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Saturday, 6 July, 2019 - 17:24

Nothing is more practical than rules to guide thinking. In this post I share the ten rules I use to think about technology and society. Personally I use them as tools to filter the hype that surrounds technology and to get to the critical questions of who benefits and loses, as well as what needs to be done to secure a more equitable society. I previously tweeted a version of these rules, and this posting responds to requests to expand them and to provide some useful links.
 

Rule 1. Technologies Are Inherently Political (Winner 1980). Langdon Winner famously argued that 'artifacts have politics' - that some technologies are "inherently political" due to inflexible features of their structure & operation. Other technologies, he argues, are political "by design," but open to flexible shaping that affects their possibilities & likely consequences. Winner provided the example of the height of the bridges to Long Island being designed...

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Open-Source Technology in ICT4D

This week I had to prepare a tutorial on ‘Open & Subversive Technologies’ for students of ICT4D at Royal Holloway, University of London. It got me thinking about the importance of enabling users to genuinely ‘appropriate’ ICT for Development, and the extent to which free & open-source technology might help make user appropriation of ICT for Development possible.

Raspberry Pi – Total Cost of Ownership

The Raspberry Pi is a computer on a single printed circuit board.

Top Ten ICT4D Conferences of 2012

It seems that we need some sort of clearing house for scheduling ICT4D conferences. A quick review of events already announced for 2012 reveals that we have some ICT4D Conference Clashes this year.

Rant in Defence of ICT4D

Appropriating Technology via Rural Hackspaces

In his recent blog-post Emeka Okafor raised the issue of appropriate technology and illustrated the concept with

How to End All eWaste

As previously posted it is certain that every one of the six billion mobile phones produced so far will need to be recycled, along with the 2.6 billion radios, two billion TVs and over a billion computers. The list of electrical and electronic equipment in use goes on and on…….

Development as Struggle

In her recent ODI blog post, “What Egypt tells us that development discourse doesn’t?”, Lisa Denny points out that ‘people’s resistance & solidarity’ will have a greater positive effect on the country’s dev

Why Apps Can’t Transform Society

The nice folk at ICTworks are plugging WikiReader again & are asking:

Top Ten ICT4D Conferences 2011

OK the final results are in and so, according to popular acclaim, this the official Top Ten ICT4D Conferences of 2011:    *drum-roll*

 

May 16-20th, Geneva: WSIS Forum 2011

Reply to Bill Easterly

People’s Power: have we got an app for that?

Mike Gurstein has injected some welcome politics into the ICT4D debate in his most recent blog post. Power and politics are taboo subjects in mainstream development discourse, so I’m gratefu

PhD in ICT4D: where to begin

Several people tweeted me to ask how I decided which university to apply to begin a PhD in ICT4D. This is how I chose:

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