CS213 Lecture Notes - Lecture 19: Sociotechnical System

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13 Jun 2018
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Continued… Parkways have troubles of trucks hitting low overpasses
Were designed with cars in mind - buses and trucks couldn’t use them
Winner points out - bias in terms of who should use beaches (designed for people who
could afford cars → white affluent middle class)
People of less privilege excluded from using beaches (couldn’t use buses)
System planned around a particular user
Lower class most often people of colour → racial segregation even without laws
So yes, artifacts do have politics, and artifacts are embedded in politics
Hostile or Defensive Architecture
Spikes on median between roads → targets homeless people so they cannot panhandle
there
Idea that everything should be moving (sidewalks, roads, bike lane) → no one should be
standing there
Process of gentrification = more people on streets, but we don’t want them there
Sometimes blocks are aesthetically pleasing (eg sculpture - nice enviro for people but
still blocks homeless)
Winner
‘The things we call technologies are ways of building order in our world.’
Order made to seem inevitable (eg class system, autonomous cars expensive and
privately owned)
Large section of population is designed out
Often orders aren’t thought about → evolve over time
Why do we want to shape people’s action?
Make city seem appealing
Public safety
Deterritorializing homeless from downtown core
Not Determining
‘Many technical devices and systems important in everyday life contain possibilities for
many different ways of ordering human activity.’
But Lend Durability
‘Consciously or unconsciously, deliberately or inadvertently, societies choose structures
for technologies that influence how people are going to work, communicate, travel,
consume, and so forth over a very long time. In the process by which structuring
decisions are made, different people are situated differently and possess unequal
degrees of power as well as unequal levels of awareness.’
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Document Summary

Continued parkways have troubles of trucks hitting low overpasses. Were designed with cars in mind - buses and trucks couldn"t use them. Winner points out - bias in terms of who should use beaches (designed for people who could afford cars white affluent middle class) People of less privilege excluded from using beaches (couldn"t use buses) Lower class most often people of colour racial segregation even without laws. So yes, artifacts do have politics, and artifacts are embedded in politics. Spikes on median between roads targets homeless people so they cannot panhandle there. Idea that everything should be moving (sidewalks, roads, bike lane) no one should be standing there. Process of gentrification = more people on streets, but we don"t want them there. Sometimes blocks are aesthetically pleasing (eg sculpture - nice enviro for people but still blocks homeless) The things we call technologies are ways of building order in our world. ".

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