martes, 28 de agosto de 2018

"To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism " - Evgeny Morozov

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological SolutionismTo Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Since the beginning of the century, many things have happened to humanship as a collective of living beings. Geopolitical balance has changed, a deep economic crisis, revolutions and wars, ... and among them, it has also happened the rise of ubiquous connectivity thanks to the Internet. Furthermore, the internet has entered in every moment of our lifes thanks yo another recent invention, the smartphones. Through the internet, we keep in continuous contact with the news of the world, we maintain alive our social life, we registered our leisure activities, we increase our working productivity, .... But have we stopped for a moment to think about the social consequences of the Internet?

E. Morozov invite us to think about the social implications of the unleashed use of Internet and technology in "To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism ". Perhaps, the more important part of the debate is not about the Internet but about our deification of technology. Not every task need to be executed perfectly and, therefore, technology not should be allowed to entered in every aspect of our personal and working life. Many times as I was reading the book I thought in the many things we lost when we have substituted a phone call by a whatsapp message almost for everything.

But apart from the impact in our personal and working life, Morozov reflects on the impact on society and democracy. The author is specially critical with the understanding of technology by politicians. On one hand, the usage of self.cuantification of life as a tool to avoid taking painful and structural decissions in policy making, he particularly mentioned the fight against obessity. On the other hand, he negatively underlines the selling of political ideas as any other digital product, which could help to rise turn out on the short term but endangered the need of reflection and study in policy-making before choosing among options for tackling challenges.

Of course, you will find also in the book a critical narrative about platforms, but this narrative is now the on the rise. Probably, on that issue you will not discovered anything, but it will serve you to value properly the author as a foreruner of what it is now a general opinion. And therefore, you will provide more value to the rest of the author´s warnings included in the book.

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martes, 21 de agosto de 2018

Digital consumer benefit and the long term

Last July, the biggest fine ever in a competition case was imposed to Google for illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices to strengthen dominance of Google's search engine. Basically, the European Commission accused Google of illegaly tying its search engine to the distribtion of the Android system, which it´s licensed free for mobile devices on the condition (among others) of including the Google query box. As the search engine is Google´s flagship product and Android is used in 80% of EU mobile devices, the EU Commission understands that Google is taking advantange of its dominat postion in the mobile market to cement its overwhelming 90% market share in the market of search services.

However, the more painful part of the sentence for Google was not the monetary fine, but the accompanied remedies. Google was called by the EU Commission to stop its illegal practices within 90 days. Cuiriously, this measure has not raisen any relevant comments from Samsung, Huawei, HTC or any other handset maker supposedly abused by Google.

The inmediate reaction by Google was a post highlighting that Android has created flexibility choice and opportunity. Particularly, the company underline that consumers have been the main beneficiaries of the existence of Google. And this have been the main value of Android development strategy since its inception in 2007, its role in decreasing the prices for smartphones, which in its cheaper version can be found now for 50$ compared with the price of the cheaper in 2007 which was 500$ or more. 

The consumer benefit is usually the main line of defence and resistance of many other digital players. Take the case of the so-called sharing economy services. There are also strong callings to avoid its regulation, although some of them have evolved in genuine transport companies according with the ECJ (like Uber) and other are now the biggest lodging company in the world (like Airbnb). The main reason given by those who opposed its regulation is again the consumer benefit. 

However, they are overlooked many other consequences of the consumer benefit approach. In the Android-Google case, it is not needed to highlight the absolute knowledge that Google is accumulated of our wherabout, thoughts and customes. In the case of Airbnb and Uber, in the same manner that Facebook algorithms have been used to presumably corrupt electoral processes, it is not difficult to imagine how Airbnb  algorithms could be used to favour the prices of flats in a certain area or Uber algorithms to provoke a urban chaos through a massive petition of services in a district.

But should be consumer benefit the main goal of regulatory sentences or legislative actions? Remembering Matrix or Brave New World give us a reason to act against this line of thought. 






miércoles, 8 de agosto de 2018

Transexualidades. Otras miradas posibles - Miquel Misse

Transexualidades. Otras miradas posiblesTransexualidades. Otras miradas posibles by Miquel Missé
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Un libro imprescindible como introducción al entendimiento de las identidades trans*. El autor propone una aproximación liberada de nuestros prejuicios, acompañando en un viaje a la transexualidad desde una visión social no medicalizada. Precisamente, la despatologización de las identidades trans lo configura como el principal instrumento para entenderlas. En su relato, huye de buscar una razón para la existencia de personas de personas no conformes de la uniformidad entre sexo biológico y su vivencia de género, incitando a aceptarlo como una manifestación de la diversidad humana.

Miquel Missé, sin dejar de reconocer los tratamientos médicos como elementos que mejoran la calidad de vida de las personas trans, señala a la patologización como origen de la transfobia. El tratamiento de ciertos cuerpos como incorrectos y, por tanto, tratables desde el punto de vista médico, señala a las personas trans como seres que han de adaptarse a un sistema. Se convierte esta mirada también en el puntal principal de la propia transfobia interna y el rechazo a su propia diversidad que aparece en algunas personas trans.

La aceptación de la existencia de las personas trans, con la mirada del autor, se convierte en instrumento de cambio social, que enlaza con las reivindicaciones feministas. La discriminación de la mujer y de las personas trans parten de una misma raíz, la identificación por las clases dominantes de un solo modo de ser mujer o de ser hombre.

En definitiva, el ensayo nos invita a arriesgarnos a explorar nuestra visión del mundo. Desechar las identidades trans como problema médico nos lleva a cuestionar nuestro sistema social, la educación que se da a nuestros hijes y el marco legal que define y clasifica a las personas.

Frases entresacadas del libro en este hilo de twitter https://twitter.com/egarciagarcia/sta...

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martes, 7 de agosto de 2018

"Rayuela" - Julio Cortázar

RayuelaRayuela by Julio Cortázar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No es la primera vez que leo "Rayuela". Antes de cumplir el cuarto de siglo de vida la había leído ya dos veces, una en cada uno de los diseños de lectura recomendados por su creador. Sin embargo, la novela de Julio Cortázar es quizás solo abarcable en el siglo XXI, cuando el viaje por sus páginas puede ser acompañado de una conexión a Internet, cuando podemos situarnos en cada lugar de París citado y escuchar de fondo el jazz que rezuman sus mejores pasajes .

Leer de nuevo "Rayuela" es también encontrar el tiempo perdido de nuestras vidas. La lectura juvenil nos subrayaba la vida en París, el viaje al mundo que queríamos para el resto de nuestros días, amores locos con la Maga y noches de bohemia y diálogos intelectuales. La lectura adulta nos hace reparar más en los pasajes de nostalgia, en los momentos que Horacio recuerda de vuelta en Buenos Aires el amor perdido y el tiempo pasado al otro lado del océano, el último canto de rebeldía que supone enamorarse sin esperanza de la mujer de otro.

"Rayuela" es, también, una parábola de la vida. No es sólo la tragicomedia de las rupturas amorosas llenas de comicidad y la amargura de los amores sin sentido. La novela es la continua decisión entre ser protagonista de nuestro propio relato o ser instrumentos pasivos. Ir en el orden acelerado con que los acontecimientos se nos presentan o deleitarse también en vivir el detalle de los capítulos prescindibles, aquellos que dan razón de ser a los que nos sucede. Cada vuelta al relato principal nos atrae la tentación de no volvernos a dejar llevar a saltar fuera de la senda, aun sabiendo que sólo la verdad de nuestras vidas podemos encontrarla allí.

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