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bro says "I just want to discuss technology" 

It's a common sentiment on hacker news/lobste.rs and it's worth spelling out what's wrong with it.

1. technology does not exist in isolation, but interacts more and more with our world

Ok but still, aren't there enough places to discuss the ethics of technology? This leads to point 2.

2. When they say "just technology" they mean "just tech and implicit political positions that aligns with my views".

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bro says "I just want to discuss technology" 

To illustrate 2. with some examples:

- discussing Google products that rely on datamining: just tech
- discussing privacy/the con side of datamining: politics

- discussing Palantir's cool software automation: just tech
- discussing software challenges in a global world with differing laws and human rights standards: ew politics

- discussing RMS's political views on software: just tech
- discussing gender problems in tech: politics

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bro says "I just want to discuss technology" 

@szbalint i don't want to get into all this crap about dishes and garbage, i just want to eat

bro says "I just want to discuss technology" 

@szbalint I've frankly fallen into this pit myself since when I get fascinated with certain tech I get super obsessive with the how and making it work, only noticing the 'why' after it's working.

It's a common engineer/scientist problem.

bro says "I just want to discuss technology" 

@szbalint Yuuuup.

Techbros would do well to accept that everything is political. Getting out ahead of that is how you future-proof your mental codebase.

bro says "I just want to discuss technology" 

@greyduck

I suggest people to acknowledge the political responsibility of software development by stating the political goals of a project explicitly, in a POLITICS.txt file alongside the README.txt.

tesio.it/2019/06/03/what-is-in

@szbalint

bro says "I just want to discuss technology" 

@szbalint People who avoid political subjects are generally those who have unpopular political opinions. They don't want to get in a heated argument, so they change the subject

bro says "I just want to discuss technology" 

@jwinnie @szbalint Dingdingding! Exactly. They know they're bigots. They just feel justified in their bigotry, but they know they'll be attacked for it, so they hide it.

That whole "if you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to hide" bit that these tech bros use to justify their viewpoint on datamining and security is just self projection to distract from how they're trying to hide their own bigotry.

@szbalint in what way is it not politics to discuss another person鈥檚 politics? lol

bro says "I just want to discuss technology" 

@szbalint the definition of what is and is not "political" is, in fact, the exact thing at stake in most political fights.

or to put it another way, somebody once said: "whatever you think ought to be above politics? that's your politics right there"

re: bro says "I just want to discuss technology" 

@szbalint bro says 鈥淚 just want to discuss ethics鈥 It鈥檚 a common sentiment on mastodon/pleroma and it鈥檚 worth spelling out what鈥檚 wrong with it.

ethics does not exist in abstract, but interacts more and more with the regime of truth

When they say 鈥渏ust ethics鈥 they mean 鈥渆thical arguments informed by the bourgeois morals鈥

bro says "I just want to discuss technology" 

@szbalint To even bring it up as if it can be cleanly parsed is a position in its own right. Technology unquestionably acts in the world. To be an actor in the world without the slightest regard for what actions are really taken is to be asleep at the wheel, and to grumble when others say "wake up, eyes on the road."

bro says "I just want to discuss technology" 

@szbalint
I miss the times when tech was JUST tech. Algorithms, protocols and interesting data structure/optimization stuff.

The moment surveillance tech went mainstream everything turned to shit.

(Or maybe it's just my nostalgia filter? :blob_gnikniht: )

bro says "I just want to discuss technology" 

@rick_777 @szbalint a lot of tech was built for military use or ended up being used for military purposes, so.... it's not a new phenomenon

bro says "I just want to discuss technology" 

@grainloom @rick_777 @szbalint For example GPS.

That was a VERY Cold War technology. Inspired by the Space Race and was mainly used for aiming missiles.

@szbalint technology by itself is morally neutral by definition. applications of technology are always political and ethical questions because you have moral agents involved. this doesn鈥檛 start getting fuzzy until AGI is invented, so not something we need to discuss at the present time.

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