I don’t think of #CSforAll as an economical construct, I think of it as a diversity experiment. I think of it as expanding the use of technology to uses no one would have ever thought, because they would not be profitable, because they would not make clear sense, but only because they are art or a fringe way of expression. Expanding CS into the arts is the only way of preventing massive bans and prohibitions as we show other uses of surveillance technologies and facial recognition. By using those same tools we can protest and show the world what can be and create tools to counter it. Because it is open source, we can inspect and analyze their guts and easily create a pill agains their non-ethical uses.
Moreover, by teaching and expanding these tools, we can hope to create an ethical background to counteract monopolies and autocratical uses of technology. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, and many professions have a “tight” ethical code (well, some of them… or at least some of them follow it) because those are really old professions! We have just recently learned how to use the internet, we cannot expect to have nailed down how to act or use it ethically when we do not even know what it’s good for. (If you don’t think this is true, just look at online news: just until recently all of them were a mere extension of the paper editions rendered on a computer screen!) But at the same time, we have to be realistic: we are still using a educational model created on the Industrial Revolution; we require so much more than just to teach ethical coding.
As a side note, reading the article about making community I remembered what made me want to take this class. I feel like many of my projects are not well documented, and that people could benefit from my projects to learn how to make their own. And I realize the ginormous amount of work it requires, but I also feel that it something essential to make. Gotta lead with the example, right?
Combining passions: making a contribution to coding and beer
As part of this week’s assignment, I made a contribution to the Corpora repository. Following my experience back home, I greatly expanded the list of beer categories by following the BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines, which has 34 different categories and corresponding styles, for a total of more than 100 beer styles. In the beginning I wanted to create a list of hops used in beers, but when I saw that the lists of beers were severely lacking, I decided this would be a better contribution (and I’m sure I’ll make the list of hops soon enough anyway).
I can greatly appreciate the Unit Tests. My first commit failed both tests, because there was a ‘,’ after the last item which I forgot to delete. I had to go back and edit my commit and the problem got solved as the checks were successful. You can see the pull request here.