Toward a Constructive Technology Criticism

Sara M. Watson, Columbia Journalism Review, Oct 04, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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This is a long and detailed report that blows through tech journalism like a breath of fresh air. It had me thinking about what it is that i do with this newsletter - not journalism, not curation - is it tech criticism? Maybe. But: "criticism carries negative connotations—that of criticizing with unfavorable opinions rather than critiquing to offer context and interpretation." That's not me. And also: "There’s so much glittery, breathless writing about technology that fails to slow down and think about why we’re making these things, who we’re making them for, and who we’re leaving out when we make them." That's not me either. Anyhow. Beginning toward the end of the first third of the article there is a terrific set of "traps of styles and tactics" that ought to be required reading for anyone in the genre. There's some discussion about who is a critic and where they publish (sadly, mostly in mainstream pubs). Then (around the halfway mark) there's a set of "critical lenses" (I don't like the term 'lens' employed in this way - it implies there's something 'real' that's being interpreted).

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