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Jun 30, 2019 23:46:20

Problems of Scale

by @abrahamKim PATRON | 243 words | 1🔥 | 426💌


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My gf just returned from a conference in Design/Society conference and told me about a woman who's working on an interesting project. Sustainably produced satellites available to everyone -- right now they're doing it in Africa.

If her project is a success then anyone in the world have the ability to launch their own satellite into space and use it to snap high resolution photos of the earth. My gf described the type of materials used in creating these satellites and I was floored that this was a possibility. I was floored, because space feels so far away to me. So unreachable. So the idea of a thing made out of paper being able to float up there and then communicate with computers down here blew my mind. It also blew my mind that could one day be accessible to me, my neighbor, and random person in Istanbul.

Anyways. The woman did have a concern. The problems of scale. What would it mean for our society when anyone... not just government and corporate entities has the ability to launch satellites into space and surveillance the earth. 

Starting in the mid 2000s was when I think anyone became able to create their own scalable web applications using standard MVC paradigms. I feel like what this woman is describing is the potential pending era of surveillance reaching such accessibility. For good reasons, she is critical of how this might play out. The problems of scale.

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