Your Computer is on Fire
|editors:||Thomas S. Mullaney, Benjamin Peters, Mar Hicks, and Kavita Philip (2021)|
|date read:||31 October 2021|
|rating:||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
This book is a series of essays about technology and computing, contradicting the myth of a technological utopia, and discussing the inequality and marginalisation caused by the current tech industry. It’s a powerful collection which doesn’t pull its punches.
- The institutional sexism of the British computing industry (see also: Programmed Inequality)
- The linguistic biases of the QWERTY keyboard (see also: The Chinese Typewriter)
- The rapid development (and deposition) of software-based platforms and infrastructure
Each essay is thoroughly researched, with extensive references and details. This did make the book a bit of a slog to read – it’s an academic tome, not bedtime reading – and I expect any re-read would be skimming based on my notes, not going cover-to-cover again.
I took a lot of notes which I’ll surely refer to again; I’d recommend to anybody working in tech.
I found out about this book via Twitter; I follow Mar Hicks and Thomas Mullaney, and I saw them talking about it around the time of the book’s launch. Reading a book within half a year of publication – that must be some sort of record!
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