Shaping the World

David R. MacIver | Friday 09:30 | Assembly Room

How is a software project like the USSR?

Unfortunately, this is not a joke and the answer isn't funny. Software follows in a grand tradition of totalitarian regimes by creating a simplifying vision of how the world works, then forcing the world to fit that vision.

The vision is different, as is the power we use to enforce it, but the failure modes share a lot in common.

This is a talk about power. We all have it, and we cannot abdicate it, so instead we must use it carefully and responsibly.

I will try to set you on the path to doing so, by giving you the introduction to cultural anthropology and anarchist theory that I wish someone had given me before I ever started developing software.