ponedeljek, 3. marec 2008

Donna Metzlar, Genderchangers

Here is what Donna Metzlar has to say about the brave new world of technology conscious consumers!

As opposed to most of us, the Genderchangers are conscious technology consumers, with a holistic view on the technology that dictates our daily lives, work and relationships whether we want it or not. I suppose most of us believe you have to be a real nerd with lots of free time to get on top of it, but I suspect you would try to convince me that's not true. Shoot!

You need a certain attitude, a political consciousness, the same kind as that of being concerned about other consumer products like food and clothes, about the environment, about human rights. We spend a lot of time learning to cook in a vegetarian or vegan way, consume less and relax, take yoga classes or singing lessons. With computers it should be no different. It's just as much the right thing to do, and fun to look at the hardware and software you use in a critical way!

So far, nobody applied to the computer hard ware crash course, perhaps people think a computer is rocket science that you better not play around with… Why exactly is it good to get to know the intestines of your computer?

Practically it means you know what to choose, ie you can make an informed decision, the next time you want to buy a new or upgrade an old computer or some software. Additionally you can fix it yourself and don't need to rely on others to do it for you. And you can converse in as eloquent jargonesque as the sales representative in the shop or on line. That's good for your ego :).

Neither the workshop about privacy and security on the Internet seems to attract much attention in Ljubljana, which reminds me of something i read recently in an interview in Wired: «People say they're nervous about storing personal info online, but they do it all the time – sacrificing privacy to save time and money.» So whats wrong with people? And is there real reason that we should be worried about our privacy on the net - who's after our personal information?

There's nothing wrong with people they just have to prioritise their time and money, and obviously other issues are higher on the list. I think this is a shame however. The ICT industry is only getting bigger and more influential, run by less people every minute, increasing our dependence on these few, the owners, architects, engineers, designers and maintainers.

Genderchangers are not gender hackers, you've made a conscious decision to work with and for women only, why?

From my own experience and from research findings I can confidently say that in women-only spaces the participants feel more comfortable to express themselves (eg ask so called silly questions). In addition the space is a testing ground, where women can become accustomed to the techie sub-culture before experiencing it in the "real" or mixed world. When talking about skill-sharing and learning, a context sensitive, peer environment generally results in better levels of skills and knowledge acquisition.

Anna Ehrlemark

1 komentar:

Cym pravi ...

Donna, I would join your Hardware Crash Course, but it is scheduled at the wrong time! On Wednesday it is impossible for me to be there in the afternoon. And your workshop on Thursday is scheduled at the same time as the car-repair workshop. And I really need to learn how to fix my own car... my car needs fixing more often than my computer does...