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This reminds me of a half-written thing I've had lying around for ages and really should finish, on how the "tech as magic, developers as wizards" thing reinforces both harmful taylorist ideas of management ("your job is to write the magic computer words and not think too deeply about what you're doing and why") but also the specific conditions and relations of labour that devs materially benefit from.

There is much to be said for developer/engineer vanity playing into the 'tech as magic' trope. From the workplace to the tech art exhibition it pays very well.

I've succumbed to the feelgood of being told that something I've made seems like "magic". In truth there is nothing unethical about inducing such wonder, as it is the seed of curiosity. It's the choice that's then made - to withhold or to open up - which counts, one decisive to nurturing a broader techno-political & technical literacy

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A little intro:

I'm fabian from Switzerland, currently a freelance designer and sw dev that studied design & interactive media arts.

I might have written a master thesis called "I, rowboat: The Intricacies of AI & Poetry"


A typo from a friend has convinced me to start keeping a “to don’t” list.

anyway, it's approximately twice as much work, but twice as much fun too.

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however, it's not a problem - it forces me to be more precise in my argument, and is kinda usefully generative of conceptual connections that you perhaps wouldn't notice were it not for the ways in which different languages are ambiguous.

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however, the problem is, i also rely on a source (Steven Jackson's 'Rethinking Repair') which talks about 'breakdown', but, it's fairly clear he's referring more to 'averias', so my argument kinda disintegrates as soon as it's translated

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Take 'breakdown', in English, for instance - which, among others, could be 'una avería' (a mechanical failure) or 'una ruptura' (a breakdown in communication) in Castellano. In the sense I've been using it, i'm clearly talking about a 'ruptura', so all good there.

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Gonna do a little thread on a small curiosity I've noticed about doing research in two languages simultaneously, is what happens when dealing with words in one language which have two or more equivalents in the the other.

"When understood as art, these readymades accentuate the space between what they promised to deliver and how they currently exist: the speaker is haunted by the absence of the device needed to operate it"

slower computers, please 

I'm a computer guy, but I'm very much over fast computers. Most of your computer's resources are wasted loading ads and trackers on webpages. Video games require more and more power to deliver less interesting experiences. Don't get me started on cryptocurrency. Computers are getting increasingly complex, therefore less reliable, nearly impossible to repair, wasteful, and devastating to the environment. We need #slowcomputers and more #retrocomputing

(To clarify, i think that substack, patreon etc are fantastic things in terms of ensuring that people are properly rewarded for independent writing and research, I just don't get the per-author or per-publication subscription model, which makes intellectual eclectism and curiosity more difficult, and privileges known authors with an existing readership)

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Really which there was a SciHub, but for Substack 'subscribers only' mailing list posts (or at least a way to pay a little to see a single post without committing €€€ every month for a volume of writing i'll never get the time to read)

Also tonnes of interesting stuff in for anyone else who happens upon this with similar interests

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I'm looking for interesting readings on the notion of SCALE in web technology, software development, &c, &c. Nick Seaver's 'Care and Scale' paper is one obvious one, anything else anyone would recommend?

My favourite so far though is this, from Dead Man's Shoes which manages to be almost, but not quite, as unnerving as the source material:

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A fun game you can play with friends - pick a well known film, then take it in turns feeding quotes from that film into DALLE ( and sending just the images, from which the others have to guess the quote. Here's a few from ROBOCOP:

Hands down the coolest zoom call I've ever witnessed, being both (a) on a 10m high LED wall, and (b) an opportunity to ask PETER GALISON about making images of black holes ❤️

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Hometown is a Mastodon instance for people interested in thinking creatively and critically about technology, in the broadest sense. The only requirement is that you keep to the code of conduct!