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Originally published in 1971. Discoveries in modern biology can radically change human life as we know it. As our understanding of living processes, such as inheritance, grows, so do the possibilities of applying these results for good and evil, such as the treatment of disease, the control of ageing, behaviour and genetic engineering. These discoveries and their implications are discussed by some of the world's leading biologists.
An examination of software practice in Brazil that reveals both the globalization and the localization of software development. Software development would seem to be a quintessential example of today's Internet-enabled "knowledge work"-a global profession not bound by the constraints of geography. In Coding Places, Yuri Takhteyev looks at the work of software developers who inhabit two contexts: a geographical area-in this case, greater Rio de Janeiro-and a "world of practice," a global system of activities linked by shared meanings and joint practice. The work of the Brazilian developers, Takhteyev discovers, reveals a paradox of the world of software: it is both diffuse and sharply centralized. The world of software revolves around a handful of places-in particular, the San Francisco Bay area-that exercise substantial control over both the material and cultural elements of software production. Takhteyev shows how in this context Brazilian software developers work to find their place in the world of software and to bring its benefits to their city. Takhteyev's study closely examines Lua, an open source programming language developed in Rio but used in such internationally popular products as World of Warcraft and Angry Birds. He shows that Lua had to be separated from its local origins on the periphery in order to achieve success abroad. The developers, Portuguese speakers, used English in much of their work on Lua. By bringing to light the work that peripheral practitioners must do to give software its seeming universality, Takhteyev offers a revealing perspective on the not-so-flat world of globalization.
Human embryo research touches upon strongly felt moral convictions, and it raises such deep questions about the promise and perils of scientific progress that debate over its development has become a moral and political imperative. From in vitro fertilization to embryonic stem cell research, cloning, and gene editing, Americans have repeatedly struggled with how to define the moral status of the human embryo, whether to limit its experimental uses, and how to contend with sharply divided public moral perspectives on governing science. Experiments in Democracy presents a history of American debates over human embryo research from the late 1960s to the present, exploring their crucial role in shaping norms, practices, and institutions of deliberation governing the ethical challenges of modern bioscience. J. Benjamin Hurlbut details how scientists, bioethicists, policymakers, and other public figures have attempted to answer a question of great consequence: how should the public reason about aspects of science and technology that effect fundamental dimensions of human life? Through a study of one of the most significant science policy controversies in the history of the United States, Experiments in Democracy paints a portrait of the complex relationship between science and democracy, and of U.S. society's evolving approaches to evaluating and governing science's most challenging breakthroughs.
Historical and Philosophical Perspectives of Science was first published in 1970. 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.The series of essays published in this book, which is Volume V of the Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, are (with the exception of two essays) based on papers presented or discussed at a conference devoted to exploring the relationships between the history and the philosophy of science, held at the University of Minnesota in the fall of 1969. In a forward Peter Caws notes that the conference grew out of the deliberations of subcommittee of the U.S. National Committee for the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science.The contributors are Herbert Feigl, Ernan McMullin, Wesley C. Salmon, Peter Archinstein, Arnold Thackray, Mary Hesse, Edward Rosen, Paul K. Feyerabend, Erwin N. Hiebert, Gerd Buchdahl, Roger H. Stuewer, Howard Stein, and Kenneth F. Schaffner. Some of the papers draw philosophical conclusions from examples in the history of science; others point out the significance of philosophical insights for a study of the history of science; still others explore special aspects of the history or philosophy of science.
Has biopolitics actually become thanatopolitics, a field of study obsessed with death? Is there something about the nature of biopolitical thought today that makes it impossible to deploy affirmatively? If this is true, what can life-minded thinkers put forward as the merits of biopolitical reflection? These questions drive "Improper Life," Timothy C. Campbell's dexterous inquiry-as-intervention.
