Information Technology Can Promote or Impede Growth

In our IDSE102 Design, Society and the Public Sector class we read about technology and society.  I’ve attached a position diagram to this post and summarized the framework of each authors position below.
Paul Dourish provides a framework for talking about technology and privacy.  He thinks, to understand the impact of technology, we need to be able to see how tensions operate, separately and together.  Therefore, privacy management is more of a dynamic response to situations than a rigid enforced regulation.
John Dewey provides a framework by connecting education and personal experience.  “We always live at the time we live and not at some other time, and only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared for doing the same thing in the future.”  Meaning we should pay careful attention to the conditions in which we give each present experience, because ultimately this is where meaningful growth occurs.
Neal Postman talks about a time when information was a resource that helped human begins solve specific and urgent problems of their environment.  But in the age of information this began to change with, what he refers to as “information explosion”. Where we are now in information glut, drowning in information with no control over it and not knowing what to do with it. Information technology is “misleading and chaotic”, and we now have no cohort concept of ourselves and our relation to on another and our world because of it.  To invest into machines, does nothing but increase the supply or more information.  Thus distracting us from facing what we need to confront, which are things such as spiritual emptiness and knowledge of ourselves, for a more meaningful and humane life.
Joceyln Wyatt talks about flaws and missed opportunities in the overall design of systems that design thinking could address in “Design Thinking for Social Innovation”.  “One of the biggest impediments to adopting design thinking is simply fear of failure.”  It’s ok to experiment or “fail” as long as they happen early and act as a source of learning and growth.
In “A Rising Tide: Africa’s Tech Entrepreneurs – WhiteAfrican”, Erik Hersman is empathetic to what consumers use and how they use technological products for their needs. “We consistently underestimate the viability of consumer markets in Africa because we do not truly understand the customer there”.  So instead of overlooking a market, there is plenty of opportunity if we were more understanding and aware of the consumers.
Emily Nussbaum talks about privacy and the privilege lies in protecting it socially and structurally.  “Information is not private because no one knows it; it is private because the knowing is limited and controlled. In most scenarios, the limitations are often more social than structural. Secrets are considered the most private of social information because keeping knowledge private is far more difficult than spreading it. There is an immense gray area between secrets and information intended to be broadcast as publicly as possible.”

In Facebook’s Privacy Trainwreck, danah boyd talks about how technology that make social information more accessible, ruptures peoples sense of public and private through exposure and invasion.  Therefore, with social information overload; people can feel invaded by data.

In Selling to the Poor, Prahalad states, “when the Indian industrial and technology conglomerate ITC started building a network of Internet-connected computers called “e-Choupals” in farming villages in India‘s rural state of Madhya Pradesh in 2001, soy farmers were suddenly able to check fair market prices for their crops. Some farmers began tracking soy futures on the Chicago Board of Trade, and soon most of them were bypassing local auction markets and selling their crops directly to ITC for about $6 more per ton than they previously received.”  Therefore, with technology there is viable opportunity for growth, especially in developing countries.