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Technology & the Social (Winner, Fouché)

· Read 2/25/2021


In a mundane way, pick out something from your Internet biography exercise to look at in a Latourian way (morality, imagined sociality)

  • Facebook birthday reminders
  • Mod became 41st member of MMO raid team
  • My examples

    • Unable to find a device that's solely a portable MP3 player
    • Honor system for selecting birth year, using that as a marker of passage of time
  • "Fook" on Wizards 101, still say this irl; consider the silly!
  • Read/delivered markers on WhatsApp; forces synchronicity
  • Spent hours crafting AOL IM away message
  • Email signatures!
  • Discord pings


Thinking more about politics and power than last class's readings. Kindred with a conversation about material culture. 99PI podcast episode: unpleasant design, hostile architecture. Cities radically changed and buildings designed to prevent protests (Paris's wide streets vs little streets that are easy to take over). "UMass Boston is almost entirely anti-protest in design — very unnerving."


  • Cheatsheet on Stellar: weak version (compatible with but don't require), strong (require)
  • People are willing to make drastic changes in their lives to adapt to technology, yet much less willing when it comes to politics. Striking because to make political change it takes so much work, yet we let any programmer make a huge impact
  • If we accept that a technology is necessary for our society, do we also accept its politics?
  • Could you have many hands, a decentralized system of hierarchy on a nuclear bomb technology?
  • Value proposition of Canvas is surveillance; Panopto is tied to Canvas

    • Foucault: went from tearing people limb to limb to surveillance as form of punishment and policing
  • tEp chat platform discussion; no reply feature in Google Hangouts

    • I shared Glue Comic
  • If you have advertising embedded in the guts (the technological or economic guts), are there certain things that follow?
  • Twitter released superfollowers (monetization) today


  • Glad we're reading older work this week. So easy to get caught up in the new and forget how many theorists have been wrangling with these ideas and this conversation for years
  • Bio: where now (American Studies @ Purdue), most recent thing written: Gamechanger (techno-scientific revolution in sports), degrees in humanities and STS
  • Criticizing social constructivism's "society affects technology" when some parts of society are not included in that
  • Fouché's Tumblr
  • Methodological implications of his theory

    • Interview low-income people affected by Moses bridge
    • Assumes that those people wanted to go to the beach in the first place. Start with: Do you go to the city? Why? Center these questions rather than viewing them only as reactions to dominant culture
  • Power of ideal user
  • "There are Black film critics and scholars right now though who are criticizing this very normalizing language about how Black faces “should” be lit (oiled skin, colored backlights) doesn’t actually match an aesthetic analysis of how historically, black directors have filmed Black actors"