“‘Our Digital Rights to the City’ is a small collection of articles about digital technology, data and the city. It covers a range of topics relating to the political and economic power of technologies that are now almost inescapable within the urban environment. This includes discussions surrounding security, mapping, real estate, smartphone applications and the broader idea of a ‘right to the city’ in a post-digital world.”
Should we feed all the data for a given problem to a computer? Why not? Because the machine only uses data based on questions that can be answered with a yes or a no. And the computer itself only responds with a yes or a no. Moreover, can anyone claim that all the data have been assembled? Who is going to legitimate this use of totality? Who is going to demonstrate that the “language of the city”, to the extent that it is a language, coincides with ALGOL, Syntol, or FORTRAN, the languages of machines, and that this translation is not a betrayal? Doesn’t the machine risk becoming an instrument in the hands of pressure groups and politicians? Isn’t it already a weapon for those in power and those who serve them?
-Henri Lefebvre in the Urban Revolution (1970)