Campbell argues that a "crypto-thanatopolitics" can be teased out of Heidegger's critique of technology and that some of the leading scholars of biopolitics--including Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, and Peter Sloterdijk--have been substantively influenced by Heidegger's thought, particularly his reading of proper and improper writing. In fact, Campbell shows how all of these philosophers have pointed toward a tragic, thanatopolitical destination as somehow an inevitable result of technology. But in "Improper Life" he articulates a corrective biopolitics that can begin with rereadings of Foucault (especially his late work regarding the care and technologies of the self), Freud (notably his writings on the drives and negation), and Gilles Deleuze (particularly in the relation of attention to aesthetics).
Throughout "Improper Life," Campbell insists that biopolitics
can become more positive and productively asserts an affirmative
"technē" not thought through thanatos but rather practiced through
How technologies, from the mechanical to the computational, have transformed artistic performance practices. This ambitious and comprehensive book explores technology's influence on artistic performance practices in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In Entangled, Chris Salter shows that technologies, from the mechanical to the computational-from a "ballet of objects and lights" staged by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in 1917 to contemporary technologically-enabled "responsive environments"-have been entangled with performance across a wide range of disciplines. Salter examines the rich and extensive history of performance experimentation in theater, music, dance, the visual and media arts, architecture, and other fields; explores the political, social, and economic context for the adoption of technological practices in art; and shows that these practices have a set of common histories despite their disciplinary borders. Each chapter in Entangled focuses on a different form: theater scenography, architecture, video and image making, music and sound composition, body-based arts, mechanical and robotic art, and interactive environments constructed for research, festivals, and participatory urban spaces. Salter's exhaustive survey and analysis shows that performance traditions have much to teach other emerging practices-in particular in the burgeoning fields of new media. Students of digital art need to master not only electronics and code but also dramaturgy, lighting, sound, and scenography. Entangled will serve as an invaluable reference for students, researchers, and artists as well as a handbook for future praxis.
Theoretical and practical perspectives from a range of disciplines on the challenges of using digital media in interpretation and representation of cultural heritage. In Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage, experts offer a critical and theoretical appraisal of the uses of digital media by cultural heritage institutions. Previous discussions of cultural heritage and digital technology have left the subject largely unmapped in terms of critical theory; the essays in this volume offer this long-missing perspective on the challenges of using digital media in the research, preservation, management, interpretation, and representation of cultural heritage. The contributors-scholars and practitioners from a range of relevant disciplines-ground theory in practice, considering how digital technology might be used to transform institutional cultures, methods, and relationships with audiences. The contributors examine the relationship between material and digital objects in collections of art and indigenous artifacts; the implications of digital technology for knowledge creation, documentation, and the concept of authority; and the possibilities for "virtual cultural heritage"-the preservation and interpretation of cultural and natural heritage through real-time, immersive, and interactive techniques. The essays in Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage will serve as a resource for professionals, academics, and students in all fields of cultural heritage, including museums, libraries, galleries, archives, and archaeology, as well as those in education and information technology. The range of issues considered and the diverse disciplines and viewpoints represented point to new directions for an emerging field. Contributors Nadia Arbach, Juan Antonio Barcelo, Deidre Brown, Fiona Cameron, Erik Champion, Sarah Cook, Jim Cooley, Bharat Dave, Suhas Deshpande, Bernadette Flynn, Maurizio Forte, Kati Geber, Beryl Graham, Susan Hazan, Sarah Kenderdine, Jose Ripper Kos, Harald Kraemer, Ingrid Mason, Gavan McCarthy, Slavko Milekic, Rodrigo Paraizo, Ross Parry, Scot T. Refsland, Helena Robinson, Angelina Russo, Corey Timpson, Marc Tuters, Peter Walsh, Jerry Watkins, Andrea Witcomb
Drawing upon field studies conducted in 1978, 1980, and 2001 with the Oksapmin, a remote Papua New Guinea group, Geoffrey B. Saxe traces the emergence of new forms of numerical representations and ideas in the social history of the community. In traditional life, the Oksapmin used a counting system that makes use of twenty-seven parts of the body; there is no evidence that the group used arithmetic in prehistory. As practices of economic exchange and schooling have shifted, children and adults unwittingly reproduced and altered the system in order to solve new kinds of numerical and arithmetical problems, a process that has led to new forms of collective representations in the community. While Dr. Saxe s focus is on the Oksapmin, the insights and general framework he provides are useful for understanding shifting representational forms and emerging cognitive functions in any human community. Video and visual supports for the book, the Cultural Development of Mathematical Ideas: Papua New Guinea Studies, which are key to a deeper understanding of this ground-breaking project are available online at http: //www.culturecognition.com
Terrorism, cyberbullying, child pornography, hate speech, cybercrime: along with unprecedented advancements in productivity and engagement, the Internet has ushered in a space for violent, hateful, and antisocial behavior. How do we, as individuals and as a society, protect against dangerous expressions online? Confronting the Internet's Dark Side is the first book on social responsibility on the Internet. It aims to strike a balance between the free speech principle and the responsibilities of the individual, corporation, state, and the international community. This book brings a global perspective to the analysis of some of the most troubling uses of the Internet. It urges net users, ISPs, and liberal democracies to weigh freedom and security, finding the golden mean between unlimited license and moral responsibility. This judgment is necessary to uphold the very liberal democratic values that gave rise to the Internet and that are threatened by an unbridled use of technology.
