Posts Tagged ‘history’

Algorithmic Test Proctoring

Our Bodies Encoded: Algorithmic Test Proctoring in Higher Education

SHEA SWAUGER ED-TECH

https://hybridpedagogy.org/our-bodies-encoded-algorithmic-test-proctoring-in-higher-education/

While in-person test proctoring has been used to combat test-based cheating, this can be difficult to translate to online courses. Ed-tech companies have sought to address this concern by offering to watch students take online tests, in real time, through their webcams.

Some of the more prominent companies offering these services include ProctorioRespondusProctorUHonorLockKryterion Global Testing Solutions, and Examity.

Algorithmic test proctoring’s settings have discriminatory consequences across multiple identities and serious privacy implications. 

While racist technology calibrated for white skin isn’t new (everything from photography to soap dispensers do this), we see it deployed through face detection and facial recognition used by algorithmic proctoring systems.

While some test proctoring companies develop their own facial recognition software, most purchase software developed by other companies, but these technologies generally function similarly and have shown a consistent inability to identify people with darker skin or even tell the difference between Chinese people. Facial recognition literally encodes the invisibility of Black people and the racist stereotype that all Asian people look the same.

As Os Keyes has demonstrated, facial recognition has a terrible history with gender. This means that a software asking students to verify their identity is compromising for students who identify as trans, non-binary, or express their gender in ways counter to cis/heteronormativity.

These features and settings create a system of asymmetric surveillance and lack of accountability, things which have always created a risk for abuse and sexual harassment. Technologies like these have a long history of being abused, largely by heterosexual men at the expense of women’s bodies, privacy, and dignity.

Their promotional messaging functions similarly to dog whistle politics which is commonly used in anti-immigration rhetoric. It’s also not a coincidence that these technologies are being used to exclude people not wanted by an institution; biometrics and facial recognition have been connected to anti-immigration policies, supported by both Republican and Democratic administrations, going back to the 1990’s.

Borrowing from Henry A. Giroux, Kevin Seeber describes the pedagogy of punishment and some of its consequences in regards to higher education’s approach to plagiarism in his book chapter “The Failed Pedagogy of Punishment: Moving Discussions of Plagiarism beyond Detection and Discipline.”

my note: I am repeating this for years
Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel’s ongoing critique of Turnitin, a plagiarism detection software, outlines exactly how this logic operates in ed-tech and higher education: 1) don’t trust students, 2) surveil them, 3) ignore the complexity of writing and citation, and 4) monetize the data.

Technological Solutionism

Cheating is not a technological problem, but a social and pedagogical problem.
Our habit of believing that technology will solve pedagogical problems is endemic to narratives produced by the ed-tech community and, as Audrey Watters writes, is tied to the Silicon Valley culture that often funds it. Scholars have been dismantling the narrative of technological solutionism and neutrality for some time now. In her book “Algorithms of Oppression,” Safiya Umoja Noble demonstrates how the algorithms that are responsible for Google Search amplify and “reinforce oppressive social relationships and enact new modes of racial profiling.”

Anna Lauren Hoffmann, who coined the term “data violence” to describe the impact harmful technological systems have on people and how these systems retain the appearance of objectivity despite the disproportionate harm they inflict on marginalized communities.

This system of measuring bodies and behaviors, associating certain bodies and behaviors with desirability and others with inferiority, engages in what Lennard J. Davis calls the Eugenic Gaze.

Higher education is deeply complicit in the eugenics movement. Nazism borrowed many of its ideas about racial purity from the American school of eugenics, and universities were instrumental in supporting eugenics research by publishing copious literature on it, establishing endowed professorships, institutes, and scholarly societies that spearheaded eugenic research and propaganda.

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more on privacy in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=privacy

Fukuyama Identity Politics

Francis Fukuyama: Identity politics

The demand for dignity and the nation state’s future

http://www.erstestiftung.org/en/francis-fukuyama-identity-politics/

7 March 2019 in Vienna. Francis Fukuyama

since 1989 or 1991, we had been living in a growing liberal international order.

