Bookmark: "Don’t Hide the Tech. Too much artifice is a symptom of something wrong"

Sebastian Greger


Douglas Rushkoff’s argument against hiding technology by making it appear more human-friendly strikes a chord:

I’m happy for technology to be more “humane,” but not if that means disguising entirely inhumane algorithmic manipulation in more pleasant forms.

Hiding the inner workings of technological artifacts, be it the inaccessibility of the file system on iOS devices or opaque algorithms as in the case of YouTube’s recommendation engine, is often criticized as causing humans harm by hiding them behind a supposedly “human-friendly” facade. But maybe, and this is of particular interest in the practice of design research, the reactions people have to such opaque technologies can work as an early warning system that things are going awry?

If a platform like Twitter is stressing you out and raising your cortisol levels, maybe that’s a good thing. It’s your body’s warning that something awful is going on.

I'm Sebastian, Sociologist and Interaction Designer. This journal is mostly about bringing toge­ther social science and design for inclusive, privacy-focused, and sustainable "human-first" digital strategies. I also tend to a "digital garden" with carefully curated resources.

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