Archive by Author | plerudulier

Cyberlibertarians’ Digital Deletion of the Left • © [jacobinmag.com]

The digital revolution, we are told everywhere today, produces democracy. It gives “power to the people” and dethrones authoritarians; it levels the playing field for distribution of information critical to political engagement; it destabilizes hierarchies, decentralizes what had been centralized, democratizes what was the domain of elites.

Most on the left would endorse these ends. The widespread availability of tools whose uses are harmonious with leftist goals would, one might think, accompany broad advancement of those goals in some form. Yet the left today is scattered, nearly toothless in most advanced democracies. If digital communication technology promotes leftist values, why has its spread coincided with such a stark decline in the Left’s political fortunes?

via Cyberlibertarians’ Digital Deletion of the Left | Jacobin.

Inside the world’s best kindergarten

Featured Image -- 20952

Originally posted on ideas.ted.com:
At Fuji Kindergarten outside Tokyo, kids make the most of a magical environment designed just for them. The roof of their oval-shaped school, designed by Tokyo-based firm Tezuka Architects, is an endless playground, and trees grow right through classrooms. So how do you build to let children be children?…

MinecraftEdu Takes Hold in Schools • © [slj.com]

Walking through a vast network of medieval streets and houses, it’s easy to get lost. Luckily, I can fly. So I can see that up ahead, a team is building a castle with parapets and a wide moat. Someone next to me is posting signs with historical facts about the city. In outlying areas, people tend farms and raise livestock. Below, another team is creating a vast network of dungeons and prison cells. I’m in Minecraft, of course—the phenomenally popular, open-ended game that places players in a world in which they can live and build things infinitely. via MinecraftEdu Takes Hold in Schools | School Library Journal.

Internet, what else ? | Internet, quoi d’autre ?

Originally posted on plerudulier:

In the unlikely case one wouldn’t recognize this guy this is George Clooney, advertising Nespresso. He didn’t need to say much for that, getting away with a mere “What else”. Probably the most expensive 2 words in the history of publicity. 2 words with a high return though, Nespresso never complained for all I know.

Dans le cas hautement improbable où on ne reconnaîtrait pas cet individu, c’est George Clooney, faisant la pub pour Nespresso. Il n’a pas dû parlé beaucoup pour cela, s’en tirant avec un simple “What else¹ ” Probablement les 2 mots les plus chers de l’histoire de la publicité, 2 mots avec un fort retour cependant. Nespresso ne s’est jamais plaint pour ce que j’en sais.

Relationship with topic du jour ? None except for the 2 words. It just crossed my mind the other day that Facebook, after Twitter, after whatever social platform were,these days, sequentially…

View original 381 more words

Google patents robots with personalities in first step towards the singularity • ©[independent.co.uk]

Google has been awarded a patent for the ‘methods and systems for robot personality development’, a glimpse at a future where robots react based on data they mine from us and hopefully don’t unite and march on city hall.

The company outlines a process by which personalities could be downloaded from the cloud to “provide states or moods representing transitory conditions of happiness, fear, surprise, perplexion, thoughtfulness, derision and so forth. ”

via Google patents robots with personalities in first step towards the singularity – News – Gadgets and Tech – The Independent.

The Quantified Workplace: Despite the Hype, Not All That Useful Yet • ©[theatlantic.com]

The Quantified Workplace: Despite the Hype, Not All That Useful Yet — The Atlantic

Five or six years ago, companies realized that they were sitting on a wealth of data about their own employees. “People started to realize, ‘Wait a minute, there’s a lot of data in here that we’re not using. Some of it is wrong. It’s not very clean,'” says Josh Bersin, the founder of Bersin by Deloitte, an HR research and advisory arm of Deloitte. “But if we look at it like we look at customer data, we could probably make much better decisions about who to promote, where they should be in the company, what role they would be successful at.'”

Since then, the people-analytics industry has emerged, with companies using algorithms and Big Data to recruit and assess employees. One report from McKinsey Global Institute estimated that social technologies, such as internal networking tools, can boost not only employee happiness, but also productivity by up to 25 percent.

via The Quantified Workplace: Despite the Hype, Not All That Useful Yet — The Atlantic.

The Taming of Tech Criticism • ©[thebaffler.com]

What does it mean to be a technology critic in today’s America? And what can technology criticism accomplish? The first question seems easy: to be a technology critic in America now is to oppose that bastion of vulgar disruption, Silicon Valley. By itself, however, this opposition says nothing about the critic’s politics—an omission that makes it all the more difficult to answer the second question.

Why all the political diffidence? A critical or oppositional attitude toward Silicon Valley is no guarantee of the critic’s progressive agenda; modern technology criticism, going back to its roots in Germany at the turn of the twentieth century, has often embraced conservative causes. It also doesn’t help that technology critics, for the most part, make a point of shunning political categories. Instead of the usual left/right distinction, they are more comfortable with the humanist/anti-humanist one. “What if the cost of machines that think is people who don’t?”—a clever rhetorical question posed by the technology author George Dyson a few years ago—nicely captures these sorts of concerns. The “machines” in question are typically reduced to mere embodiments of absurd, dehumanizing ideas that hijack the minds of poorly educated technologists; the “humans,” in turn, are treated as abstract, ahistorical émigrés to the global village, rather than citizen-subjects of the neoliberal empire.

via The Taming of Tech Criticism – The Baffler.

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