The number of democracies in this period went from about 35 in 1970, and peaked at something like a 115 to a 120, depending on how you measure a democracy. By the early 2000s, the global output of the world economy quadrupled.

the rise of a couple of very self-confident and newly assertive authoritarian powers: Russia and China. But from my standpoint, the most disturbing thing was this emergence of populism within established democracies and in fact, within the two most established democracies: Britain and the US.

The first definition is an economic one: a populist is a leader, who promotes economic policies or social policies that are popular on the short run but disastrous on the long run.

The second definition is more of a political style than anything else: a populist leader tries to be charismatic and says: I have a direct connection with you, the people. And that is actually quite important because it makes a populist, I think, ipso facto anti-institutional.
A democracy is not just popular elections, it is also the protection of minority rights, it is also having a moderate government that really reflects the true will of the people. And populists tend to authoritarian politics because they do not like institutions getting in the way

The third definition is that a populist, when they say “I support the people”, often times do not mean the whole people. They mean a certain kind of person, usually defined by race or ethnicity. Often times in terms of traditional cultural values or as a traditional sense of national identity. And that does not correspond to the actual population that might live in that country.

Now we have a populist coalition in Italy, and Latin America elected its first Northern European style populist in Jair Bolsonaro. Most Latin American populists are like Southern European populists: they are left wing, they are not ethnically exclusive, they are more economic populists. But Latin America has decided to join the crowd, and so they elected a leader that is, you know, racially prejudiced, that has a fundamentalist Christian understanding of what Brasil should be about.

if you are a lower-skilled, less educated worker in a rich country, you are liable to lose out to a similarly skilled worker in a poor country.

Right from the beginning, the rap against democracy is that it produces weak government. Democracies cannot make decisions. there is a big desire on the part of a lot of ordinary people to have a strong man, a leader who can just cut through all this blather, make decisions and get things done.

The third reason is cultural, and that is the one that has to do with identity.
the word identity and Identity Politics was really not used commonly until the 1950s. A psychologist, Erik Erikson
the inner self is the one that is valuable, and the whole outside society has to change, and that is what is happening right now. Men are going through a cultural retraining, they are learning that actually their rules are not the right ones, and we need a different set of rules in relations between men and women that respect the dignity of the whole person in those kinds of relationships.

European Muslims, did not feel comfortable with their parents’ form of religiosity, they thought that it was too old fashioned and traditional, but they also did not feel well-integrated into the society, in which they were living.

“Strangers in Their Own Land” by sociologist Arlie Hochschild

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more on Fukuyama in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=fukuyama

Shared Kitchens and Soviet Politics

How Russia’s Shared Kitchens Helped Shape Soviet Politics

the invention of thanksgiving

The Invention of Thanksgiving, Massacres, myths, and the making of the great November holiday.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/11/25/the-invention-of-thanksgiving

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THE INVENTION OF THANKSGIVING

The long and sometimes bloody history of how we came to celebrate Turkey Day.

https://psmag.com/social-justice/the-invention-of-thanksgiving

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The Invention of Thanksgiving

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more about history in this IMS blog
blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=history

History of Syria

Syria: proxy theatre of war

Never in the interests of the ordinary citizen

The Syrian people’s uprising began as a struggle over social and economic conditions, a fight for democracy in place of repression. Now it has been hijacked by regional and global conflicts

Karim Emile Bitar 21 January 2019

https://mondediplo.com/2013/06/02syria

If there is a constant in the history of the countries of the Levant, it is the conflict between the aspirations of their inhabitants for freedom, and the realpolitik that has led to the sacrifice of those aspirations to the geostrategic interests of foreign powers.

History of Hungary

Rhymes from Central Europe

Rhymes from Central Europe

Norman Stone’s sparkling new book, Hungary: A Short History, is a warning against ignoring history. It presents a country that never quite “caught up” with the West, and therefore never “settled down” to a calm post-nationalist existence. The modernising influence of industrialisation has always been subsumed in the problem of borders, religions, languages, and nationalities.

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more on Hungary in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=hungary

History vs Lenin

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