Articles by: Amy Johnson

Historical Twitter: On Twitter, Telephony & India

Historical Twitter: On Twitter, Telephony & India

Ten years ago, on 21 March 2006, the first Twitter message—what would come to be called a tweet, but at the time was described as a status update—was sent. Four months later, on July 15, Twitter opened to the public as a messaging service. This is the first in a series of posts that explores Twitter through a historical lens. At least, it may become a series. We’ll see. The image above, satisfyingly opaque with its mysterious number block and bevy of well-regulated golden pigeons, appeared on the Twitter blog on 17 January 2008. That blog post announced a short […]

On Ninjas & Data Analysis: STS at the Tokyo Trick Art Museum

On Ninjas & Data Analysis: STS at the Tokyo Trick Art Museum

Three stalwart companions in silliness; Tokyo Trick Art Museum, May 2015. Many thanks to Tim Highfield & Jasmine Li. Trick Art Museums—and their upstart rival Trick Eye Museums—are spreading rapidly across East Asia. Both museum franchises specialize in a particular kind of trompe l’oeil optical illusion designed for interaction and reproduction. According to the Trick Art website, the first Trick Art Museum opened in 1992 in Tochigi prefecture in Japan. There are currently eighteen dedicated galleries and museums in Japan alone, and Trick Art and Trick Eye franchises now span Tokyo to Singapore, Bali to Mongolia. You’ll find them in kitschy […]

Make-Your-Own Collaborative Twitter Account

The @sweden Twitter account is fascinating: It’s the official Twitter account for the country of Sweden, and each week it’s run by a different Swedish citizen. “Every week, someone in Sweden is @Sweden: sole ruler of the world’s most democratic Twitter account.” It’s a lovely point of inspiration. But how do you actually make a collaborative Twitter account? This post lays out one way of doing so, using my experiences with the @HASTS_MIT project—inspired by @sweden—as an example. If you want to know more about the project, please check out @HASTS_MIT: A Community & Public Scholarship Twitter Experiment.   1. Decide on your goals for […]

@HASTS_MIT: A Community & Public Scholarship Twitter Experiment

@HASTS_MIT: A Community & Public Scholarship Twitter Experiment

I’m a PhD candidate, prof of Japanese culture & media, acting director of Knight Science Journalism, NSF postdoc in Anthropology, member of the History Faculty, HASTS alum, 2nd year HASTS student, a historian of science, a Mellon Postdoc in Anthro, Academic Administrator in STS, an Exchange Scholar. I study digital/social partnerships to resolve child exploitation & #trafficking; online parody as a form of social critique; laboratory-grown meat; body maps of anatomy and acupuncture in England and China; the production, practice, & circulation of evidence-based psychotherapies; the Atlantic sugar trade in the late 19th cent; history of technology, business, higher ed […]

Light Fieldwork: Lytro Cameras, Open Research & the Partial

Light Fieldwork: Lytro Cameras, Open Research & the Partial

Lytro markets the images from its light field cameras as “living pictures.” This makes me think of the magical portraits from Harry Potter, their subjects managing door security and popping from frame to frame. (Not the photographs. Harry Potter photographs are pretty much anigifs.) “Living picture” is certainly evocative marketspeak, but it obscures what a fascinating methodological tool light field images can be—and the fresh questions about openness and participation in research such cameras provoke. The following images were taken in Japan during the summer of 2013 with a first generation Lytro camera. They’re products of my first explorations with […]

Liveblog: QWERTY Is Dead! Long Live QWERTY! The Birth of Input in Twentieth-Century China

Liveblog: QWERTY Is Dead! Long Live QWERTY! The Birth of Input in Twentieth-Century China

This is really a pseudo-liveblog: It was originally written during the event with Lan Li, but grant proposals, end of term events, and similar delayed proofreading and posting until now. Our apologies! Photographs by Lan Li and Amy Johnson. QWERTY Is Dead! Long Live QWERTY! The Birth of Input in Twentieth-Century China STS Colloquium 12/9/13 4pm Speaker: Thomas Mullaney, Stanford Discussant: Brian Rotman, Ohio State This is still very much an early draft. Today Tom will run over key points, explain how this fits into his larger book projects, and provide a few examples. The paper circulated in conjunction with […]

Liveblog: Technology, HASTS 25th Anniversary Event

Liveblog: Technology, HASTS 25th Anniversary Event

Co-written with Lan Li, with additional help from Julia Fleischhack; photos by Ashawari Chaudhuri and Amy Johnson; Wordle shows program interests between 2000 and 2004. Onward to Technology! Aka the third panel of the HASTS 25th Anniversary Event, introduced by Grace Kim and moderated by Shreeharsh Kelkar. Lindy Biggs (‘87): The Changing Meaning of Work in England’s Early Industrial Period David Lucsko (‘05): Dismantlers or Graveyards? Automotive Salvage in the Twentieth Century Rob Martello (‘01): Paul Revere and Ben Franklin: Artisans, Entrepreneurs, and Boundary Crossers Bill Turkel (‘04): The Hands-On Imperative **** Lindy Biggs (‘87): The Changing Meaning of Work in England’s Early Industrial Period For […]

Liveblog: Infrastructure & Communication, HASTS 25th Anniversary Event

Liveblog: Infrastructure & Communication, HASTS 25th Anniversary Event

Co-written with Shreeharsh Kelkar, Lan Li, and Beth Semel, with additional assistance from Julia Fleischhack; photos by Amy Johnson. The Infrastructure & Communication panel, the final panel in the 25th Anniversary Event, introduced by Renee Blackburn and moderated by Ellan Spero: Slava Gerovitch (‘99):  ‘Writing Across the Lines:’ A Parallel Social Infrastructure in Soviet Mathematics in the 1970s Shane Hamilton (‘05): Navigating the Spatial Turn Wade Roush (‘94): History, Journalism, and the Technology of Storytelling Livia Wick (‘06): The Arabic Language, Pedagogy, and the Concept of Crisis   Slava Gerovitch (‘99): ‘Writing Across the Lines:’ A Parallel Social Infrastructure in Soviet Mathematics in the 1970s Historians haven’t […]

Liveblogging info for the HASTS 25th Anniversary Event (11/9)

Join us as we liveblog the HASTS 25th Anniversary Event! The links below will take you to the Google docs where the liveblogging teams for each panel will be collaborating, real-time. With some minimal polishing after the panel ends, the finished liveblogs will then be posted here on the HASTS blog. Panel 1: Environment Panel 2: Health & Biology Panel 3: Technology Panel 4: Infrastructure & Communication Come stop by!

Liveblog: Survivors, Cyber-Law & Harm Reduction, MIT Workshop on Sex Trafficking + Technology

Liveblog: Survivors, Cyber-Law & Harm Reduction, MIT Workshop on Sex Trafficking + Technology

Cowritten with Rebecca Perry, with additional help from Shreeharsh Kelkar; video by Lan Li; this workshop occurred on April 26, 2013.The final session of the MIT Sex Trafficking & Technology Workshop. Video available here: MIT Workshop on Sex Trafficking + Technology, Session 2: “Survivors, Cyber-Law, and Harm Reduction” Speakers:Virginia Greiman (Ginny)Abigail JudgeDiscussant:Manduhai BuyandelgerMitali Thakor introduces Manduhai, who is teaching a class this semester on trafficking.  Manduhai welcomes everyone and thanks Mitali for singlehandedly organizing this workshop. She introduces Ginny and Abigail.Ginny Greiman describes herself as a lawyer, but not a lawyer’s lawyer. She looks at problems as business problems. How does one stop a very lucrative business? A young […]