Links: Profiles in Engineering and Hubris

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice. Fuck around and find out.

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January 28, 2022

This week, let’s look at three very different profiles of three very different people: a mysterious social engineer, a science fiction writer, and a man who won’t stop digging.

Searching for Susy Thunder:

…history has ignored women for too long and that when we fixate on the people who build systems and forget those who maintain, moderate, and use — or, in this case, exploit — those systems, we’re missing the messy realities of how technology actually evolves. We’re missing, too, how profoundly the human is entangled in the machine.

Can Science Fiction Wake Us Up to Our Climate Reality?

We may feel that dystopian stories are more plausible, yet Robinson thinks that there’s something a little craven about them. Isn’t it odd, he has written, to enjoy “late-capitalist, advanced-nation schadenfreude about unfortunate fictional citizens whose lives have been trashed by our own political inaction”? It’s better, he believes, to be utopian, or at least “anti-anti-utopian.”

The Undoing of Joss Whedon (or: Lila Shapiro gives Whedon more than enough rope to hang himself and he obliges):

I asked if he would be willing to share his most traumatic memory with me. “I’m going to run to the loo,” he said. Later, he would let slip that someone had advised him to pretend he needed to pee if he felt uncomfortable with a question.

(Whedon goes to the bathroom multiple times during the interview. It’s fascinating. The way it punctuates the interview, not the actual activity.)

Have a great weekend, y’all.


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