8.7

Reading 5: Hacking the cis-tem

This assignment is due on Sunday, March 5 at 11:59pm. Don’t bullshit.

Watch the following video from 11m50s to 24m00s. (The automatically generated captions might help.)

“anyways, it’s always absurd when computer folk yearn for a space to do technical work ‘without politics.’

my sweet summer child, you studied a tool that inherently amplifies force. you have unlocked hard mode”

@monadliker

Exercise 1. Read Hacking the cis-tem: transgender citizens and the early digital state by Hicks. Focus on how different computations described by Hicks enforces different social norms.
  • When you follow the link above with your browser, you should see Hicks’s article, as well as a button “<” in the upper-right corner. Use the “<” button to expand the annotation sidebar.

  • You may need to log in to Hypothesis, using the account you created in Reading 1: Who can define the bigger number?.

  • **Pay attention to this next step**. This is a common mistake that results in many zeros on the assignment. After logging in, you are not done. You still have to expand the drop-down menu “Public” in the top right sidebar, make sure it says “my groups”, and change it to our course group “211”. You belong to this group because you used the invite link in Reading 1: Who can define the bigger number?. If you don’t post to this group, then other students won’t see your annotations, and you won’t get credit.

Exercise 2. Find one place in the article where Hicks describes a computation.

A computation is a process whose inputs and outputs are clearly defined, like with steps 1–3 of the design recipe. A computation might also have methods and formulas that are precisely specified, like with steps 4–5 of the design recipe. Remember that computations are different from computers: calculating grades, recording names, and searching for photos are all computations, whether performed by humans, computers, or both. However, it is not a computation to recover from sickness, to get a job, to participate in democracy, to unpack fictions, or to resist power.

Carefully select the relevant phrase, and Annotate it like this: “Here Hicks describes this computation: British spies search the Internet for photos of pensioners.”

Exercise 3. Find one place in the article where Hicks describes a social norm.

A social norm is something in society that usually happens, or people think it usually happens, or people think it should usually happen.

Carefully select the relevant phrase, and Annotate it like this: “Here Hicks describes this social norm: People eat with their right hand only.”