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[liberationtech] I LOVE technology, but

David Jandura djandura at ifes.org
Fri Apr 8 11:13:56 PDT 2011


While we should make every effort to measure the impact of introducing new technology into any process, I think there is a tendency to overstate its effect in any direction.  Technology is a tool, not an independent actor.  In most situations, technology amplifies intent; both deficiencies and capabilities will become more apparent. Election fraud is fundamentally an administrative issue. 


David

-----Original Message-----
From: liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu [mailto:liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu] On Behalf Of M. Fioretti
Sent: Friday, April 08, 2011 12:25 PM
To: liberationtech at lists.stanford.edu
Cc: Marco Fioretti
Subject: Re: [liberationtech] I LOVE technology, but

I have a deadline really close so I haven't time to answer in detail,
but frankly, statements like this really sound bad/weak to me:

On Fri, Apr 08, 2011 08:34:52 AM -0700, Peter Lindener
(lindener.peter at gmail.com) wrote:

> redundant, independently run cross checking computer systems can be
> made more dependable as well as trust worthy than any marginally
> configured, not fully documented group of human beings...

on one level, it sounds like a nuclear power plant sales rep trying to
sell a plant to somebody who only needs a small water-powered
generator. Sure, with enough effort everything can be made etc etc. I
don't (really) need to be convinced about that. The problem is if it's
really worth it.

At another level, any argument like that still forgets/ignores the
basic, original thing that makes me and others dislike the very idea.

"groups of human beings" that do hand counts are self-checking and can
be checked by EVERYBODY ELSE. Just add a 20 USD webcam in front of
them during the whole hand count and they will behave themselves and
get it straight for sure the first time. No need to recount.

Whereas almost every average human being must take every form of
"independently run cross checking computer systems can be made more
dependable as well as trust worthy..." as an article of faith. 

"Hand count" is "I can see by myself that it's being done correctly
and contribute to it, without needing to trust anybody"

"electronic voting and counting" is "software is black magic to me,
but that nice gentleman says I can trust it, so it's OK"

    	 Marco
-- 
Online Course for Digital Citizens, because your rights depend on
how software is used *around* you:  http://mfioretti.com/node/129
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