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With its infamously packed cars and disciplined commuters, Tokyo's commuter train network is one of the most complex technical infrastructures on Earth. In An Anthropology of the Machine, Michael Fisch provides a nuanced perspective on how Tokyo's commuter train network embodies the lived realities of technology in our modern world. Drawing on his fine-grained knowledge of transportation, work, and everyday life in Tokyo, Fisch shows how fitting into a system that operates on the extreme edge of sustainability can take a physical and emotional toll on a community while also creating a collective way of life--one with unique limitations and possibilities. An Anthropology of the Machine is a creative ethnographic study of the culture, history, and experience of commuting in Tokyo. At the same time, it is a theoretically ambitious attempt to think through our very relationship with technology and our possible ecological futures. Fisch provides an unblinking glimpse into what it might be like to inhabit a future in which more and more of our infrastructure--and the planet itself--will have to operate beyond capacity to accommodate our ever-growing population.
Combining postmodernism with technoscience, this work considers the viability of public works such as the superconducting supercollider in a postmodern age. Contending that technoscientific projects are contingent upon economic and political support, and not simply upon their scientific feasibility, Sassower illuminates the cultural context of postmodernism vis-a-vis an examination of postmodernism and the philosophy of late 20th-century technoscience. Drawing upon conflicts between Popperians, postmodernists and feminists, Sassower claims that "translation" between competing discourses about technoscience is necessary to avoid cultural collisions and foster fruitful exchange between divergent discourses; also that a discussion of reality, both natural and social, is the common ground for this debate. He emphasizes also the material, political and economic conditions which underlie technoscientific projects, and stresses the indespensible role imagination and art play in teaching the responsible development of technology in the next century.
Cities are a big deal. More people now live in them than don't, and with a growing world population, the urban jungle is only going to get busier in the coming decades. But how often do we stop to think about what makes our cities work? Cities are built using some of the most creative and revolutionary science and engineering ideas - from steel structures that scrape the sky to glass cables that help us communicate at the speed of light - but most of us are too busy to notice. Science and the City is your guidebook to that hidden world, helping you to uncover some of the remarkable technologies that keep the world's great metropolises moving. Laurie Winkless takes us around cities in six continents to find out how they're dealing with the challenges of feeding, housing, powering and connecting more people than ever before. In this book, you'll meet urban pioneers from history, along with today's experts in everything from roads to time, and you will uncover the vital role science has played in shaping the city around you. But more than that, by exploring cutting-edge research from labs across the world, you'll build your own vision of the megacity of tomorrow, based on science fact rather than science fiction. Science and the City is the perfect read for anyone curious about the world they live in.
Computer software and its structures, devices and processes are woven into our everyday life. Their significance is not just technical: the algorithms, programming languages, abstractions and metadata that millions of people rely on every day have far-reaching implications for the way we understand the underlying dynamics of contemporary societies. In this innovative new book, software studies theorist Matthew Fuller examines how the introduction and expansion of computational systems into areas ranging from urban planning and state surveillance to games and voting systems are transforming our understanding of politics, culture and aesthetics in the twenty-first century. Combining historical insight and a deep understanding of the technology powering modern software systems with a powerful critical perspective, this book opens up new ways of understanding the fundamental infrastructures of contemporary life, economies, entertainment and warfare. In so doing Fuller shows that everyone must learn `how to be a geek', as the seemingly opaque processes and structures of modern computer and software technology have a significance that no-one can afford to ignore. This powerful and engaging book will be of interest to everyone interested in a critical understanding of the political and cultural ramifications of digital media and computing in the modern world.
Scholars across the humanities, social sciences, and information sciences are grappling with how best to study virtual environments, use computational tools in their research, and engage audiences with their results. Classic work in science and technology studies (STS) has played a central role in how these fields analyze digital technologies, but many of its key examples do not speak to today (TM)s computational realities. This groundbreaking collection brings together a world-class group of contributors to refresh the canon for contemporary digital scholarship. In twenty-five pioneering and incisive essays, this unique digital field guide offers innovative new approaches to digital scholarship, the design of digital tools and objects, and the deployment of critically grounded technologies for analysis and discovery. Contributors cover a broad range of topics, including software development, hackathons, digitized objects, diversity in the tech sector, and distributed scientific collaborations. They discuss methodological considerations of social networks and data analysis, design projects that can translate STS concepts into durable scientific work, and much more. Featuring a concise introduction by Janet Vertesi and David Ribes and accompanied by an interactive microsite, this book provides new perspectives on digital scholarship that will shape the agenda for tomorrow (TM)s generation of STS researchers and practitioners.
