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Issue 11

Care

Digital technologies tend to be depicted as steely or ethereal. A headless suit holds a giant computer chip. A bodiless hand holds a cell phone. A brain wired to a giant computer network bursts into rainbows of light. But technologies are not invulnerable—nor are the people who build and use them. The gig economy is not all Uber drivers—care workers are its fastest growing demographic.

This issue looks at technologies that are changing how we give and receive care—and the care that our machines themselves need.

editorial

Where Deer Stroll Peacefully Past Computers

The Editors

Moments of social mobilization enliven and expand our political imagination. Among the things that sorely need reimagining is our technology.

chatlogs

Community Defense: Sarah T. Hamid on Abolishing Carceral Technologies

A conversation about how to break cages.

Logistics Workers of the World: A Conversation with Agnieszka Mróz of Amazon Workers International

Building a global movement starts on the shop floor.

Call On Me: Interview with an Anonymous On-Call Engineer

When the computers fail, they bring in the humans.

patches

Inside the Paradise Bubble

Ann Chen

The story of Taiwan’s surprisingly successful fight against COVID-19.

Do No Harm

Niloufar Salehi

Social media is broken. Restorative justice offers a way to repair it.

Bodies into Bits

Joy Lisi Rankin

An inquiry into how computerized healthcare education has reinforced racism and sexism.

The Tower and the Tent

Nitin Ahuja

A doctor observes the pandemic from a tent in the shadows of a megahospital.

features

Informatics of the Oppressed

Rodrigo Ochigame

An inquiry into the rich history of radical experiments to reorganize information.

When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Motherboard

Matthew Seiji Burns

If your shrink were a computer, would you even know?

assets

Open Casket Series

Indira Allegra

A series of woven memorials, reflections on mourning in “viral time.”

maintenance window

Built to Last

Mar Hicks

Don’t blame COBOL. Blame austerity.

Maintenance Window

A series of conversations with government workers about lives spent maintaining critical computing systems.

Mike Schwab on Mainframe Programming for the State of Illinois

A story of mainframes, state technology bureaus, asbestos, and the power of a union.

Adam Grandt-Nesher on Modernizing Infrastructure

A story of modernizing infrastructures across public and private sectors, and the challenges and rewards of government technology.

Jed Wagner on Being the Sole Maintainer of the Veterans Appeals System

A story of a lifetime spent building, maintaining, and—now—retiring a critical federal government system, alone.

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First edition of Issue 11: Care released August 31, 2020.