The Moral Economy of Tech

Came across an interesting talk at the 28th Annual Conference of SASE titled "Moral Economy of Tech" by Maciej Ceglowski. This bit caught my eye:

... as anyone who's worked with tech people knows, this intellectual background can also lead to arrogance. People who excel at software design become convinced that they have a unique ability to understand any kind of system at all, from first principles, without prior training, thanks to their superior powers of analysis.

What's worse is that they don't just stop at conjecturing about inanimate "systems", they go deeper. Tech people often construct elaborate explains-it-all theories about cultures, people, politics and business based on Wikipedia entries without having an iota of actual real-world knowledge about any of those. It reminds me of my favourite movie of all time.

... you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine. You ripped my fuckin' life apart. You're an orphan, right? [nodding] Do you think I'd know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, 'cause I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you?

Good Will Hunting

I found the talk riveting, though I do not agree with some of Maciej's points. You can read the full text of his very provocative speech here.


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