In 1992, Neil Postman presciently coined the term "technopoly" to refer to "the surrender of culture to technology." This book brings together a number of contributors from different disciplinary perspectives to analyze technopoly both as a concept and as it is seen and understood in contemporary society. Contributors present both analysis of and strategies for managing techno-social conflict, and they also open up a number of fruitful new lines of thought around emerging technological, social, and even psychological forms.
What is ID? Why is it controversial? Intelligent design is surrounded by a storm of debate. Proponents and opponents have both sought to have their voices heard above the din. Is it unscientific? Is it a danger to real Christian faith? Is it trying to smuggle God into the classroom? Controversy can create confusion rather than clarity. So here to clear things up is Bill Dembski, one of the founders of intelligent design, who joins with Jonathan Witt to answer these questions and more. They plainly lay out just what intelligent design is and is not. They answer objections with straight talk that is down to earth. You'll be surprised at how often smart people have misrepresented ID. You might be surprised to see exactly how they respond to what turns out to be misleading arguments. Here is the book to make you intelligent about the whole fuss
When sickness strikes, people around the world pray for healing. Many of the faithful claim that prayer has cured them of blindness, deafness, and metastasized cancers, and some believe they have been resurrected from the dead. Can, and should, science test such claims? A number of scientists say no, concerned that empirical studies of prayer will be misused to advance religious agendas. And some religious practitioners agree with this restraint, worrying that scientific testing could undermine faith. In Candy Gunther Brown's view, science cannot prove prayer's healing power, but what scientists can and should do is study prayer's measurable effects on health. If prayer produces benefits, even indirectly (and findings suggest that it does), then more careful attention to prayer practices could impact global health, particularly in places without access to conventional medicine. Drawing on data from Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians, Brown reverses a number of stereotypes about believers in faith-healing. Among them is the idea that poorer, less educated people are more likely to believe in the healing power of prayer and therefore less likely to see doctors. Brown finds instead that people across socioeconomic backgrounds use prayer alongside conventional medicine rather than as a substitute. Dissecting medical records from before and after prayer, surveys of prayer recipients, prospective clinical trials, and multiyear follow-up observations and interviews, she shows that the widespread perception of prayer's healing power has demonstrable social effects, and that in some cases those effects produce improvements in health that can be scientifically verified.
Strategies or decisions aimed at affecting, in a manner considered to be positive, the genetic heritage of a child in the context of human reproduction are increasingly being accepted in contemporary society. As a result, unnerving similarities between earlier selection ideology so central to the discredited eugenic regimes of the 20th century and those now on offer suggest that a new era of eugenics has dawned. The time is ripe, therefore, for considering and evaluating from an ethical perspective both current and future selection practices. This inter-disciplinary volume blends research from embryology, genetics, philosophy, sociology, psychology, and history. In so doing, it constructs a thorough picture of the procedures emerging from today's reproductive developments, including a rigorous ethical argumentation concerning the possible advantages and risks related to the new eugenics.
In the coming decades robots and artificial intelligence will fundamentally change our world. In doing so they offer the hope of a golden future, one where the elderly are looked after by companion robots, where the disabled can walk, robot security protects us all, remote rural areas have access to the best urban facilities and there is almost limitless prosperity. But there are dangers. There are fears in the labour market that robots will replace jobs, leaving many unemployed, and increase inequality. In relying too much on robots, people may reduce their human contact and see their cognitive abilities decline. There are even concerns, reflected in many science fiction films, that robots may eventually become competitors with humans for survival. This book looks at both the history of robots, in science and in fiction, as well as the science behind robots. Specific chapters analyse the impact of robots on the labour market, people's attitudes to robots, the impact of robots on society, and the appropriate policies to pursue to prepare our world for the robot revolution. Overall the book strikes a cautionary tone. Robots will change our world dramatically and they will also change human beings. These important issues are examined from the perspective of an economist, but the book is intended to appeal to a wider audience in the social sciences and beyond.
Francois Laruelle's lifelong project of "nonphilosophy," or "nonstandard philosophy," thinks past the theoretical limits of Western philosophy to realize new relations between religion, science, politics, and art. In Christo-Fiction Laruelle targets the rigid, self-sustaining arguments of metaphysics, rooted in Judaic and Greek thought, and the radical potential of Christ, whose "crossing" disrupts their circular discourse. Laruelle's Christ is not the authoritative figure conjured by academic theology, the Apostles, or the Catholic Church. He is the embodiment of generic man, founder of a science of humans, and the herald of a gnostic messianism that calls forth an immanent faith. Explicitly inserting quantum science into religion, Laruelle recasts the temporality of the cross, the entombment, and the resurrection, arguing that it is God who is sacrificed on the cross so equals in faith may be born. Positioning itself against orthodox religion and naive atheism alike, Christo-Fiction is a daring, heretical experiment that ties religion to the human experience and the lived world.
Hailed as "the most influential book so far on the cloud computing movement" (Christian Science Monitor), The Big Switch makes a simple and profound statement: Computing is turning into a utility, and the effects of this transition will ultimately change society as completely as the advent of cheap electricity did. In a new chapter for this edition that brings the story up-to-date, Nicholas Carr revisits the dramatic new world being conjured from the circuits of the "World Wide Computer."
Individuals all over the world can use Airbnb to rent an apartment in a foreign city, check Coursera to find a course on statistics, join PatientsLikeMe to exchange information about one's disease, hail a cab using Uber, or read the news through Facebook's Instant Articles. The promise of connective platforms is that they offer personalized services and contribute to innovation and economic growth, while bypassing cumbersome institutional or industrial overhead. In The Platform Society, Van Dijck, Poell and De Waal offer a comprehensive analysis of a connective world where platforms have penetrated the heart of societies-disrupting markets and labor relations, circumventing institutions, transforming social and civic practices and affecting democratic processes. This book questions what role online platforms play in the organization of Western societies. First, how do platform mechanisms work and to what effect are they deployed? Second, how can platforms incorporate public values and benefit the public good? The Platform Society analyzes intense struggles between competing ideological systems and contesting societal actors-market, government and civil society-raising the issue of who is or should be responsible for anchoring public values and the common good in a platform society. Public values include of course privacy, accuracy, safety, and security, but they also pertain to broader societal effects, such as fairness, accessibility, democratic control, and accountability. Such values are the very stakes in the struggle over the platformization of societies around the globe. The Platform Society highlights how this struggle plays out in four private and public sectors: news, urban transport, health, and education. Each struggle highlights local dimensions, for instance fights over regulation between individual platforms and city governments, but also addresses the level of the platform ecosystem as well as the geopolitical level where power clashes between global markets and (supra-)national governments take place.
