Archive for October, 2013

The Zuckerberg Files

The Zuckerberg Files

Anthony Hoffmann writes: Over the weekend, Michael Zimmer (my advisor!) launchedThe Zuckerberg Files – “a digital archive of all public utterances of Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.” The archive contains “over 100 full-text transcripts and nearly 50 video files are available for researchers to download, analyze, and scrutinize.” The project grew out of a conversation Michael, Kate Raynes-Goldie, and I had (over drinks, of course) during the Association of Internet Researchers annual meeting in Gothenberg, Sweden in 2010. At the time, Michael was embroiled in writing about privacy and social networks, Kate was critically engaging with “the Californian ideology”, […]

Is “open source” in 2011 different from what it was in 2001?

Is “open source” in 2011 different from what it was in 2001?

HASTS alum Chris Kelty has a nice “Afterword“[pdf] for a new special issue of the journal Criticism titled “Open Source Culture and Aesthetics.”  His key point is that while discussing “open source software,” it needs to be studied as something concrete, not just an instantiation of some wider cultural phenomenon.  Thus, he suggests, “open source” means something very different today than it did in 2001: There are concrete, empirically specifiable, and material realities to open source and the rush to replace them with a label like peer productioncan only obscure that there is something called open source software production, that […]

Philip Mirowski on the Nobel (or Swedish Central Bank) prize in Economics

Philip Mirowski on the Nobel (or Swedish Central Bank) prize in Economics

Philip Mirowski in a free-flowing dialogue talks a little bit about his latest research: a history of the Nobel Prize in Economics (or rather, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel).  In his capsule summary, he suggests that the Nobel Prize was instituted at a time when the Swedish Central Bank was trying to free itself of democratic accountability, and that therefore, the Prize served to legitimate the Central Bank itself as a technical rather than a political body.  [The Central Bank is certainly one of the most politically puzzling institutions in modern capitalist democracies.  […]

5 Tips for Surviving Your Fieldwork Year

5 Tips for Surviving Your Fieldwork Year

Disclaimer: my fieldwork is all outside of the US, and primarily ethnographic. Staying local or doing archival research are bound to come with their own, unique demands. And/or you may be a better-adjusted individual than I am, and have had totally different experiences. So please do us all a favor and supplement this post with your own tips and tidbits on how to make your advisor proud and do fieldwork year right.   So you’ve survived your general exams. The dissertation proposal is done (well, almost…), and you’re finally ready to get out there and do what it is you came […]