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Design ethics

Ethics of identity in the time of big data

Never could have preducted that ethics was so closely connected to technology. I’m not a futurist.

“Compartmentalizing our distinct personal identities is increasingly difficult in big data reality. Pictures of the person we were on past vacations resurface in employers’ Google searches; LinkedIn which exhibits our income level is increasingly used as a dating web site. Whether on vacation, at work, or seeking romance, our digital selves stream together. One result is that a perennial ethical question about personal identity has spilled out of philosophy departments and into the real world. Ought we possess one, unified identity that coherently integrates the various aspects of our lives, or, incarnate deeply distinct selves suited to different occasions and contexts? At bottom, are we one, or many? The question is not only palpable today, but also urgent because if a decision is not made by us, the forces of big data and surveillance capitalism will make it for us by compelling unity. Speaking in favor of the big data tendency, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg promotes the ethics of an integrated identity, a single version of selfhood maintained across diverse contexts and human relationships. This essay goes in the other direction by sketching two ethical frameworks arranged to defend our compartmentalized identities, which amounts to promoting the dis-integration of our selves. One framework connects with natural law, the other with language, and both aim to create a sense of selfhood that breaks away from its own past, and from the unifying powers of big data technology.”

James Brusseau ~ First Monday (Volume 24 Issue 5)

Anthropocene Economics and Design: Heterodox Economics for Design Transitions

Design interventions for Earth System.

“Economics is a field under fierce contestation. In response to the intersecting challenges of the Anthropocene, scholars who take a broader and more critical view of current economic models have described the shortcomings of orthodox economic theory along with the severe consequences of its systemic discounting of the environment. Heterodox economists describe how the logic of neoclassical and neoliberal economics disregards the interests and needs of the natural world, women, workers, and other historically disadvantaged groups. Explorations of the household, the state, and the commons as alternative economies open space at the intersection of economics and design for incorporating and valuing the provisioning services provided by the ecological context and the undervalued work provided by certain groups of people. Design theorists, economists, social and cultural theorists, and anthropologists describe the relationship between value and values in ways that reveal how sustainable and socially just futures depend on the priorities (notions of value) embedded in the systems that determine what is designed. With these ideas, design can contribute to economic transitions with conceptualizing, modeling, mapping, framing, and other future making practices. Ecologically engaged, heterodox economics is a basis for societal responses to climate change on a scale that can make a difference.”

Joanna Boehnert a.k.a. /jodyboehnert | @Ecocene ~ She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation 4.4 courtesy of @KateRaworth

Developing a Code of Ethics for UX Design: What we can learn from the field of architecture

Learning from other disciplines is key.

“(…) the WELL Building Standard is rigorous and well developed compared to the initiatives for ethical standards in the UX field, which makes it a valuable resource that we can learn from. This makes sense as we are a much younger and smaller profession than architecture, although we are growing at lightning speed. When you think about how fast digital technology is being propagated, our profession is in a slow-motion explosion. The reach and influence of our work has the potential to be wholly pervasive. Establishing ethical standards that uphold our commitment to ‘take care of’ our users is urgently needed.”

Dorothy Shamonsky a.k.a. /dorothyshamonsky | @dr_dor ~ UXPA Magazine

Privacy by design: How to sell privacy and make change

Privacy, trust, and ethics. All aspects of your design morals.

“Privacy is a fundamental human right that has become one of the most illusive and least understood topics of the Internet. However, the time is coming for change, and it’s up to us whether that’s going to happen willfully or through regulation. This article will explain exactly why making these changes is so critical to the success of your business and how you can make the changes that need to be made in a way that also positively impacts your bottom line.”

Joe Toscano a.k.a. /joe-toscano | @realjoet ~ Smashing Magazine