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.
Moments of social mobilization enliven and expand our political imagination. Among the things that sorely need reimagining is our technology.
A conversation about how to break cages.
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.
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.
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.
An inquiry into the rich history of radical experiments to reorganize information.
If your shrink were a computer, would you even know?
Open Casket Series
A series of woven memorials, reflections on mourning in “viral time.”
Don’t blame COBOL. Blame austerity.
A series of conversations with government workers about lives spent maintaining critical computing systems.
A story of mainframes, state technology bureaus, asbestos, and the power of a union.
A story of modernizing infrastructures across public and private sectors, and the challenges and rewards of government technology.
A story of a lifetime spent building, maintaining, and—now—retiring a critical federal government system, alone.
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