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.
Where Deer Stroll Peacefully Past Computers
Moments of social mobilization enliven and expand our political imagination. Among the things that sorely need reimagining is our technology.
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.
Inside the Paradise Bubble
The story of Taiwan’s surprisingly successful fight against COVID-19.
Do No Harm
Social media is broken. Restorative justice offers a way to repair it.
Bodies into Bits
An inquiry into how computerized healthcare education has reinforced racism and sexism.
The Tower and the Tent
A doctor observes the pandemic from a tent in the shadows of a megahospital.
Informatics of the Oppressed
An inquiry into the rich history of radical experiments to reorganize information.
When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Motherboard
If your shrink were a computer, would you even know?
Open Casket Series
A series of woven memorials, reflections on mourning in “viral time.”
Built to Last
Don’t blame COBOL. Blame austerity.
Three conversations with government workers about lives spent maintaining critical computing systems:
Mike Schwab on Mainframe Programming for the State of Illinois
Adam Grandt-Nesher on Modernizing Infrastructure
Jed Wagner on Being the Sole Maintainer of the Veterans Appeals System
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