(23 Feb 2013, Trivandrum)
The not-very-slow but definitely steady flow of computer technology into far corners of everyday life has changed fundamental cultural processes and affected how people work, learn, and play. It’s also provided lots of cool stuff to buy. But by some measures there has also been a somewhat fundamental failure of imagination in envisioning what hardware, software and services can look like which has resulted in users from outside targeted demographics adapting technology in unexpected and creative ways. One might argue that such examples of adaptation could serve as potentially valuable illustrations of what technology that is relevant across contexts could look like, if only users were seen as more than consumers&emdash;perhaps, also, as citizens.
This talk, by Dr. Beth Kolko, jointy organized by ICFOSS with IEEE Kerala Section, is about diversity of design, the cult of expertise, and why hackers are the good guys. It’s also about how people use technology in Cambodia and Kyrgyzstan, what user generated content looked like before PCs, and why EULAs fundamentally threaten innovation. Essentially, this talk lays out the argument that encouraging users to become hackers, builders, and thieves may be the best way to ensure creative and diverse design.