I told her that I don’t believe in hope and I don’t believe in hopelessness; I believe in compassion and pragmatism. Hope can be lethal when you are fighting an autocracy. Hope is inextricable from time, and as anyone who has studied the entrenchment of dictators knows, the longer they stay in, the harder it is to get them out. Every day passed is damage done.

We were never going to be okay because America had never been okay. In January, 2017, America emerged from an election that not only brought an unworthy leader, but exploited every pre-existing crisis in U.S. history: racism, income inequality, geographic inequality, misogyny, xenophobia, battles over surveillance and privacy, and so on.

Source: The resistance to Donald Trump is not what you think – The Globe and Mail

I updated “Compassion is not coddling. Design for real life.” with a selection from “Dear Developer, The Web Isn’t About You | sonniesedge.co.uk”.

“Edge case” is, to be frank, a phrase that should be banned from all developer conversations (and then tattooed onto the forehead of anyone who continues to use it).

When we say “Edge Case” we mean “Stress Case”. In their book, Design for Real Life, Eric Meyer & Sara Wachter-Boettcher point out that what we glibly call an “edge case” is normally an enormously stressful event for a user.

It often accompanies high emotions, stress, physical problems, financial problems, etc. When we discount and dismiss the “edge case”, we’re actually saying “I don’t care about that particular user’s stressful situation”.

Source: Dear Developer, The Web Isn’t About You | sonniesedge.co.uk

I also dropped in these lines.

Without the social model and intersectionality, we’re just bikeshedding injustice. There is no path to inclusive design that does not involve direct confrontation with injustice. “If a direct confrontation of injustice is missing from our strategies or initiatives or movements, that means we are recreating the conditions we’re pretending to want to destroy.

Better than before; still need work; slow iteration.

How do humanists feel about Jesus? I say of Jesus, as all humanists do, “If what he said is good, and so much of it is absolutely beautiful, what does it matter if he was God or not?”

But if Christ hadn’t delivered the Sermon on the Mount, with its message of mercy and pity, I wouldn’t want to be a human being.

I’d just as soon be a rattlesnake.

A Man Without a Country (pp. 80-81), Kurt Vonnegut

Compassion is not the same as politeness or good manners; compassion involves understanding suffering in ourselves and in others and actively desiring to alleviate it.

Another way of looking at it is that compassion presents an optimization problem: minimize suffering. If we’re not building technology with an eye toward minimizing suffering, what’s the point?

Compassion often demands candid and direct communication, so being “fake nice” is not compassionate.

RTFM makes the assumption that the person is motivated by laziness or perhaps even a desire to waste your time. It leaves no space for understanding the person’s true motivation in coming to you for help or even what they’ve tried so far.

The implication of RTFM is that the asker could have found the answer to the question without asking, and is therefore violating some social law by asking. This can easily stir a sense of shame in the asker.

Shame is such a painful feeling; it is cruel to knowingly encourage it in others.

Source: It’s Time to Retire “RTFM” – Compassionate Coding – Medium

I updated “Compassion is not coddling. Design for real life.”, “Design is Tested at the Edges: Intersectionality, The Social Model of Disability, and Design for Real Life”, “Neurodiversity in the SpEd Classroom”, and “Classroom UX: Bring Your Own Comfort, Bring Your Own Device, Design Your Own Context” with a selection from “From Hostility to Community – Teachers Going Gradeless”.

An education that is designed to the edges and takes into account the jagged learning profile of all students can help unlock the potential in every child.

Source: From Hostility to Community – Teachers Going Gradeless

I updated “Compassion is not coddling. Design for real life.” with a selection from “Dear Developer, The Web Isn’t About You | sonniesedge.co.uk”.

“Edge case” is, to be frank, a phrase that should be banned from all developer conversations (and then tattooed onto the forehead of anyone who continues to use it).

When we say “Edge Case” we mean “Stress Case”. In their book, Design for Real Life, Eric Meyer & Sara Wachter-Boettcher point out that what we glibly call an “edge case” is normally an enormously stressful event for a user.

It often accompanies high emotions, stress, physical problems, financial problems, etc. When we discount and dismiss the “edge case”, we’re actually saying “I don’t care about that particular user’s stressful situation”.

Source: Dear Developer, The Web Isn’t About You | sonniesedge.co.uk

I also dropped in these lines.

Without the social model and intersectionality, we’re just bikeshedding injustice. There is no path to inclusive design that does not involve direct confrontation with injustice. “If a direct confrontation of injustice is missing from our strategies or initiatives or movements, that means we are recreating the conditions we’re pretending to want to destroy.

I’ll further explore the common ground between the social model, intersectionality, and design for real life in a later update, or perhaps a new post.

I updated the compassion and edge cases section of “I’m Autistic. Here’s what I’d like you to know.” with selections from “The Intersectional Presidency – Tressie McMillan Cottom – Medium” and “Black Cyberfeminism: Intersectionality, Institutions and Digital Sociology by Tressie McMillan Cottom :: SSRN“.

By focusing on the parts of the system that are most complex and where the people living it are the most vulnerable we understand the system best.

Source: The Intersectional Presidency – Tressie McMillan Cottom – Medium

No one knows best the motion of the ocean than the fish that must fight the current to swim upstream.

Source: Black Cyberfeminism: Intersectionality, Institutions and Digital Sociology by Tressie McMillan Cottom :: SSRN

And that, increasingly, is the dividing line in modern workplaces: trust versus the lack of it; autonomy versus micro-management; being treated like a human being or programmed like a machine. Human jobs give the people who do them chances to exercise their own judgment, even if it’s only deciding what radio station to have on in the background, or set their own pace. Machine jobs offer at best a petty, box-ticking mentality with no scope for individual discretion, and at worst the ever-present threat of being tracked, timed and stalked by technology – a practice reaching its nadir among gig economy platforms controlling a resentful army of supposedly self-employed workers.

There have always been crummy jobs, and badly paid ones. Not everyone gets to follow their dream or discover a vocation – and for some people, work will only ever be a means of paying the rent. But the saving grace of crummy jobs was often that there was at least some leeway for goofing around; for taking a fag break, gossiping with your equally bored workmates, or chatting a bit longer than necessary to lonely customers.

The mark of human jobs is an increasing understanding that you don’t have to know where your employees are and what they’re doing every second of the day to ensure they do it; that people can be just as productive, say, working from home, or switching their hours around so that they are working in the evening. Machine jobs offer all the insecurity of working for yourself without any of the freedom.

The debate about whether robots will soon be coming for everyone’s jobs is real. But it shouldn’t blind us to the risk right under our noses: not so much of people being automated out of jobs, as automated while still in them.

Source: We fear robots at work, but robotic jobs for humans are awful too | Gaby Hinsliff | Opinion | The Guardian

…he divides his colleagues into three different types:

1 Compassionate
2 Dispassionate
3 Compassionate

The first group suffer burnout, he said. The second group survive but are “lousy”. It’s the third group that cope, as they “care for patients without sacrificing themselves on the altar of professional vocation”.
What we need to be focusing on in education is preparing young people to be compassionate human beings, not cogs in the capitalist machine.

Source: The spectrum of work autonomy | Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel