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This is an excerpt from Ruined by Design, a book about design ethics and activism. You can find out more about it here.

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In 1944, the CIA (or technically, the OSS, its precursor) published one of the greatest design manuals of all time, and by far my personal favorite. The Simple Sabotage Field Manual was clandestinely, and I hope very carefully, distributed to people living in Axis or Axis-controlled countries who sided with the Allied cause, including our good friends and role models in the French Resistance. It was declassified in 2008. The manual is filled with dozens of little tips and tricks about how you can sabotage your workplace in ways that won’t be too obvious. …


Dear Designer

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Illustration: Eugenia Mello

On March 14, 2018, millions of students across the United States, across all grades, walked out of their classrooms for the March For Our Lives. This was specifically in response to the Parkland High School massacre, where 17 kids were murdered, but also generally about the country’s inability to address gun control. (In 2019, 776 teens and 209 children were murdered by guns in the U.S.) Kids were marching to solve a problem adults had failed to address.

On September 20, 2019, three days before the United Nations Climate Summit, roughly six million people, in over 4,500 locations in 150 countries, participated in the Global Climate Strike. This was the third global strike of the school strike for climate movement. …


Dear Designer

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Illustration: Eugenia Mello

Welcome back, gentlemen. Last year’s guide to white men in tech was one of the most popular articles on this platform, so I’m excited about this year’s. We assume the popularity was for several reasons: The title had a number in it, it was addressed to white men, it was written by a white man, and it was about tech. That’s a Medium grand slam!

(I’m kidding. There was no guide last year. Roll with it.)

Look, I’m walking a tightrope here, kids. First of all, let’s acknowledge, as white men, the privilege we have in society in general and in tech specifically. Then let’s acknowledge that you get that privilege whether you want it or not. You can be super conscious of your privileged place in the world, you can disavow it, you can attempt to cast it off, you can rail against it. …

About

Mike Monteiro

English is my second language. You were my first.

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