Science and religious faith are two of the most important and influential forces in human life, yet there is widespread confusion about how, or indeed whether, they link together. This book describes this combination from the perspective of one who finds that they link together productively and creatively. The situation is not one of conflict or uneasy tension, or even a respectful dialogue. Rather, a lively and well-founded faith in God embraces and includes science, and scientific ways of thinking, in their proper role. Science is an activity right in the bloodstream of a reasonable faith. The book interprets theism broadly, and engages carefully with atheism, while coming from a Christian perspective. The aim is to show what science is, and what it is not, and at the same time give some pointers to what theism is or can be. Philosophy, evolution and the nature of science and human life are discussed in the first part of the book, questions of origins in the second. It is the very mind-set of scientific thinking that is widely supposed to be antagonistic to religious faith. But such suspicions are too sweeping. They misunderstand both faith and science. Faith can be creative and intellectually courageous; science is not the all-embracing story that it is sometimes made out to be. It is not that science fails to explain some things, but rather, it does not explain anything at all, on its own. It is part of a larger explanation. And even explanation has to take a humble place; it is not the purpose of life.
"I found the book to be fascinating, and the author's presentations and illustrations of the contrasts bewtween mathematical reasoning and scientific reasoning were especially appealing. The book is rich in history, which is carefully integrated into the discussions, and it includes wonderful illustrations and stories." --The Mathematics Teacher "Zebrowski is a wonderful storyteller, and his choices of topics reveal not only the depth of explanation afforded by the available mathematics but the beauty in the explanations; he succeeds in keeping the explanations accessible to the most general audience." --Choice The concept of the circle is ubiquitous. It can be described mathematically, represented physically, and employed technologically. The circle is an elegant, abstract form that has been transformed by humans into tangible, practical forms to make our lives easier. And yet no one has ever discovered a true mathematical circle. Rainbows are fuzzy, car tires are flat on the bottom, and even the most precise roller bearings have measurable irregularities. Ernest Zebrowski, Jr., discusses how investigations into the circle have contributed enormously to our current knowledge of the physical universe. Beginning with the ancient mathematicians and culminating in twentieth-century theories of space and time, the mathematics of the circle has pointed many investigators in fruitful directions in their quests to unravel nature's secrets. Johannes Kepler, for example, triggered a scientific revolution in 1609 when he challenged the conception of the earth's circular motion around the sun. Arab and European builders instigated a golden age of mosque and cathedral building when they questioned the Roman structural arches that were limited to geometrical semicircles. Throughout his book, Zebrowski emphasizes the concepts underlying these mathematicians' calculations, and how these concepts are linked to real-life examples. Substantiated by easy-to-follow mathematical reasoning and clear illustrations, this accessible book presents a novel and interesting discussion of the circle in technology, culture, history, and science. Ernest Zebrowski, Jr., hold professorships in science and mathematics education at Southern University in Baton Rouge, and in physics at Pennsylvania College of Technology of the Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of Perils of a Restless Planet: Scientific Perspectives on Natural Disasters and The Last Days of St. Pierre: The Volcanic Disaster That Claimed 30,000 Lives.
In social theory and sociology, time and travel in technological cultures is one of the new and challenging research topics in the 'mobilities turn'. Yet surprisingly, contemporary practices of mobility have till now, seen only limited theorization within these disciplines. By analyzing historic and contextualized transit practices, this revealing book argues that travel cannot now simply be reduced to getting from A to B; it is an integrated part of everyday life. In this area, researching how problems can be identified as dilemmas and reformulated as design problems helps create a new vocabulary; one which will not only change the agenda in the debate on mobility problems in the public domain, but will also suggest new ways of theorizing mobility innovations. In this fascinating book, author Peters: develops a conceptual framework to study contemporary transit practices and evaluate innovation strategies gives new insights regarding historic and contemporary design strategies and regarding innovations related to travel in technological cultures gives special attention to electronic timespaces and ICT based mobility innovations investigates cases of travel in technological cultures, car travel, air travel, and cycling in Dutch towns. An original and provocative contribution to the emerging field of mobilities, this book will become an essential resource for advanced undergraduate, post-graduate, researchers and practitioners in the fields of sociology, geography, spatial planning, policy and transportation studies.
