Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

A Sociological Perspective on the Moral Economy of Tech

Kieran Healy was also a speaker on the SASE “Moral Economy of Technology” panel. He’s an associate professor of sociology, which makes this particularly notable:

Contemporary social theorists no longer expect to be priests of a new society. These days they are mostly outside the bubble, spending their time coining terms to describe it. Meanwhile, in recent years, the technology sector has massively accelerated the demand for the collection and analysis of data while also gradually diminishing the role of specifically social-scientific expertise in its evaluation. A few people are lucky enough to get access to private treasure-houses of data at places like Facebook or Uber. But mostly, these firms are managing and analyzing their data for themselves. The ideology of progress has been cut loose from social science and grafted itself on to big data and its handmaiden, data science.

This is absolutely worth reading alongside Maciej Cegłowski’s talk. I hope that the other participants — Stuart Russell and AnnaLee Saxenian — soon put their contributions online as well.