Ethics, technology and the impact of our decisions on customers and employees - Interview with Cennydd Bowles, a designer and writer focusing on the ethics of emerging technologies. Cennydd joins me today to talk about ethics, technology, emerging technology, design and the impact of the decisions we make on customers and employees. This interview follows on from my recent interview – The Age Of Agile and why agile is more than a tool or method – Interview with Steve Denning – and is number 251 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.
Two ways to save humanity
Mann titled his talk “The Edge of the Petri Dish.”
He explained, “If you drop a couple protozoa in a Petri dish filled with nutrient goo, they will multiply until they run out of resources or drown in their own wastes.”
Humans in the world Petri dish appear to be similarly doomed, judging by our exponential increases in population, energy use, water use, income, and greenhouse gases.
How to save humanity?
Opposing grand approaches emerged from two remarkable scientists in the mid-20th century who fought each other their entire lives.
Their solutions were so persuasive that their impassioned argument continues 70 years later to dominate how we think about dealing with the still-exacerbating exponential impacts.
Norman Borlaug, the one Mann calls “the Wizard,” was a farm kid trained as a forester.
In 1944 he found himself in impoverished Mexico with an impossible task—solve the ancient fungal killer of wheat, rust.
First he invented high-volume crossbreeding, then shuttle breeding (between winter wheat and spring wheat), and then semi-dwarf wheat.
The resulting package of hybrid seeds, synthetic fertilizer, and irrigation became the Green Revolution that ended most of hunger throughout the world for the first time in history.
There were costs.
The diversity of crops went down.
Excess fertilizer became a pollutant.
Agriculture industrialized at increasing scale, and displaced smallhold farmers fled to urban slums.
William Vogt, who Mann calls “the Prophet,” was a poor city kid who followed his interest in birds to become an isolated researcher on the revolting guano islands of Peru.
He discovered that periodic massive bird die-offs on the islands were caused by the El Niño cycle pushing the Humboldt Current with its huge load of anchovetas away from the coast and starving the birds.
The birds were, Vogt declared, subject to an inescapable “carrying capacity.“
That became the foundational idea of the environmental movement, later expressed in terms such as “limits to growth,” “ecological overshoot,” and “planetary boundaries.”
Vogt spelled out the worldview in his powerful 1948 book, The Road to Survival.
The Prophets-versus-Wizards debate keeps on raging—artisanal organic farming versus factory-like mega-farms; distributed solar energy versus centralized fossil fuel refineries and nuclear power plants; dealing with climate change by planting a zillion trees versus geoengineering with aerosols in the stratosphere.
The question continues: How do we best manage our world Petri dish?
Can humanity change its behavior at planet scale?
Mann ended by pointing out that in 1800 slavery was universal in the world and had been throughout history.
Then it ended.
Prophets say that morally committed abolitionists did it.
Wizards say that clever labor-saving machinery did it.
Maybe it was the combination.
What makes a great cover song?
Is it a total reimagining, like Devo singing “Satisfaction,” Ike and Tina Turner taking on “Proud Mary” or Jimi Hendrix playing “All Along The Watchtower?”
Is it a performance that brings a new energy or feeling to the original, like Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Got To Get You Into My Life” or Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah?”
Or can a covering artist bring a weight to a song that makes it feel all their own, like Johnny Cash singing “Hurt?”
The answer is yes.
While taking on another artist’s hit can seem like an easy way to please fans, it can also be a risk. Covering a song invites a comparison to the original. When done right, it’s a beautiful tribute that can become a hit all its own. When done wrong, it can be the pop equivalent of dancing on a grave.
Turn up your headphones and get ready for a music-filled examination of the art and craft of the cover.
Om Malik is, of course, a legend. One of the first journalists on the “tech beat” in the 1990s, one of the first bloggers to “turn pro,” one of the driving forces behind the Web 2.0 time period, and one of the most trusted analysts of the technology industry in general, today he is a venture capitalist at True Ventures.
How a new technology is changing the lives of people who cannot speak â podcast | News | The Guardian
Millions are robbed of the power of speech by illness, injury or lifelong conditions. Can the creation of bespoke digital voices transform their ability to communicate?
047: The Web is Neither Good or Bad…nor is it Neutral. It’s an Amplifier with Jeremy Keith – User Defenders podcast : Inspiring Interviews with UX Superheroes.
Jeremy Keith reveals how the web is neither good or bad, nor neutral, but an amplifier. He inspires us to not let the future be just something that happens to us, but rather something we make with the small things we do today. He encourages us to build software ethically with our users’ psychological vulnerabilities in mind. He motivates us to not build on rented land, but to publish using the superpower of our own URLs. He also shows us how looking to the past is just as important as looking to the future.