This undergraduate textbook provides an introduction to the apparently incompatible subjects of religion and science. Part One of the book consists of four chapters covering the nature of god as revealed by scientific miracles, such as the Big Bang, the origin of life, consciousness, and the development of ethics. The author takes purely scientific discoveries and shows how they can be used to hypothesize about God. The second part of the book considers the historical relationship between science and Christian theology, then goes on to look at the historical development of areas of Christian thought that have created division between science and religious faith. The example of Christian theology is a basis for the same analysis to take place with other religions. The final chapters examine how any given religion can achieve a synthesis between religious faith and scientific understanding.
Investigations of what increasing digital connectivity and the digitalization of the economy mean for people and places at the world's economic margins. Within the last decade, more than one billion people became new Internet users. Once, digital connectivity was confined to economically prosperous parts of the world; now Internet users make up a majority of the world's population. In this book, contributors from a range of disciplines and locations investigate the impact of increased digital connectivity on people and places at the world's economic margins. Does the advent of a digitalized economy mean that those in economic peripheries can transcend spatial, organizational, social, and political constraints-or do digital tools and techniques tend to reinforce existing inequalities? The contributors present a diverse set of case studies, reporting on digitalization in countries ranging from Chile to Kenya to the Philippines, and develop a broad range of theoretical positions. They consider, among other things, data-driven disintermediation, women's economic empowerment and gendered power relations, digital humanitarianism and philanthropic capitalism, the spread of innovation hubs, and two cases of the reversal of core and periphery in digital innovation. Contributors Niels Beerepoot, Ryan Burns, Jenna Burrell, Julie Yujie Chen, Peter Dannenberg, Uwe Deichmann, Jonathan Donner, Christopher Foster, Mark Graham, Nicolas Friederici, Hernan Galperin, Catrihel Greppi, Anita Gurumurthy, Isis Hjorth, Lilly Irani, Molly Jackman, Calestous Juma, Dorothea Kleine, Madlen Krone, Vili Lehdonvirta, Chris Locke, Silvia Masiero, Hannah McCarrick,Deepak K. Mishra, Bitange Ndemo, Jorien Oprins, Elisa Oreglia, Stefan Ouma, Robert Pepper, Jack Linchuan Qiu, Julian Stenmanns, Tim Unwin, Julia Verne, Timothy Waema
An examination of the uses of data within a changing knowledge infrastructure, offering analysis and case studies from the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. "Big Data" is on the covers of Science, Nature, the Economist, and Wired magazines, on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. But despite the media hyperbole, as Christine Borgman points out in this examination of data and scholarly research, having the right data is usually better than having more data; little data can be just as valuable as big data. In many cases, there are no data-because relevant data don't exist, cannot be found, or are not available. Moreover, data sharing is difficult, incentives to do so are minimal, and data practices vary widely across disciplines. Borgman, an often-cited authority on scholarly communication, argues that data have no value or meaning in isolation; they exist within a knowledge infrastructure-an ecology of people, practices, technologies, institutions, material objects, and relationships. After laying out the premises of her investigation-six "provocations" meant to inspire discussion about the uses of data in scholarship-Borgman offers case studies of data practices in the sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities, and then considers the implications of her findings for scholarly practice and research policy. To manage and exploit data over the long term, Borgman argues, requires massive investment in knowledge infrastructures; at stake is the future of scholarship.
Science councils have been tasked with complex new mandates, to achieve these they have to interact with knowledge users in the private and public sectors and be of benefit to communities, particularly to those that are vulnerable and marginalised. What are the diverse forms of interaction in science councils with distinct legacies, what are the diverse forms of partners and what are their outcomes? What are some of the successful strategic policy interventions, organisational structures and internal incentive mechanisms that science councils have created to channel and promote these interactions? Questions such as these are addressed in this timely and groundbreaking research as it investigates how scientists interact with actors in the informal sector, social development and community spaces, alongside their role in technology development for industry and government actors. Balancing multiple mandates: The changing role of science councils in South Africa is an important study - building an evidence base to inform the contribution of science councils to innovation, poverty reduction and inclusive economic development in South Africa.
