Carte blanche de Margo Boenig-Liptsin, chercheuse en histoire, philosophie et sociologie des sciences et résidente 2021-2022 à l'IEA avec Nestor Herran, maître de conférences en histoire des sciences, Sorbonne Université, Observatoire des sciences de l'univers Ecce Terra.
Reprise des Cartes Blanches ce printemps 2022! Au rythme de deux séances par mois, l'IEA donne la parole à un.e chercheur.se actuellement en résidence sur un sujet de son choix en lien avec les problématiques sociétales contemporaines et les milieux extra-académiques.
A crucial concern today for citizens as well as political leaders of liberal democracies is how to maintain and strengthen democracy in light of the prevalence of computing in public life. Computing and data-based technologies and practices, like the platform economy, surveillance, and social media, are seen to transform, or worse, threaten, democratic institutions. In making sense of the relationship between democracy and computing today, it is important to recognize that the forms that democracies take today are not only a result of technological design (e.g. black box algorithms) and economic structures (e.g., that incentivize sensational content or attention-retention practices), but also of constitutions of the human: locally valued ways of knowing and being with computers. These constitutions have a history.
To recover this history and see them in formation, I bring archival research and interviews to probe the meaning of "computer literacy" and "computer culture" in the United States, France, and Soviet Union. Computer literacy and culture programs in the 1970s and 1980s were the first means by which leaders of the computing revolution around the world introduced their publics to ways of thinking and being with computers. By looking at this origin of public computing, we get a glimpse of the kinds of constitutions of the human that engineers, social scientists, teachers, and politicians envisioned and sought to actively bring about for what they deemed to be the immanent information age. I show how in each cultural context, the computer was seen to constitute the human in a different way. Despite the differences, common features of constitutions of the human for the information age arise across the three cultures and include: 1) the aim to shift how publics know, 2) a shared sense of the importance of the future, and 3) the centrality of the individual person as the agent and site of computing. These features, set in motion at the dawn of public computing, can serve as entry points for analyzing contemporary democracies in the context of ubiquitous computing.
Carte blanche en anglais.
Pas d'inscription requise. Rejoignez la Carte Blanche le 31 mai à 19h sur la chaine YouTube de l'IEA.