Jeremy Keith lives in Brighton, England where he makes websites with the splendid design agency Clearleft. You may know him from such books as DOM Scripting, Bulletproof Ajax, HTML5 For Web Designers, and most recently Resilient Web Design. He curated the dConstruct conference for a number of years as well as Brighton SF, and he organised the world’s first Science Hack Day. He also made the website Huffduffer to allow people to make podcasts of found sounds—it’s like Instapaper for audio files. Hailing from Erin’s green shores, Jeremy maintains his link to Irish traditional music running the community site The Session. He also indulges a darker side of his bouzouki-playing in the band Salter Cane. Jeremy spends most of his time goofing off on the internet, documenting his time-wasting on adactio.com, where he has been writing for over fifteen years. A photograph he took appears in the film Iron Man.
Iron Man Photo Story (4:43)
On Net Neutrality (13:31)
What’s “Adactio”? (20:44)
Is the Internet Good or Evil? (24:41)
Hippocratic Oath for Software Designers (35:51)
Resilient Web Design (49:06)
Why do you Love the Web so Much? (54:26)
The Power and Generosity of the Community (63:05)
What Comes Next? (71:34)
Listener Question? (73:44)
Last Words to the Builders of the Web (74:18)
Contact Info (80:15)
Published Feb 8, 2018
Jeremy is the founder of ClearLeft - a passionate group of UX and digital strategists based in the UK - where Jeremy now heads research and development. He is the author of a number of books on web development, including his latest book, Resilient Web Design, has been seen on stages like An Event Apart and South By South West, and is also the creator of the world’s first Science Hack Day.
Time Stamped Show Notes
1:00 – Jeremy plays in a band in Brighton called Salter Cane. He also enjoys traditional Irish music and goes to Irish music sessions with his mandolin in tow.
1:42 – What excites Jeremy most about development is when he can accomplish something that makes somebody’s life easier and improves their day.
3:11 – Jeremy discusses the difficulties of the contradicting goals among the various parties involved in a web project; namely business, designer, developer, and user goals.
3:37 – Jeremy uses the example of an e-commerce site to demonstrate how tricky it can be to balance competing goals. For example, if the designer only cared about the user’s experience, everything in the store would be free! However, this is obviously not in line with the business goals.
4:51 – Jeremy got to know Andy Budd and Richard Rutter through their blogs and books about web standards. In 2005, the three got together and founded Clearleft.
6:22 – At the time, only a few other companies were focusing on user experience. Adaptive Path in America was one of them.
8:38 – Jeremy thinks design sprints work well. Clearleft blocks out a few days for a group of people to be fully committed to solving a single, defined problem.
9:21 – Clearleft uses roughly the same sprint structure as the five-day model advocated by Jake Knapp and Daniel Burka of Google.
10:56 – Jeremy likes the intensity of a sprint as long as it’s followed by a break. He advises against doing design sprints back to back.
11:16 – Clearleft works with two different development mindsets: a production mindset, and a quality mindset. The production mindest is for transient products like prototypes, whereas the quality mindest is used when creating production-ready code.
12:54 – Don’t get attached to prototypes and never evolve them into the finished product. Throw the prototype away once it has answered the question, “will it work?” From there, build the product from scratch using the quality mindset.
17:38 – It’s easier to write code than it is to convince someone to change their mind. “Computers easy; humans hard.”
18:16 – Jeremy admits to being an awful procrastinator. However, he says it sometimes works in his favour as he often comes across useful content for his blog whilst “goofing off on the internet”.
19:53 – Jeremy has an “inbox zero,” but only because people know not to email him and because he archives his mails!
20:12 – Jeremy mentions Jessica Hische’s term, “procrastiworking”. Jessica believes that, “the work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life”.
21:01 – Jeremy gets frustrated by the sheer number of development tools available. Whereas before you could just open up the text editor, save some html and CSS and build something that works, now you have to set up a build chain, NPM, Webpack, Grunt, Gulp, Unicorn etc.
21:58 – Tools are supposed to help you work faster. If you find yourself spending more time on the tool than actually doing the work, then it’s not really a tool at all.
22:26 – In a talk by Anna Shipman, she suggests thinking of your servers as cattle as opposed to pets. Jeremy likes this advice. Don’t get too attached to your servers or to your tools.
23:03 – Frank Chimero says that working in the web over the past two decades doesn’t feel like twenty years. Instead, it feels like five years done four times over because of how often devs have had to overhaul their way of working.
23:47 – Although tools and approaches in the industry are often transient, Jeremy is convinced that progressive enhancement is here to stay. Persistent principles like this are what get him excited about development.
24:55 – Jeremy is excited about service workers and how they lead to faster sites, offline capabilities, and in turn, an improved user experience.
31:48 – Progressive enhancement starts with the lowest common denominator – the simplest technology to accomplish what the user needs to do. Jeremy says that the trick is not mess it up as you layer elements on top.
35:01 – Although progressive enhancement focuses on technology rather than the user, the result is often a much improved user experience.
35:38 – Best advice about programming
Jeremy agrees with Hemingway’s advice: “write drunk, edit sober,” as well as Anne Lamott’s concept of the “shitty first draft”. When writing, get everything out of your head first, then go back and edit later.
36:49 – Habits for writing better code
Feed your brain effectively and you’ll produce better work.
