This was quite the article, but once I got past the technical language and long winded sentences, the point McPherson was trying to make did come through. McPherson’s article put the creation of technologies that are very mainstream today in comparison with the way race relations have been dealt with over the same time period. This was a comparison I have never seen before but that I found very interesting because once the similarities are pointed out, it is pretty easy to see where the author is coming from. The main argument being made is that we can’t look at the history of computing and data systems without also examining the society in which these technologies were created. The secrecy and methods in which part of computing systems are able to keep portions of the same system completely separate, interchangeable and disposable should a piece be deemed unfit has shocking parallels to the way we segment our society based on race. Her discussion of the lenticular lens was especially helpful in the explanation of her ideas because it created a great visual that I think most people can picture in their heads. I thought the way she sort of implied that the rise of technology egged on the racism already very present was a little bit of a stretch because I believe that technology as it is used by man becomes a new way of showing part of human nature that already exist, but I understand where she is coming from.
I’ve had a hard time finding the racial connection in The Bug, but I do see the connection through the technologies discussed, so I’ll go more into that. The McPherson article talked about race predominantly, but that idea of the racial separations in society can be broadened to include other issues like religion, sexuality, gender equality, and other groups of people that cause issues that those in charge prefer to sweep under the rug because that makes us as a society look simpler and more streamlined from the outside. This idea can even be looked at in terms of the on-goings in the life of an individual. McPherson’s article talked about there being input and output and even the parts of the overall system shouldn’t know what all needs to happen in order to change the input into what pops out of the system. People might not even realize what’s going on in their own lives until they stop and realize the events that have occurred that brought them to their current state.
I think the reason we read McPherson’s piece in combination with The Bug is because of the connection to shunning a blind eye to things that aren’t necessarily “pretty” or “simple” or easy to deal with. I saw an article today about the way people view overweight people. It was about a photographer who decided to create a project with photos that captured the way people looked at her. No one takes into account the way she got to be the way she is because they simply do not know. The rest of society is not aware of the complex lives of the segment of society that is overweight or obese because we have created a system in which overlooking parts that are more difficult to deal with has become the norm. In our current day and age, we like to think that discrimination no longer exists. In the article this is related to the lenticular lens and stereoscope card and their correlation to the colorblindness that is popular that is in fact doing nothing to help race relations. You’re supposed to love your body. Not having a conventionally beautiful body is supposed to be ok now. But the photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero was able to capture the expressions on people’s faces as they looked at her in public. We don’t talk about the real life experiences body image creates, but the sentiments felt toward overweight people are still there, as shown by the faces in the photos. We have created a divide between the BMI regulated weight and the overweight section of the population as if they are a different race of people, so I thought this article was an appropriate example of the ways in which our society has become segmented much like the technologies McPherson discusses. I’ve attached the link for the article below.