An engaging look at how we have learned to live with innovation and new technologies through history. People have had trouble adapting to new technology ever since (perhaps) the inventor of the wheel had to explain that a wheelbarrow could carry more than a person. This little book by a celebrated MIT professor-the fiftieth anniversary edition of a classic-describes how we learn to live and work with innovation. Elting Morison considers, among other things, the three stages of users' resistance to change: ignoring it; rational rebuttal; and name-calling. He recounts the illustrative anecdote of the World War II artillerymen who stood still to hold the horses despite the fact that the guns were now hitched to trucks-reassuring those of us who have trouble with a new interface or a software upgrade that we are not the first to encounter such problems. Morison offers an entertaining series of historical accounts to highlight his major theme: the nature of technological change and society's reaction to that change. He begins with resistance to innovation in the U.S. Navy following an officer's discovery of a more accurate way to fire a gun at sea; continues with thoughts about bureaucracy, paperwork, and card files; touches on rumble seats, the ghost in Hamlet, and computers; tells the strange history of a new model steamship in the 1860s; and describes the development of the Bessemer steel process. Each instance teaches a lesson about the more profound and current problem of how to organize and manage systems of ideas, energies, and machinery so that it will conform to the human dimension.
Ideal for use as a core or secondary text in lower division social inequalities or social problems courses, this book explains how the changing nature and uses of the Internet not only mirror todaya (TM)s social inequalities, but also are at the heart of how stratification is now taking place.a A pioneering work, both intellectually, and pedagogically.
2015 Best Book Award from the Communal Studies Association The captivating story of the people of Heaven's Gate, a religious group focused on transcending humanity and the Earth, and seeking salvation in the literal heavens on board a UFO. In March 1997, thirty-nine people in Rancho Santa Fe, California, ritually terminated their lives. To outsiders, it was a mass suicide. To insiders, it was a graduation. This act was the culmination of over two decades of spiritual and social development for the members of Heaven's Gate. In this fascinating overview, Benjamin Zeller not only explores the question of why the members of Heaven's Gate committed ritual suicides, but interrogates the origin and evolution of the religion, its appeal, and its practices. By tracking the development of the history, social structure, and worldview of Heaven's Gate, Zeller draws out the ways in which the movement was both a reflection and a microcosm of larger American culture.The group emerged out of engagement with Evangelical Christianity, the New Age movement, science fiction and UFOs, and conspiracy theories, and it evolved in response to the religious quests of baby boomers, new religions of the counterculture, and the narcissistic pessimism of the 1990s. Thus, Heaven's Gate not only reflects the context of its environment, but also reveals how those forces interacted in the form of a single religious body. In the only book-length study of Heaven's Gate, Zeller traces the roots of the movement, examines its beliefs and practices, and tells the captivating story of its people.
An examination of subjectivity in copyright law, analyzing authors, users, and pirates through a relational framework. In current debates over copyright law, the author, the user, and the pirate are almost always invoked. Some in the creative industries call for more legal protection for authors; activists and academics promote user rights and user-generated content; and online pirates openly challenge the strict enforcement of copyright law. In this book, James Meese offers a new way to think about these three central subjects of copyright law, proposing a relational framework that encompasses all three. Meese views authors, users, and pirates as interconnected subjects, analyzing them as a relational triad. He argues that addressing the relationships among the three subjects will shed light on how the key conceptual underpinnings of copyright law are justified in practice. Meese presents a series of historical and contemporary examples, from nineteenth-century cases of book abridgement to recent controversies over the reuse of Instagram photos. He not only considers the author, user, and pirate in terms of copyright law, but also explores the experiential element of subjectivity-how people understand and construct their own subjectivity in relation to these three subject positions. Meese maps the emergence of the author, user, and pirate over the first two centuries of copyright's existence; describes how regulation and technological limitations turned people from creators to consumers; considers relational authorship; explores practices in sampling, music licensing, and contemporary art; examines provisions in copyright law for user-generated content; and reimagines the pirate as an innovator.
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