had the opportunity to watch the latest instalment in the Marvel movie universe, that is, The Black Panther.  The movie concerns the eponymous superhero, who hails from a hidden, high-tech kingdom in middle Africa, called Wakanda.  After the death of his father, prince T'Challa must prove that he deserves to ascend the throne and to determine the future course for the kingdom.

AI: Good or bad?

I was intrigued by a couple of videos that I came across today.  These videos concern the merits and accomplishments of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems.  They provide an interesting contrast in approaches that we may adopt about the increasing role of AI in our lives.

Bike battles by James Longhurst

In a recent post about telegraph delivery boys, I noted that their employers were reluctant to take responsibility for collisions between them and pedestrians.  This, and many other points about the history of cycling on the roadways of the United States are related in "Bike battles" by James Longhurst of the University of Wisconsin.

Telegraph boys were the first Uber drivers

I have been reading "Bike battles" by James Longhurst of the University of Wisconsin.  The book is a review of the history of cycling in the United Stastes, with particular emphasis on the cultural and legal aspects of how bicycles have been granted (or not) access to public roadways.

I may have more to say about this interesting book later.  However, a passage on telegraph boys in the early 20th century struck me (pp. 112ff). 

Do smartphones shape people's purchase decisions?

A topic of perennial interest in technology studies is how technology shapes the way people think.  It is clear that the way people think affects technology, as in the example of how gender is encoded in architecture, recently noted in this blog.

Gender in hospital architecture

Annmarie Adam's book Medicine by design (2007) examines how hospital architecture shaped and responded to changing ideas about medicine and its place in the urban realm.  It uses the development of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal (1893–1943) as its central case study.

Progress in treatment with antibiotics

In our class on Design & Society, we discuss the so-called dilemma of progress.  With any design whose introduction poses potential risk, there is a decision to make on how to regulate it.  In simplest terms, there are two possibilities:

Privacy and control of personal information

A number of interesting posts concerning privacy showed up today, which made good reading together.  In particular, these articles concern privacy, in this case, the control that people have about data concerning themselves. 

From the archives: Anatomy of a collaboration: A 1986 workshop on technology and autonomy

CSTV logo

The first major event at the Centre for Society, Technology and Values (CSTV) was a full-day workshop on “Technology and Autonomy,” held in March 1986. (See Newsletter, May 1986.)  Some afternoon sessions had as many as 60 in attendance. This event can be usefully analyzed from a variety of perspectives.

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