On May 28, 2007, the Creation Museum opened in Petersburg, Kentucky. Aimed at scientifically demonstrating that the universe was created less than ten thousand years ago by a Judeo-Christian god, the museum is hugely popular, attracting millions of visitors over the past eight years. Surrounded by themed topiary gardens and a petting zoo with camel rides, the site conjures up images of a religious Disneyland. Inside, visitors are met by dinosaurs at every turn and by a replica of the Garden of Eden that features the Tree of Life, the serpent, and Adam and Eve. In Righting America at the Creation Museum, Susan L. Trollinger and William Vance Trollinger, Jr., take readers on a fascinating tour of the museum. The Trollingers vividly describe and analyze its vast array of exhibits, placards, dioramas, and videos, from the Culture in Crisis Room, where videos depict sinful characters watching pornography or considering abortion, to the Natural Selection Room, where placards argue that natural selection doesn't lead to evolution. The book also traces the rise of creationism and the history of fundamentalism in America. This compelling book reveals that the Creation Museum is a remarkably complex phenomenon, at once a "natural history" museum at odds with contemporary science, an extended brief for the Bible as the literally true and errorless word of God, and a powerful and unflinching argument on behalf of the Christian right.
"Is Google making us stupid?" When Nicholas Carr posed that question, in a celebrated Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net's bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now, Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the Internet's intellectual and cultural consequences yet published. As he describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by "tools of the mind"-from the alphabet to maps, to the printing press, the clock, and the computer-Carr interweaves a fascinating account of recent discoveries in neuroscience by such pioneers as Michael Merzenich and Eric Kandel. Our brains, the historical and scientific evidence reveals, change in response to our experiences. The technologies we use to find, store, and share information can literally reroute our neural pathways. Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan, Carr makes a convincing case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic-a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption-and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection. Part intellectual history, part popular science, and part cultural criticism, The Shallows sparkles with memorable vignettes-Friedrich Nietzsche wrestling with a typewriter, Sigmund Freud dissecting the brains of sea creatures, Nathaniel Hawthorne contemplating the thunderous approach of a steam locomotive-even as it plumbs profound questions about the state of our modern psyche. This is a book that will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds.
How humans and technology evolve together in a creative partnership. In this book, Edward Ashford Lee makes a bold claim: that the creators of digital technology have an unsurpassed medium for creativity. Technology has advanced to the point where progress seems limited not by physical constraints but the human imagination. Writing for both literate technologists and numerate humanists, Lee makes a case for engineering-creating technology-as a deeply intellectual and fundamentally creative process. Explaining why digital technology has been so transformative and so liberating, Lee argues that the real power of technology stems from its partnership with humans. Lee explores the ways that engineers use models and abstraction to build inventive artificial worlds and to give us things that we never dreamed of-for example, the ability to carry in our pockets everything humans have ever published. But he also attempts to counter the runaway enthusiasm of some technology boosters who claim everything in the physical world is a computation-that even such complex phenomena as human cognition are software operating on digital data. Lee argues that the evidence for this is weak, and the likelihood that nature has limited itself to processes that conform to today's notion of digital computation is remote. Lee goes on to argue that artificial intelligence's goal of reproducing human cognitive functions in computers vastly underestimates the potential of computers. In his view, technology is coevolving with humans. It augments our cognitive and physical capabilities while we nurture, develop, and propagate the technology itself. Complementarity is more likely than competition.
In the midst of spiraling ecological devastation, multispecies feminist theorist Donna J. Haraway offers provocative new ways to reconfigure our relations to the earth and all its inhabitants. She eschews referring to our current epoch as the Anthropocene, preferring to conceptualize it as what she calls the Chthulucene, as it more aptly and fully describes our epoch as one in which the human and nonhuman are inextricably linked in tentacular practices. The Chthulucene, Haraway explains, requires sym-poiesis, or making-with, rather than auto-poiesis, or self-making. Learning to stay with the trouble of living and dying together on a damaged earth will prove more conducive to the kind of thinking that would provide the means to building more livable futures. Theoretically and methodologically driven by the signifier SF-string figures, science fact, science fiction, speculative feminism, speculative fabulation, so far-Staying with the Trouble further cements Haraway's reputation as one of the most daring and original thinkers of our time.
Napalm was invented on Valentine's Day 1942 at a secret Harvard war research laboratory. It created an inferno that killed over 87,500 people in Tokyo-more than died in the atomic explosions at Hiroshima or Nagasaki-and went on to incinerate 64 Japanese cities. The Bomb got the press, but napalm did the work. Neer offers the first history.
