“Please keep politics out of your talk.” – The future is like pie.

There is so much to like in this post by Lisa Maria Martin about keeping politics out of talks.

I love the careful definition of political versus partisan:

First, let’s get one definitional issue out of the way. Sometimes when people hear the term “political,” they understand it as “partisan.” To be political is to acknowledge the lived experiences of people outside of yourself. To be partisan is to advocate for the beliefs or propaganda of a specific party affiliation.

And also her point that the impact of our technology is never neutral:

“Please keep politics out of your talks” takes neutrality as a baseline. It relies on the premise that our viewpoints exist in frictionless purity, and we simply need to keep them there to communicate them appropriately. But this is a myth; there is no such thing as neutrality.

And again:

Our choices are always guided by something—laws, morals, values, rules. And because that something is not neutral, our choices cannot be either. And what is design, if not a series of choices? Our web work, no matter how insignificant we may think it, is inherently political, and to pretend otherwise is willful ignorance.

I am not saying every talk needs to be about the political ramifications of your work. Just don’t pretend those ramifications aren’t there. Recognize that your choices draw boundaries.

Viewing the broader context of what we build is something I’ve been thinking a lot about as of late (while reading some great books on the topic). We need more discussion like this.