THE ART OF VOTING

Harvie Branscomb is an independent monitor, activist and expert of voting procedures in the USA, and has analysed and developed recommendations and campaigned for fair and secure voting for more than two decades. In this video interview, Harvie discusses manual, mechanical, electronic and hybrid voting systems, and his ideas for reform. [read more]

ALGORITHMIC CITY WALK

A free (and ad-free) iPhone app that guides participants on a 30-minute walk around Westminster, London, revealing the ubiquitous use of algorithmic decision making in public space and by government and the private sector. [read more]

Checkpoints

CETC’s three-dimensional portrait and integrated data doors – special machines that are used in some of Xinjiang’s checkpoints to vacuum up people’s identifying information from their electronic devices. This is placed at the entrance to the Aq Mosque, in Urumqi, 2018. Photo 2018 Joanne Smith Finley

– China’s Algorithms of Repression. Reverse Engineering a Xinjiang Police Mass Surveillance App 2019 Human Rights Watch

They arrive at the far shore of the Blue Water.
Cautious doors hesitate.
Then, allow her in.

– Manu Luksch, FACELESS (2006 AT/UK). Co-written with Mukul Patel. Narrated by Tilda Swinton. Film excerpt.

 

Data shadow

Predictive profiling is used to socially sort populations . Through denying credit or screening career opportunities, negative profiles can haunt an individual across various domains. A person’s data shadow does more than follow them; it precedes them.

– Rob Kitchin, Continuous Geosurveillance in the “Smart City” 

They say that if you meet your double, you should kill him. Or that he will kill you. I can’t remember which but… the gist of it is that two of you is one too many. By the end of the script, one of you must die.

– Johan Grimonprez  Double Take (2009 Belgium/Germany/ The Netherlands/ USA)

Facial Recognition

There is a large number of categories. Whereas the alphanumeric character recognition problem may have only 36 categories, the facial recognition problem can have millions or even billions.

– Dr. Woodrow Wilson Bledsoe for Panaromic Research, Inc; FACIAL RECOGNITION PROJECT REPORT (March 6th 1964)

A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: FACECRIME, it was called.

George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four. (1948. Chapter 5, paragraph 65)

Happiness

Happiness without freedom, or freedom without happiness. There was no third alternative.

– Yevgeny Zamyatin, We. 1924

Creating happiness is the final result of the smart city agenda. Once we are able to manage and meet people’s experiences, we will be able to rise on the happiness index. It is vital because if people are not happy, they don’t stick around in the city, they leave.

– Ahmed Bin Byat, CEO of Dubai Holding (gulfbusiness.com, 10/02/2015; Accessed 29/01/2018)

A WORD A WEEK

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