Brain Candy, STS Opportunities, and Girl Scouts

I know I’ve been doing a crap job of sharing updates or juicy blog posts. Sorry! Here are some varied updates. And hopefully I’ll pen a proper commentary shortly.

  1. New paper alert: María Angel and I just posted a pre-print of our upcoming ACM CS+Law paper “Techno-legal Solutionism: Regulating Children’s Online Safety in the United States.”
  2. I am joining the board of trustees of the Computer History Museum.
  3. If Girl Scout Cookies are your thing, my kiddo would love if you ordered from her.
  4. STS Graduate students: Submit your paper to the Hacker-Mullins Student Paper Award by 3/15!
  5. Scholars: Janet Vertesi and I are coordinating an EASST/STS panel on “The Implications of Institutional Breakdown for Science and Technology.” Apply by Feb 12.
  6. Interested in data science? DJ Patil and I riff about “Data Impact” for LinkedIn Learning.

I’m (hopefully) going to come back later this week with more thoughts on the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) and what it takes to support young people facing a mental health crisis, but in the meantime, I wanted folks to see the paper that María and I just wrapped up. We focused on a very specific aspect of KOSA and bills like it. I’ve complained about deterministic thinking before. But here we are again, only one step further. Now the law is embracing the worst of tech companies’ deterministic logics and demanding that they be solutionistic “for good.” ::shaking head:: More on this shortly.

I’m ecstatic to be joining the board of trustees of the Computer History Museum. Not only am I a big fan of the work CHM has been doing, but I also find it good to anchor myself in history whenever I’m struggling with the present. The tech industry didn’t come from nowhere. Its story is messy and complicated – and it’s important that we collectively learn from that. And, besides, you can visit the museum and see esoteric things like the Utah teapot (which is meaningful for graphics geeks) or the interpreter source tape for Altair BASIC (which is meaningful for programmers) or a replica of the 1890 Hollerith machine (which is meaningful for census geeks). Sometimes, it’s super valuable to bask in the joys of computing.

I’ve been thinking a lot about multi-level marketing schemes lately. Much to my chagrin. And now I feel like I’m part of one. Don’t get me wrong – all across the internet, I’m being told that Girl Scouts is emphatically not a real MLM and I get that. Still, I feel like I’ve been enrolled by my kiddo to help her sell cookies so she can get prizes (and donate to amazing organizations and raise money for her troop) under the guise of female empowerment. And there’s an entrepreneurship badge for doing it. She’s not humored by my rants about capitalism or unhealthy incentives. Then again, she’s 6. But if you feel like helping me out, you can order cookies online and they’ll be sent to you. (Or if you live in the front range in Colorado, we can deliver.) (Or you can even just outright donate to her troop.) All through her online website.

Anyhow, I hope everyone out there is holding up ok. {{hug}}

Print Friendly, PDF & Email