Posted by cadsmith on May 10, 2010
The byproducts of technology include solutions as well as further problems. A question is how it can better resolve these itself as the speed, scale and subtleties increase. In methodology, there are the exceptions that prove the rule. Testing pursues failure to push advances in design and implementation. Objectivity encourages an overall view that adjusts the structure to best fit values which become explicit and are themselves selected for adaptation and progress. Computer-aided scifi design may be closer than it appears. Recent links: HTML5 activated on Scribd, deepwater horizon spill, Boston 3D water map, NASA Intelligent Robotics Group, mobile trends, Futurist predictions for 2010 and beyond, Recorded Future temporal analytics engine, and really fast quantum molecular computing. Documents of note are Philosophy of tech, and we recently added Meanability to the creative series. Book reviews made for:
Python Testing: Beginner’s Guide, Daniel Arbuckle, 2010. Scripts are often used to run tests, e.g. as series of shell commands, user interface protocols, builds, or regression. Python also runs apps and webpages. The author provides examples of how to test scripts themselves. As a type of test-driven development or automation, types include unit, integration, system or website. The method includes visual diagramming, command syntax and api documentation, test wrappers, data files, error injection, code coverage, mock objects, search for test files and version control. Ten chapters each explain the steps, add a “what just happened?” description of the demo results, have a pop quiz and chapter summary. Tools include doctest, unittest, Nose, twill, python mocker, bazaar, mercurial, git, darcs, subversion, and buildbot.
Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms The Way We Live and Do Business, Erik Qualman, 2009. Social media supports the social economy. Conclusions may seem familiar, but they are backed up by documentation. This is more statistical than personally anecdotal. Media is the examined life. The social graph is a big referral program. Friend status and word of mouth are global in realtime. Advertising is constantly changing for better targeting; Micropayment model adds up. Can find good sources of free and fast media, e.g. bloggers. News finds its way to readers immediately via aggregated feeds. Author recommends using best existing social media rather than starting own. Maxim is that using social media increases productivity. It influences election outcomes. It increases efficiency, is mobile, saves time and eliminates redundancies. It has replaced email. Social search may replace google type. Collective intelligence will be predictive. Each of eight chapters summarizes key points. The author tends to be optimistic. Other sources would be required to cover issues of privacy, walled gardens, or new technical approaches such as activity stream protocols.
Handbook of Research on Technoethics, Luppicini and Adell, 2008. The name of this field was coined by Mario Bunge in 1977. It is an extension of the arguments of scientific ethics. Anthropological approach considers social values and improvement of humanity through technology. This includes issues such as privacy, race or identity. Factors may vary among cross-cultural networks so the problem of universalization of interest is examined in the cases of Habermas, and of Rawls’ theory of justice as fairness. The law of technoethics has ethical rights and responsibilities commensurate to social impact and concerns how these are assigned. Applications include education, sport enhancement, biomedical and genetic engineering, nanoscale and military research, AI, healthcare, computers, information and communication, digital citizenship, news media, careers, politics, security, economics, and environment. Regional studies include end-of-life in China, and software piracy in Pakistan and Canada. This two-volume book of 1082 pages originally cost almost five-hundred dollars. Four sections contain fifty three chapters usually having an abstract, intro, coverage, future trends, conclusions, references, key terms and readings. There is a chapter on autonomous artificial moral agency, e.g. the work of Luciano Floridi, which may be of interest regarding questions of proxy. Figures and tables include a conceptual map of technoethics, and a belief systems model for complexity-based ethics and nonviolent resolution of ideological battles.
Between reason and history: Habermas and the Idea of Progress, David S. Owen, 2002. Jurgen Habermas was born in Germany in 1929 and grew up in WWII Germany. He developed the theory of communicative rationality where rationality is found in structures of interpersonal linguistic communication rather than cosmos or knowing subject. His concepts include reconstructive science, public sphere and the idea that critical philosophy is effectively about communication rather than economics as proposed by Marx. The author enumerates the types of discourse as aesthetic, therapeutic and explicative. He observes that Hegel showed equivalence of philosophy and social practices and institutions. Critical social theory reveals ideology so that consciousness becomes more rational and developmental logic can develop universal moral principles. Progress is made along technical and moral dimensions similar to Weber. Horkheimer and Piaget are also discussed. This has yielded western technology, but rationalization is not emancipation. The author seeks how progressive social change occurs. Per the theory of social evolution, social networks may accelerate convergence of developmental logic.