Although Jeremy believes that “produce more than you consume” is great advice in general, he says it depends on the type of material you expose yourself to.
38:51 – BookThe “A Book Apart” series. Jeremy thinks it’s terrific.
In 2017, Jeremy didn’t read any two fiction, or any two non-fiction books back-to-back. He believes fiction gives you a kind of empathy that non-fiction doesn’t.
“A Dao of Web Design” by John Allsopp. Although it was published in 2000, the ideas in it are still relevant.
41:05 – Inspiring devsHarry Roberts, Sarah Soueidan, Sarah Drasner, Jen Simmons, and Rachel Andrew – not only for the great work they’re doing, but for the fact that they’re sharing it too. To Jeremy, this is what’s great about the spirit of the web.
Alice Boyd-Leslie, Zara Syversen, Amber Wilson, and Cassie Evans for the amazing work they do at CodeBar in Brighton. CodeBar is a great initiative for introducing a more diverse range of people into the world of building for the web.
44:07 – How to learn to code from scratchCodePen, Glitch, GitHub, John Duckett and Shay Howe’s books, CodeBar: Being in the same physical space as somebody sitting down with someone who’s going to show you this stuff is going to help you.
46:32 – How to work smart
Share what you know.
Tools, Tips, and Books Mentioned
Resilient Web Design
An Event Apart
South by Southwest (SXSW)
Science Hack Day
Google Design Sprint
“Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” by Anne Lamott
A Book Apart
“A Dao of Web Design” by John Allsopp
Jeffrey Zeldman and Sarah Parmenter’s, “Ask Dr. Web”
A List Apart
John Duckett’s books
Shay Howe’s books
Jeremy’s website: adactio.com
Director Denis Villeneuve discusses his new film, Blade Runner 2049, with fellow Director Rian Johnson. Picking up thirty years after the events of Ridley Scott’s classic Blade Runner, the film follows K, an LAPD officer, who discovers a long-buried secret that could plunge what is left of society into chaos.
Original video: https://soundcloud.com/thedirectorscut/episode-96-blade-runner-2049-with-denis-villeneuve-and-rian-johnson
Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Sun, 04 Feb 2018 10:35:54 GMT Available for 30 days after download
Ursula Le Guin begins her lecture with Margaret Atwood by saying, “I emailed Margaret about six weeks or so ago and said, ‘What are we going to talk about?’ and she replied, ‘I expect we will talk about 1) What is fiction?; 2) What is science fiction?; 3) The ones who walk away from Omelas—where do they go?; 4) Is the human race doomed?; 5) Anything else that strikes our fancy.’” The two women proceed to examine these questions and talk through their answers. They delve into their writing processes and motives, creating many humorous analogies for the act of writing, whether they connect it to naked chickens, salted slugs, or dark boudoirs.
Margaret Atwood is a poet, novelist, short story writer, essayist, and environmental activist. She has written over 40 books and is best known for her fiction, including The Blind Assassin, which won the Man-Booker Prize in 2000. Atwood has used her public profile to advocate for human rights, the environment, and the welfare of writers. She has been president of PEN International and helped found the Writer’s Trust of Canada. As a public intellectual, Atwood is known as a brilliant thinker on a huge range of subjects who has a wry and ironic sense of humor and who is willing to call out platitudes and other forms of lazy thinking.
Ursula K. Le Guin sold her first story over 50 years ago and has been writing and publishing ever since. Tackling various modes, including realistic fiction, science fiction, high fantasy, children’s literature, screenplays, and essays, her work has challenged traditional understandings of gender roles, politics, race, and identity. She is best known for her fantasy series Earthsea and her science fiction novel The Left Hand of Darkness. She has influenced several generations of writers, including Junot Díaz, Kelly Link, David Mitchell, and Jonathan Lethem. Throughout her career, she has continuously met criticism with courage, causing one critic to note, “It’s been hard for reviewers to cope with Le Guin. She’s often seemed like a writer without a critical context. But that may just mean that the context is still to come.” Among her many honors, Le Guin has received a National Book Award and, most recently, The National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
If we knew everything ahead of time, we wouldn’t write the book. It would be paint by numbers and there wouldn’t be any discoveries.” – Margaret Atwood
“Rereading a book is much better than reading it. A good book reread is better than a good book read.” – Ursula Le Guin
“All doors are doors to the future, if you go into them.” – Margaret Atwood
Back for 2018 with a blast, this episode features ballistic missile shenanigans, Intel’s security faux pas and a robot bear. We’re joined in the studio by the amazing Andy Budd, CEO of Clearleft, to talk through his pioneering work on the Juvet Agenda and his thoughts on the future of work, AI and humanity. — Alexa Stop is supported by Manifesto and Wirehive, recorded live in London, UK.
Original video: https://soundcloud.com/alexa-stop-podcast/ep11-ai-is-not-the-only-answer
Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Fri, 02 Feb 2018 10:42:57 GMT Available for 30 days after download
Page 1 of 378Older