In light of our conversations yesterday about activism to push back against the interface, a couple of articles in today’s news seemed relevant and hopeful to me. Ever the optimist, I want to believe we don’t have to concede to the cultural engine but can push back against it, even if it’s not easy. So, the first article I encountered seems like civic hacking, though it’s the second article that uses that term explicitly. A Seattle CEO who normally takes in a $1 million salary per year read an article about happiness and salary and was convinced by the data that indicated happiness rises with increased salary but tops off at about 75K. So, he reduced his own salary and raised his employees’ salaries all to 70K. it’s the kind of choice people sometimes make that seems to be against self but clearly uses information to make a choice that might be beneficial: his employees are certainly more loyal now and he is still in that sweet salary spot for happiness (and btw, he has been making 1 million per year prior to this. I think he’ll be ok.)
The second article talks directly about civic hacking. Here, professionals of varied stripes come together to make change, often at the local level, not, I think, unlike what we discussed as humanists being on the team to make positive change with more tech-oriented folk.