Eventual Consistency

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Dalbert B. Vilarino

The Cult of the Tech Genius

With a tech-corporate culture fraught with Move-Fast-and-Break-Things innuendos, it comes as no surprise that being «imbued with the power and confidence» that you can do no wrong is highly rewarded. And it is a boy’s thing, or at least this is what the NYT believes: «it’s almost always a him», quoth the journalist, who happens to be a she.

In praise of social onlife

As the pandemic rears its ugly head again and again, we might find ourselves forced to stay at home longer than we expected to. Thus, it is key for our mental health to strike a balance between a fully-fledged “social onlife” and our natural tendency towards isolation and self-sufficiency — a behavioural bias that humans have somehow embedded at least as much as they depend on social skills, but which, although healthy if indulged in with awareness, might jeopardise the natural process of growth which happens through constant (not necessarily physical) interaction with others. If listened carelessly, the enchanting song of our inner self is capable of leading us astray.

15-minutes cities

Strolling around in Brussels is a must-do when the sun shines (which should never be taken for granted).

Illustration by Barry Blitt

Why an editorial project on innovation and tech is still "blue ocean" in Italy?

Your typical Italian tech webzine is a very traditional product: articles are just text with a few images, with a complete lack of interactivity. No data journalism or coding journalism, no ability for readers to provide additional content or editing, no OSINT, even comments are sometimes not allowed. Let alone more exotic stuff like web 3.0 or augmented reality. Why?

Traçage des contacts : protocole maison ou soumission à Google et Apple?

La Belgique opte pour une application traçage des contacts, ou contact tracing (ou encore mieux exposure notification) que sera basée sur une approche décentralisée. Selon L’Écho et De Tijd le coup d’envoi surviendra au cours de l’été — beaucoup plus tard que en Italie ou en France. Le groupe de travail interfédéral entend « reprendre 80 % du travail » de la Suisse et de l’Autriche (et de façon implicite de l’Italie, avec son application Immuni).

What is Code Journalism?

Upon a quiet Sunday afternoon, midway into the Italian lockdown, I sat down and knocked out, in hardly more than a couple of hours, a pretty simple Python module to talk to the Application Programming Interface put forth by the Regional government of Umbria in order to publish COVID-19-related data.

Science is dead. Long live science.

The incredible amount of fake news and misinformation that has spread through the world, at a much faster pace than the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, tells us so much about ourselves. Experts have a word for it: infodemic.

The Portrait of a Young Innovator. An interview with Gian Luca Comandini

Gian Luca Comandini, born in 1990, degree in economics, in 2013 was already amongst the first in Italy to invest in two little-explored (at the time) trends: the blockchain and the social media. This made him one of the youngest innovation leaders, allowing him to co-found the trade association Assobit and the consulting and development company Blockchain Core.

Rerum Cognoscere Causas

RERUM COGNOSCERE CAUSAS, knowing the causes of things, has been the motto of the London School of Economics and Political Science since 1922. Here, following the best tradition of Anglo-Saxon rationalism, great care is taken to distinguish between causal links and mere statistical correlations. In other words, if during summer both the GDP and the energy consumption for cooling happen to increase, we cannot simply conclude that it is air conditioners which boost the economy!

Building a better future. Interview with Emilia Garito

Emilia Garito, a computer scientist and an enterpreneur, is the organizer of the TEDxRoma, the leading TEDx conference in Italy, as well as being one of the top-tier Italian experts in open innovation, artificial intelligence and complex systems modelling.

Sense and Sensibility of the Digital Transformation. Interview with Andrea Lisi

Andrea Lisi is a well-renowned Italian lawyer who specializes in ICT law. In addition to the Lisi Law Firm, he coordinates the Digital & Law Department and D&L NET organizations; on top of this, he is the Secretary-General of ANORC (National Association for Operators and Managers of Digital Preservation, a nonprofit organization founded in 2007) and the President of ANORC Professioni and as well as being the creator of the DIG.Eat, a large convention that is held every year in Italy.

On factfulness

Is it possible to be truly unbiased when telling “facts”? Is it possible to communicate without implying at least a hint of a Weltanschauung, of a value system, of a hypothesis? Without some kind, as messy as you want, of a priori? Not even the mathematicians succeed in that, let alone the rest of us. Also the highly-praised American factfulness is but the expression a civic and democratic duty to expose corruption in the best case, otherwise it is downright endorsement of the status quo, that is, hegemonic storytelling. Where is your objectivity now?

Instrumenta chyrurgiae et icones anathomicae, Ambroise Paré, 1564

Banausia

The tricks of the trade, the technical expertise, the “how things are done”, if unable to convey the meaning and purpose of the job, are what the ancient Greeks used to call “banausia”: dull mechanics.

Orlagh Murphy/Getty Images

Humans, algorithms, decisions, bias

The HRB columnist’s position is clear: “algorithms are less biased and more accurate than the humans they are replacing”. Hence, their use lends itself to alleviating social inequality, rather than to making them worse (this point is hardly touched upon, however).

Is Community-building the Ultimate Aim of Communication?

Let it not be forgotten that during the Republic Rome was, strictly speaking, two Romes: the Senate and the people. State-unification never got beyond a mere setting up of communication between groups which remained strangers one to the other. Hence it was that the Empire, when threatened, could not count on the patriotism of the others, and had to defend itself exclusively by bureaucratic measures of administration and warfare.

How to Grow our Professional Network in Four Tips

It goes without saying that a professional network is a vital component to a successful career. At its fullest, a well-bred network can lead us to a better and more satisfying life. Hence, it is crucial that we know how to grow and how to mantain our network.