We Pythonistas welcome newcomers with the wisdom of Tim Peter's "import this". The Zen of Python gives us general aphorisms on how to write Python and how to be a good Pythonista by offering loose guidelines that promotes discussion. What lessons can it teach us about Data Ethics? As data practitioners Now is Better than Never to define what our community will and won't do as it comes to data.
We Pythonistas welcome newcomers with the wisdom of Tim Peter's "import this". Okay, well maybe. The Zen of Python provides us as a community general aphorisms on how to write Python and how to be a good Pythonista by offering loose guidelines that promotes discussion. What lessons, then, can the Zen of Python teach us about Data Ethics?
Data ethics is a nebulous concept, a necessity in the era of algorithms and the data economy. Together we'll review some stories from the headlines about the data economy where there were ethical concerns and apply the Zen of Python. Starting with the impact of social media likes on political campaigns to censorship on social media in the #MeToo movement, we'll use big challenges to highlight obvious and not so obvious lessons.
Ultimately the Zen of Python teaches us that 'Now is Better than Never' and we must ask as data practitioners - what principles will we develop and champion to respond to ethical dilemmas?
Political scientist turned coder, Lorena Mesa is a software engineer on Sprout Social’s data science team, Director on the Python Software Foundation, and PyLadies Chicago co-organizer. Lorena's time at Obama for America and her subsequent graduate research required her to learn how to transform messy, incomplete data into intelligible analysis on topics like predicting Latinx voter behavior. It's this unique background in research and applied mathematics that drove Lorena to pursue a career in engineering and data science. One part activist, one part Star Wars fanatic, and another part Trekkie, Lorena abides by the motto to "live long and prosper".