Friday Five for August 12, 2022

Following is a list of things BruinTechs should know and share with others:


1. Call for feedback: BruinTech By-Laws Article IX Amendments 

The BruinTech Executive Board is proposing updates to the Duties section of the BruinTech By-Laws Article III Executive Board. The proposed revisions modernize the roles and clarify the duties of elected board members, as well as encourage valuable skill development.


In accordance with BruinTech By-Laws Article IX Amendments, “The details of the proposed amendments or actions must be published to the membership at large not less than thirty (30) days prior to the time at which the vote will be taken.” We encourage you to review the proposed updated roles and duties(current roles and duties for reference) by Wednesday, August 17, 2022.


To submit comments or questions, please email bruintech@ucla.edu.


2. Book recommendation: The Promise of Access: Technology, Inequality, and the Political Economy of Hope

Why simple technological solutions to complex social issues continue to appeal to politicians and professionals who should (and often do) know better. Why do we keep trying to solve poverty with technology? What makes us feel that we need to learn to code—or else? In The Promise of Access, Daniel Greene argues that the problem of poverty became a problem of technology in order to manage the contradictions of a changing economy. Greene shows how the digital divide emerged as a policy problem and why simple technological solutions to complex social issues continue to appeal to politicians and professionals who should (and often do) know better. Greene shows why it is so hard to get rid of the idea—which he terms the access doctrine —that the problem of poverty can be solved with the right tools and the right skills. This way of thinking is so ingrained that it is adopted by organizations that fight poverty—which often refashion themselves to resemble technology startups. Drawing on years of fieldwork, Greene explores how this plays out in the real world, examining organizational change in technology startups, public libraries, and a charter school in Washington, DC. He finds that as the libraries and schools pursue technological solutions, they win praise and funding but also marginalize and alienate the populations they serve. Greene calls for new political alliances that can change the terms on which we understand technology and fight poverty. Read it online through the UCLA Library.


3. UC Tech Conference Starts Next Week

C Tech, our largest community gathering of the year, is coming up next week. I, along with the Chief Information Officers (CIOs) from across the system, look forward to welcoming you to San Diego and online. For me, like for many of you, UC Tech is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about each other and to collectively set the stage for the year ahead. The year’s incredible UC Tech Conference steering committee has created several program tracks that are sure to inspire and invigorate you all. Continue reading.


4. New responsible data sharing technique will enable better understanding of disease-causing genetic variants

Scientists may better understand and test for the genetic variations that cause cancer and other heritable diseases through the application of a novel strategy for securely sharing and analyzing genomic data developed at the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute.

Understanding the clinical significance of rare genetic variants requires analyzing large amounts of genomic and clinical data. Privacy policies, however, restrict the sharing of this information between institutions, and no single institution is likely to have all the resources needed for a robust analysis.Continue reading.


5. ‘Stop trying to be TikTok’: how video-centric Instagram sparked a revolt

If you’re going to change a social media platform synonymous with celebrity culture, make sure the Kardashian-Jenners are onboard first.

Instagram was forced into a partial retreat last week as influencer royalty joined a user rebellion against the app, driven by complaints that it had become too video-centric and was pushing content from accounts that people did not follow. Continue reading.