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KathyReid Locked account

Joined 1 year, 6 months ago

technology. cybernetics. systems. science fiction. languages. machine learning. speech recognition.

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Automating Inequality (2018, St. Martin's Press) 4 stars

A powerful investigative look at data-based discrimination—and how technology affects civil and human rights and …

Review of 'Automating Inequality' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

In this cleverly constructed series of case studies, Virginia Eubanks takes a critical eye to the automation of social welfare systems in three separate contexts in the United States. Through rich, qualitative interviews, she continuously advances her key argument: that by automating our social welfare systems - housing, welfare, social supports - we are manifesting the poorhouse - and its affordances - for the age of big data.

Her work is mature ethnography: she forms close, trusted bonds with actors from all parts of the welfare systems she investigates, providing a nuanced, multi-faceted exploration of how the rationalisation and automation of welfare systems embodies and perpetuates fundamentally flawed axiology. In a conclusion that Donna Meadows would be proud of, she entreaties us to upend the system through solidarity, collective action and the recognition that poverty - and its automation - is a choice. We should choose better.

Ant encounters (2010, Princeton University Press) 4 stars

Review of 'Ant encounters' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Gordon's work on ant colonies provides a tractable and easily understandable way in to both systems thinking and understanding complexity. By using ants and ant colonies as the object of analysis, Gordon asks questions that all systems analysts would. From exploring how actors sense and respond to their environment, to inquiring as to how the system self-regulates behaviour such as foraging for food, this work is grounded firmly in science, while being clear about what answers we still have not discovered.

My key critique of this work is that the last chapter on modelling feels undone; I would really have liked to see systems diagrams of the phenomena visualised.

Eat the elephant (Thomas Noble Books) 3 stars

Light, easyweight introduction to the topic of overwhelm and procrastination

3 stars

A light, easy introduction to the psychological concepts underpinning overwhelm, including alignment with personal values, boundary-setting, procrastination and perfection. There's nothing particularly new or revelatory here; but this is a great starting point for those wanting to dip their toe into the topic.

The Reflective Practice Guide (Paperback, 2015, Routledge) 4 stars

Review of 'The Reflective Practice Guide' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This is an accessible, well-structured guide both for those new to reflective practice, and those guiding or instructing others in the discipline of reflective practice.

It provides solid, but not overwhelming, theoretical foundations for different approaches to reflective practice, and pragmatic, easily-implementable strategies for structuring reflecting writing, responding to emotions in reflective ways, and understanding the role reflecting practice plays in life-long learning and professional development.

I only wish this book had been recommended to much earlier.