[hcs-d] [HCS] Future Tech Talks! We Need Your Feedback!

Joshua Kroll kroll at cs.princeton.edu
Fri Jan 2 08:27:45 EST 2015


Not to be harsh - I definitely think there should be more productive
discussion about HCS like this. And my experience is that such
discussion is even more productive and useful when everyone can see it
and contribute, which is why this list exists (and why it's different
from the -announce list).

The discussion can and should be about more than just HCS, too. We
live in a fascinating time, since we're seeing a rapid shift not only
in what is possible with technology but in where and how widely that
technology is deployed. And so there is no end to the interesting
topics that one might bring up and discuss. Malavika brings up a very
good one: the relationship between technology, public policy, and the
law, which is often less understanding than it could be. Berkman is
definitely one of the best places in the world to be thinking about
those issues. And with so many smart people around and on this mailing
list, it seems like we should have vibrant discussions, even
arguments, instead of a litany of event advertisements. That vibrancy
is why I remained subscribed to the main HCS lists even when I
graduated.

For example, we could talk about the perennial debate around the use
of technology for wide-scale (or even targeted/by the Dean's office)
surveillance. Or we could talk about my current favorite tech policy
topic, whether the development and deployment of high tech systems for
important real-world applications is leading to unfairness against
individuals or groups, and who is checking for this? To whom is
Silicon Valley accountable?

On Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 8:49 PM, Jarele Soyinka
<jsoyinka at college.harvard.edu> wrote:
> Very good point, sorry all! We'll keep the conversation on HCS discuss, and
> pms for the rest of the discussion.
>
> Thanks Joshua!
>
> On Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 5:38 PM, Joshua Kroll <kroll at cs.princeton.edu> wrote:
>>
>> Instead of having this discussion on the (large) hcs-announce list, I
>> think it would be productive to move it to the purpose-constructed
>> (and smaller) hcs-discuss list, so that people's semantic model of
>> what the lists are for better matches what they are actually used for,
>> and so you do not spend down your attention budget and just get people
>> to ignore your e-mails. That said, it's a productive discussion and
>> precisely the sort of discussion that should/could be had usefully in
>> a public forum such as a mailing list.
>>
>> On Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 8:32 PM, Jarele Soyinka
>> <jsoyinka at college.harvard.edu> wrote:
>> > I can definitely understand the frustration! And it seems like a great
>> > area
>> > of potential integration for the future. I'll be sure to rely on your
>> > feedback during implementation!
>> >
>> > Side note: For the poor souls who received my gifs in text form. Sleepy
>> > Cat
>> > in Jar.gif: http://i.imgur.com/6W4Je51.gif & Sleepy Cat Snake.gif:
>> > http://i.imgur.com/JRznZSu.gifv
>> >
>> > On Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 5:15 PM, Malavika Jayaram
>> > <mjayaram at cyber.law.harvard.edu> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Awesome. It’s a pet peeve of mine that (some) lawyers can make bad tech
>> >> policy and law that is techno-illiterate, and (some) techies can ignore
>> >> non-technical variables while designing systems that have legal
>> >> implications. I’d love to see more community-building in the space
>> >> between
>> >> the two disciplines, and indeed between others. If you do implement
>> >> some
>> >> variation of my idea, feel free to reach out if I can help road-test it
>> >> in
>> >> any way.
>> >>
>> >> Side note: I get bounced and have to wait for moderator approval before
>> >> I
>> >> can post to your lists, but nothing came in the way of sleepy cats
>> >> being
>> >> transported across the ether.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> On 2 Jan 2015, at 06:22, Jarele Soyinka <jsoyinka at college.harvard.edu>
>> >> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Thanks for your input! I love this idea, because it seems so intuitive,
>> >> yet it wouldn't have been something I'd come up with on my own. People
>> >> on
>> >> our board generally have a decent amount of experience with computer
>> >> science, so an idea like this wouldn't normally be pitched at our
>> >> meetings
>> >> either; it's exciting to see the fruits of reaching out to our
>> >> community as
>> >> a whole pay off so quickly! Also keep in mind (not just you, but
>> >> everyone
>> >> who wants to be involved with HCS) our organization's target audience
>> >> isn't
>> >> just CS die hards who wrote their first piece of code before they could
>> >> tie
>> >> their own shoes, but really anyone with goals in computer science.
>> >>
>> >> Tangential monologue aside, I'll be looking forward to implementing
>> >> this
>> >> idea as soon as possible. Though it may take a bit more time than
>> >> desired,
>> >> due to events that are already being planned in the status quo. If you
>> >> have
>> >> any specifics or other ideas you'd like to contribute, they'd be
>> >> greatly
>> >> valued!
>> >>
>> >> Side Note: I'd be very disappointed if the Sleepy Cat in Water Jar and
>> >> Sleepy Cat Snake files didn't load when you received my email.
>> >>
>> >> On Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 4:26 PM, Malavika Jayaram
>> >> <mjayaram at cyber.law.harvard.edu> wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>> A suggestion from a non-CS person over at the Berkman Center: if you
>> >>> could agree on a way to communicate the technical level of a talk,
>> >>> that
>> >>> would be super helpful for the wider universe that the talks are of
>> >>> interest
>> >>> to. I say this with all the requisite disclaimers: yes, I realise we
>> >>> are not
>> >>> your primary audience, yes, it can be annoying logistically, not all
>> >>> talks
>> >>> can be easily classified, not all non-CS people are the same, etc etc.
>> >>> But
>> >>> if you could colour-code (a sort of traffic light system) or offer
>> >>> some
>> >>> other easy tag or signifier to indicate the likely positioning of a
>> >>> talk
>> >>> along the spectrum from 'fairly accessible even to a dreaded newbie’
>> >>> to
>> >>> 'inscrutable without a postdoc in the field, don’t bother', it would
>> >>> really
>> >>> help those of us interested in straddling disciplines that are related
>> >>> to
>> >>> our own but not actually ours. For example, I’m a lawyer by training,
>> >>> working on privacy, identity, surveillance and other cyberspace-y
>> >>> issues
>> >>> that could benefit from more technical knowledge, and I recognise that
>> >>> some
>> >>> talks on differential privacy may be easier to grasp than others. The
>> >>> sooner
>> >>> the geeks of various stripes straddle disciplinary boundaries, the
>> >>> better.
>> >>>
>> >>> Just an idea.
>> >>>
>> >>> Malavika
>> >>> http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/mjayaram
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> On 1 Jan 2015, at 04:41, Jarele Soyinka <jsoyinka at college.harvard.edu>
>> >>> wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>> Hey All!
>> >>>
>> >>> Hope your vacations have been treating you all well!
>> >>>
>> >>> As the organization has transitioned into the new HCS Board for 2015,
>> >>> we've got a lot of new and exciting events already in the works for
>> >>> you all.
>> >>> Still, to make sure that we avoid some of the slips of the past, we
>> >>> feel
>> >>> that it's incredibly important that we get feedback from our most
>> >>> valuable
>> >>> opinions (wink wink that's you all)!
>> >>>
>> >>> So tell us how you felt about our tech talks of the past. I know a lot
>> >>> of
>> >>> people found the Facebook Technical Interview Workshop rather
>> >>> interesting,
>> >>> so tell us what you liked about it, and ways that we could improve. We
>> >>> appreciate negative feedback too; there's no doubt that some of the
>> >>> past
>> >>> tech talks had people like:
>> >>>
>> >>> <Sleepy Cat Snake copy.gif>
>> >>> <Sleepy Cat in Water Jar.gif>
>> >>> So tell us why they sucked, and how you'd want to make them better.
>> >>> And
>> >>> if any of you have companies that'd you want to have visit Harvard, or
>> >>> different types of events you'd like to try out, don't hesitate in
>> >>> sharing
>> >>> your ideas. The board has already talked about having an event where
>> >>> multiple companies come at once to give demonstrations, but the most
>> >>> important voice in all this belongs to you (that's right you, over
>> >>> there,
>> >>> with the clothes and the face). So feel free to email me privately,
>> >>> reply to
>> >>> this email, or start a new thread on hcs-discuss.
>> >>>
>> >>> So be prepared for an exciting year for the Harvard Computer Society;
>> >>> there was a lot of stuff discussed at our most recent board meeting,
>> >>> top
>> >>> secret stuff that I could get assassinated for mentioning, but at the
>> >>> very
>> >>> least I can tell you that there was a Smash Bros. 4 live
>> >>> demonstration, and
>> >>> we did discuss the merits of the Pokemon theme song. If that doesn't
>> >>> convince that this year will be awesome, you are most likely Stalin.
>> >>>
>> >>> Have a great New Year!
>> >>>
>> >>> Best,
>> >>> HCS Board
>> >>> _______________________________________________
>> >>> HCS-Announce mailing list
>> >>> HCS-Announce at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
>> >>> https://lists.hcs.harvard.edu/mailman/listinfo/hcs-announce
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > hcs-discuss mailing list
>> > hcs-discuss at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
>> > https://lists.hcs.harvard.edu/mailman/listinfo/hcs-discuss
>> >
>
>


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