Contra Corey Pein, Computer Science Is A Science

In this day and age, sophisticated critique of technology and science is much needed. What we don’t need is critiques like this long piece in the Baffler by Corey Pein which, I think, is trying to mount a critique of the lack of ethics education in computer science curricula but seems most concerned with assertingContinue reading “Contra Corey Pein, Computer Science Is A Science”

Dear Legal Academics, Please Stop Misusing The Word ‘Algorithms’

Everyone is concerned about ‘algorithms.’ Especially legal academics; law review articles, conferences, symposia all bear testimony to this claim. Algorithms and transparency; the tyranny of algorithms; how algorithms can deprive you of your rights; and so on. Algorithmic decision making is problematic; so is algorithmic credit scoring; or algorithmic stock trading. You get the picture;Continue reading “Dear Legal Academics, Please Stop Misusing The Word ‘Algorithms’”

Contra Cathy O’Neil, The ‘Ivory Tower’ Does Not ‘Ignore Tech’

In ‘Ivory Tower Cannot Keep On Ignoring Tech‘ Cathy O’Neil writes: We need academia to step up to fill in the gaps in our collective understanding about the new role of technology in shaping our lives. We need robust research on hiring algorithms that┬áseem to filter out peoplewith mental health disorders…we need research to ensureContinue reading “Contra Cathy O’Neil, The ‘Ivory Tower’ Does Not ‘Ignore Tech’”

Self-Policing In Response To Pervasive Surveillance

On Thursday night, in the course of conversation with some of my Brooklyn College colleagues, I confessed to having internalized a peculiar sort of ‘chilling effect’ induced by a heightened sensitivity to our modern surveillance state. To wit, I said something along the lines of “I would love to travel to Iran and Pakistan, butContinue reading “Self-Policing In Response To Pervasive Surveillance”

Please, Can We Make Programming Cool?

Is any science as desperate as computer science to be really, really liked? I ask because not for ┬áthe first time, and certainly not the last, I am confronted with yet another report of an effort to make computer science ‘cool’, trying in fact, to make its central component–programming–cool. The presence of technology in theContinue reading “Please, Can We Make Programming Cool?”