James Scott reviews Jared Diamond’s latest in the LRB. [Via Savage Minds.] Kevin Drum on the debate between economists about why fiscal stimulus works. How is New Keynesianism different from Old Keynesianism? Using Google Docs in the higher education classroom. On meta-games and containers. (You should definitely click on this!) An essay on academics hired by Wall Street published in The Nation. Upworthy is just the new mutation of the Internet Chain Letter. Have a good weekend!
Articles by: Shreeharsh Kelkar
4S 2013 was full of “big data” panels (Tom Boellstorff has convinced me to not capitalize the term). Many of these talks were critiques; the authors saw big data as a new form of positivism, and the rhetoric of big data as a sort of false consciousness that was sweeping the sciences. 1 But what do scientists think of big data? In a blog-post titled “The Big Data Brain Drain: Why Science is in Trouble,” physicist Jake VanderPlas (his CV lists his interests as “Astronomy” and “Machine Learning”) makes the argument that the real reason big data is dangerous is because […]
This weekend is the HASTS 25th anniversary. But just in case, you have time, some interesting links to browse through on the weekend. Historian David A. Bell asks if global history can be done better, without over-using the “network” metaphor. Susan Faludi on “Facebook feminism” and the Lean In movement. Annette Markham writes about what it means to do ethnography online. An interesting article, with results from a group of MIT neuro-scientists about how we perceive subway maps. Post in the comments if you love/hate any of them.
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”, […]
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 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. […]
One of the reasons for this blog is that it allows me to write speculative posts that no self-respecting journal would publish. Consider this one of them. I love watching tennis matches — and rewatching them on YouTube (typically when I have a deadline and I feel like doing anything but working on it). And I often spend time thinking about technological determinism — or rather, how to avoid it in one’s work. How can one tell stories of change without emphasizing the technological? Or by folding the technological into the institutional? It struck me once that telling a story […]
xkcd gets STS-ey: