Ramblings & ephemera

Culture, values, & designing technology systems

From danah boyd’s “G/localization: When Global Information and Local Interaction Collide“:

Culture is the set of values, norms and artifacts that influence people’s lives and worldview. Culture is embedded in material objects and in conceptual frameworks about how the world works. …

People are a part of multiple cultures – the most obvious of which are constructed by religion and nationality, but there are all sorts of cultures that form from identities and communities of practice. … Identification and participation in that culture means sharing a certain set of cultural values and ideas about how the world should work. …

Cultural norms evolve over time, influenced by people, their practices, and their environment. Culture is written into law and laws influence the evolution of culture. Cultures develop their own symbols as a way of conveying information. Often, these symbols make sense to those within a culture but are not parsable to those outside. Part of becoming indoctrinated into a culture is learning the symbols of that culture. …

… there are numerous cultural forces affecting your life at all times. How you see the world and how you design or build technology is greatly influenced by the various cultural concepts you hold onto. …

… algorithms are simply the computer manifestation of a coder’s cultural norms.

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