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Friday, July 28 - 2023 Week 30
You are bucked in, the Sun is shining, and Friday is a GO!
☀️A Glitch in the System
There is no neutrality. It’s not if there is code, but which code will be written, and then followed.
Tracy Chou is an “entrepreneur, software engineer, and diversity advocate.” (I can get excited about at least two out of three of those.) In 2017 she wrote about why every tech worker needs a humanities education. The foundational questions she asks are crucial for anyone involved in creating or consuming, and certainly for those educating others about creating and consuming.
“As much as code and computation and data can feel as if they are mechanistically neutral, they are not. Technology products and services are built by humans who build their biases and flawed thinking right into those products and services—which in turn shapes human behavior and society, sometimes to a frightening degree.”
She was asking herself questions such as:
“what it was that I was working on, and to what end, and why.” … “what behaviors we wanted to incentivize amongst our users” … “We pondered the philosophical question—also very relevant to our product—of whether people were by default good or bad.” … and “the default views we pushed to users.”
So, you know, we’re only talking about the nature of human beings and how to steer them. With code. And the order of pictures. (Is it a coincidence that Facebook, Instagram/Threads, TikTok, and Twitter/X all mess with the chronological timeline? For whom is it a better experience? Who, or what, is benefiting?)
Here’s Chou’s conclusion (and again, you should read the whole thing):
“I now wish that I had strived for a proper liberal arts education….I wish I’d even realized that these were worthwhile thoughts to fill my mind with—that all of my engineering work would be contextualized by such subjects.”
This is a major glitch in the public school system. The focus on STEM subjects could be fine, but what is the standard? Without a true North Star, science has become a political weapon, technology distracts, engineering depersonalizes, and math is racist. How are our students going to know what they want to be when they grow up if the grown-ups don’t even know who they are supposed to be?
This is part of the reason for Christian schools, and why I got involved in classical education with a focus on liberal arts and equipping the next generation how to be truly free. Because we don’t assume, let alone seek, neutrality, we’re in a much better position to see biases, including the ones in ourselves, and to seek answers from our Creator who wrote the ultimate Code. Doctors, nurses, code jockeys, rocket scientists, accountants, and bridge builders all need to know the details of their work, but the greater what and why of their work require knowing the what and why of mankind first.
[Editor’s note: The Sun is glad to have Ben Smith back to share his endorsements for the August 1 Primary.]
My opinion on Voting Recommendations for August 2023 for the Marysville Sun, and looking forward with hope in the Lord Jesus Christ:
Snoco County Executive - Recommend Bob Hagglund. He's a good guy, and has what it takes. Current/newly elected head of the Snoco Republican Party. He has experience running for high office. Somers is the bum who needs throwing out. Somers keeps supporting the worst Leftist ideas including PRIDE & BLM with word and deed, and richly deserves to lose. He also consistently creates new extremely high-paying patronage-style "oversight" positions that report to him, and staffs them with his connected associates.
Snoco Auditor - Recommend Robert Sutherland. He'd be great in this position, he has some good experience. Gobel is just another politician of the undesirable type. Garth Fell was the man in charge of King County elections during the Rossi for Governor counting fiascos (and is currently in charge of Snoco elections). I'll let that sink in if you weren't already aware.
Snohomish Superior Court - Recommend Mary Anderson for Position 17. With reservations. Best choice of the 3 on balance. Nice enough gal. Recommend Brett Rogers for Position 16. He'd do a good job, much better than the incumbent.
Marysville School District - Recommend Tiffani Mondares-Riggs & Sherryl Kenney for the 2 positions. For the children. The better choices for the positions.
Snoco Sheriff - Recommend to re-elect Sheriff Adam Fortney. Hands down a great choice and a great Sheriff. Support Your Local Sheriff. His opponent Susanna Johnson is in favor of all the worst ideas in policing that we see in Seattle and coming out of Olympia and other Leftist bad-idea factories.
Arlington Mayor - Recommend Don Vanney. He'd do a better job. Definitely not Tolbert. I cannot believe the things she has been saying and doing over the past 2+ years in promoting and facilitating the targeting of Arlington for destruction by the PRIDE extremists in Seattle and Everett. She needs to go. Regardless of any local figures who still endorse her out of loyalty due to long association, she needs voting out, or it will show that Arlington has collectively lost its mind, as a friend who lives in Arlington recently put it. Bud Light, anyone?
Arlington Council - Recommend voting for all the candidates who oppose what Tolbert has been up to in promoting PRIDE.
Marysville Fire District EMS Levy: While I am torn and can see the argument from both sides, I recommend going with No on the levy. Perhaps the district has enough funding already. Not convinced it needs more.
Snoco Council District 2 - Recommend Georgia Fisher. She'd do a good job on the County Council. Meagan Dunn has been supportive of BLM and the usual completely unacceptable Leftist causes, and has even promoted rioting. She isn't a serious enough woman, and deserves to lose.
Seattle NorthCountry highlighted the Centennial Trail starting in Marysville as a “true trip through PNW paradise.” Check out the report by Richard Porter here.
Volli is a new place to play (and eat) on State Avenue. They’ve got indoor pickleball courts, cornhole, Hybridz golf simulators, plus a full menu of food and drinks.
All-Comers Track Meets - one more to go on August 3. More info here.
Rummage Sale - Friday and Saturday, August 4th and 5th, 9:00am - 5:00pm, at Evangel Classical School - 9015 44th Dr. NE. All proceeds benefit the ECS Trip Fund.
Pig Roast in the ‘Ville - Saturday, August 5th, 5:00pm at 5 Rights. See more info at the Facebook event page.
Just too true:
And there’s actually some explanatory math for your water-off-spoon enjoyment.