Category: Sociology

Holding ourselves accountable

“Anatomy of an AI System“, diagram and essay by Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler that attempts to chart all the human labour, data, and planetary resources used to create an Amazon Echo device. From Data Feminism. I just finished reading this brilliant book by data scientists Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren Klein called Data Feminism, where it […]

A sort of joy

In 2015, the data visualisation firm The Office For Creative Research (OCR), collaborated with the theatre troupe Elevator Repair Service (ERS) to craft a live performance called A Sort of Joy, using the metadata from MoMA’s collection database — all 123,951 of them — as the source material for its script. The performance seemed innocent at […]

Thank the human alarm clocks

Suzani textile from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, by Madina Kasimbaeva. Image description: A spread of a Suzani textile from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Floral motifs adorned the entire spread, made up of the earthy colour combinations (red, brown, green etc.) against a dark navy blue background. In the previous edition of Courtney Martin’s the examined family, she quoted a line […]

Never the great leveller

About last month before the schools and offices were reopened in Malaysia, I set up a video call for my mother as one of her weekly rituals to talk to her grandnieces. Only about 10 minutes in the video call, Aufa, 7 years old, decided to throw tantrum and wailed to her mother, who was […]

Cordial man

The other day, Jason Kottke in his long-standing (specifically, for about 15 years now) blog kottke.org asked people to share what they’ve been up to during the pandemic and how their families and communities are coping. He decided to share the overwhelming responses he received from all over the world within one page — which also reminded me that […]

And the elites panicked

Last Friday, the Malaysian government announced that they were going to enlist military ‘help’ to curb the abundance of people not abiding the Movement Control Order (MCO) beginning Sunday. Upon hearing this, one of my elderly aunts who lives nearby with her teenage grandson called my mum, crying and almost losing her mind, begging for […]

Movement: restricted

An eerie emptiness enveloped the sacred Kaaba in Mecca’s Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site, where attendance at Friday prayers was hit by measures to protect against the deadly new coronavirus. Yesterday, it was announced by our new, hijacked Prime Minister that Malaysia is put under restricted movement order beginning today, carrying a few restrictions which […]

We don’t exist in isolation

This week as the number of Covid-19 casualties arises, multiple countries fell into lockdown, while others started to issue bans and strongly urge for social distancing, my family decided to pursue with the 1000-pax wedding reception for my cousin anyway. It is complicated to convince a large Kedahan family — think of us as like […]

How to interview a tech company

Two things, or news, from within the design world made me happy today. First, design scholar and activist Sasha Costanza-Chock’s (of whose paper on the principles of design justice I wrote about here) new book, Design Justice has just been newly released! I have always been a fan of Sasha’s work that focuses on design […]