"Studies in the Eighteenth Century Background of Hume's Empiricism "was first published in 1930. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
A scholarly review of the influence of contemporary science and thought on the various phases of Hume's philosophy. The chapter headings are as follows: I. Introduction. II. Interpretations of Newtonian Science in the Eighteenth Century. III. Reverberations of the New Science in Philosophy. IV. Hume's Empiricism in Relation to Contemporary Science and Philosophy. V. Empiricism in Morals. VI. Empiricism in Politics. VII. Hume's Historical Writing. Bibliography.
The life and work of the outstanding Catalan-Majorcan philosopher, logician, and mystic Ramon Llull continues to fascinate thinkers, artists, and scholars worldwideIn this book, international experts from Europe and the United States address Lullism as a remarkable and distinctive method of thinking and experimenting. The origins and impact of Ramon Llull's oeuvre as a modern thinker are presented, and their interdisciplinary and intercultural implications, which continue to this day, are explored. Ars combinatoria, generative and permutative generation of texts, the epistemic and poetic power of algorithmic systems, plus the principle of unconditional dialogue between cultural groups and their individual members, are the most important coordinates of this combinatorial-dialogical media and communication theory, which appeared very early in the history of science, technology, and art. It was developed in the work of Ramon Llull during the transition from the thirteenth to the fourteenth century when Arab-Islamic, Jewish, and Christian cultures intersected. The legacy of Lullism lives on in poetry and in the visual and electronic-based arts, as well as in research on the history of informatics, formal logic, and media archaeology. The primary idea of Llull's teachings-to enable rational and therefore trustworthy dialogue between cultures and religions through a universally valid system of symbols-is today still topical and of great relevance, especially in the tensions prevailing in globalized spaces of possibility.Contributors: Miquel Bassols, Florian Cramer, Salvador Dali, Fernando Dominguez Reboiras, Diane Doucet-Rosenstein, Jordi Gaya, Jonathan Gray, Daniel Irrgang, David Link, Sebastian Moro Tornese, Josep E. Rubio, Henning Schmidgen, Wilhelm Schmidt-Biggemann, Gianni Vattimo, Janet Zweig.
Political revolutions, economic meltdowns, mass ideological conversions and collective innovation adoptions occur often, but when they do happen, they tend to be the least expected. Based on the paradigm of 'leading from the periphery', this groundbreaking analysis offers an explanation for such spontaneity and apparent lack of leadership in contentious collective action. Contrary to existing theories, the author argues that network effects in collective action originating from marginal leaders can benefit from a total lack of communication. Such network effects persist in isolated islands of contention instead of overarching action cascades, and are shown to escalate in globally dispersed, but locally concentrated networks of contention. This is a trait that can empower marginal leaders and set forth social dynamics distinct from those originating in the limelight. Leading from the Periphery and Network Collective Action provides evidence from two Middle Eastern uprisings, as well as behavioral experiments of collective risk-taking in social networks.
An examination of environmental satellite data sharing policies, offering a model of data-sharing policy development, case and practical recommendations for increasing global data sharing. Key to understanding and addressing climate change is continuous and precise monitoring of environmental conditions. Satellites play an important role in collecting climate data, offering comprehensive global coverage that can't be matched by in situ observation. And yet, as Mariel Borowitz shows in this book, much satellite data is not freely available but restricted; this remains true despite the data-sharing advocacy of international organizations and a global open data movement. Borowitz examines policies governing the sharing of environmental satellite data, offering a model of data-sharing policy development and applying it in case studies from the United States, Europe, and Japan-countries responsible for nearly half of the unclassified government Earth observation satellites. Borowitz develops a model that centers on the government agency as the primary actor while taking into account the roles of such outside actors as other government officials and non-governmental actors, as well as the economic, security, and normative attributes of the data itself. The case studies include the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), and the United States Geological Survey (USGS); the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT); and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA). Finally, she considers the policy implications of her findings for the future and provides recommendations on how to increase global sharing of satellite data.
This new collection of essays follows in the footsteps of the successful volume Thinking Ahead - Essays on Big Data, Digital Revolution, and Participatory Market Society, published at a time when our societies were on a path to technological totalitarianism, as exemplified by mass surveillance reported by Edward Snowden and others. Meanwhile the threats have diversified and tech companies have gathered enough data to create detailed profiles about almost everyone living in the modern world - profiles that can predict our behavior better than our friends, families, or even partners. This is not only used to manipulate peoples' opinions and voting behaviors, but more generally to influence consumer behavior at all levels. It is becoming increasingly clear that we are rapidly heading towards a cybernetic society, in which algorithms and social bots aim to control both the societal dynamics and individual behaviors.
The free and open source software movement, from its origins in hacker culture, through the development of GNU and Linux, to its commercial use today. In the 1980s, there was a revolution with far-reaching consequences-a revolution to restore software freedom. In the early 1980s, after decades of making source code available with programs, most programmers ceased sharing code freely. A band of revolutionaries, self-described "hackers," challenged this new norm by building operating systems with source code that could be freely shared. In For Fun and Profit, Christopher Tozzi offers an account of the free and open source software (FOSS) revolution, from its origins as an obscure, marginal effort by a small group of programmers to the widespread commercial use of open source software today. Tozzi explains FOSS's historical trajectory, shaped by eccentric personalities-including Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds-and driven both by ideology and pragmatism, by fun and profit. Tozzi examines hacker culture and its influence on the Unix operating system, the reaction to Unix's commercialization, and the history of early Linux development. He describes the commercial boom that followed, when companies invested billions of dollars in products using FOSS operating systems; the subsequent tensions within the FOSS movement; and the battles with closed source software companies (especially Microsoft) that saw FOSS as a threat. Finally, Tozzi describes FOSS's current dominance in embedded computing, mobile devices, and the cloud, as well as its cultural and intellectual influence.
Weighing in from the cutting-edge frontiers of science, today's most forward-thinking minds explore the rise of "machines that think." Stephen Hawking recently made headlines by noting, "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race." Others, conversely, have trumpeted a new age of "superintelligence" in which smart devices will exponentially extend human capacities. No longer just a matter of science-fiction fantasy (2001, Blade Runner, The Terminator, Her, etc.), it is time to seriously consider the reality of intelligent technology, many forms of which are already being integrated into our daily lives. In that spirit, John Brockman, publisher of Edge. org ("the world's smartest website" - The Guardian), asked the world's most influential scientists, philosophers, and artists one of today's most consequential questions: What do you think about machines that think?
The last century has seen enormous leaps in the development of digital technologies, and most aspects of modern life have changed significantly with their widespread availability and use. Technology at various scales - supercomputers, corporate networks, desktop and laptop computers, the internet, tablets, mobile phones, and processors that are hidden in everyday devices and are so small you can barely see them with the naked eye - all pervade our world in a major way. Computers and Society: Modern Perspectives is a wide-ranging and comprehensive textbook that critically assesses the global technical achievements in digital technologies and how are they are applied in media; education and learning; medicine and health; free speech, democracy, and government; and war and peace. Ronald M. Baecker reviews critical ethical issues raised by computers, such as digital inclusion, security, safety, privacy,automation, and work, and discusses social, political, and ethical controversies and choices now faced by society. Particular attention is paid to new and exciting developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning, and the issues that have arisen from our complex relationship with AI.
Why our brains aren't built for media multitasking, and how we can learn to live with technology in a more balanced way. "Brilliant and practical, just what we need in these techno-human times."-Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise Heart Most of us will freely admit that we are obsessed with our devices. We pride ourselves on our ability to multitask-read work email, reply to a text, check Facebook, watch a video clip. Talk on the phone, send a text, drive a car. Enjoy family dinner with a glowing smartphone next to our plates. We can do it all, 24/7! Never mind the errors in the email, the near-miss on the road, and the unheard conversation at the table. In The Distracted Mind, Adam Gazzaley and Larry Rosen-a neuroscientist and a psychologist-explain why our brains aren't built for multitasking, and suggest better ways to live in a high-tech world without giving up our modern technology. The authors explain that our brains are limited in their ability to pay attention. We don't really multitask but rather switch rapidly between tasks. Distractions and interruptions, often technology-related-referred to by the authors as "interference"-collide with our goal-setting abilities. We want to finish this paper/spreadsheet/sentence, but our phone signals an incoming message and we drop everything. Even without an alert, we decide that we "must" check in on social media immediately. Gazzaley and Rosen offer practical strategies, backed by science, to fight distraction. We can change our brains with meditation, video games, and physical exercise; we can change our behavior by planning our accessibility and recognizing our anxiety about being out of touch even briefly. They don't suggest that we give up our devices, but that we use them in a more balanced way.
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