Technology IS Politics
It’s not possible for technologists to avoid politics because technology is politics:
- You’re writing an instant messaging app that can more easily share information with law enforcement agencies, or one designed to make that impossible. Either of those alter how governments interacts with their citizens.
- You made a ride-sharing app. It’s now easy for drivers to sign up and start making money, at the expense of existing taxi drivers. Your app alters the workforce.
- Your website does a better job of calculating its users’ income taxes and giving them bigger refunds. It shifts the flow of money through the economy.
None of those are inherently bad, but they do cause changes in the lives and finances of their users. After all, if they didn’t affect people we wouldn’t be doing them.
Technology is politics. It’s logically inconsistent and meaningless to tell an engineer that they’re “too political” or that they should “stick to tech”.