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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Why Computing Belongs within the Social Sciences

Thoughtful piece in the ACM.  Full text at the link. While computers started from technology, it has evolved unpredictably into something also very deeply and even alarmingly sociological.    Read the key insights below.

Why Computing Belongs Within the Social Sciences
By Randy Connolly
Communications of the ACM, August 2020, Vol. 63 No. 8, Pages 54-59  10.1145/3383444

On October 23, 2008, Alan Greenspan, the Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, was testifying before Congress in the immediate aftermath of the September 2008 financial crash. Undoubtedly the high point of the proceedings occurred when Representative Henry Waxman pressed the Chair to admit "that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right," to which Greenspan admitted "Absolutely, precisely."17 Fast forward 10 years to another famous mea culpa moment in front of Congress, that of Mark Zuckerberg on April 11, 2018. In light of both the Cambridge Analytica scandal and revelations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, Zuckerberg also admitted to wrong: "It's clear now that we didn't do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy." ... '

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