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robertogreco : thirdculture   14

Blog - by Allen Tan - An accent marks the lag between two cultures, two...
"An accent marks the lag between two cultures, two languages, the space where you let go of one identity, invent another, and end up being more than one person though never quite two." —André Aciman in Letters of Transit: Reflections on Exile, Identity, Language, and Loss
andréaciman  language  accents  identity  languages  speech  exile  connection  betweenness  migration  immigration  belonging  culture  seams  interstitial  thirdculture  liminality  liminalspaces  liminalstates  between 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Stengers’shibbolet, Bruno Latour [.pdf]
"1997 (foreword) Isabelle Stengers, Power and Invention, University of Minnesota
Press, Minneapolis"

"-Would you say that Isabelle Stengers is the greatest French philosopher of science?

-Yes, except she is from Belgium a country that exists only in part and where, contrary to France, the link between science and the state is nil.

-Would you say that she is the philosophical right-hand of the Nobel Prize winner of chemistry Ilya Prigogine?

-Yes, since she wrote several books with him, and yet she has spent the rest of her life trying to escape from the mass of lunatics attracted to this “New Alliance” between science and culture they both wrote together.

-Is she an historian of science?

-Hard to say. Although she wrote extensively on Galileo, on XIXth century thermodynamics, on chemistry1, she remains a philosopher interested in what her physicists and chemists colleagues should understand of their science. Her main object of attention is modern science, and this is what historians and philosophers should study together, no?

-You are not going to say that she is an internalist philosopher of science, are you?

-Worse than that, Isabelle Stengers is an “hyperinternalist” forcing you always to go further towards a small number of theoretical decisions made by her scientific colleagues. In her eyes, most scientists are often not internalist enough.

-But at least don’t tell us that she is a whiggish historian of science looking, like Gaston Bachelard or Georges Canguilhem, for the ways by which hard science finally escapes from history?

-She is, I am afraid, much worse. She is “anti-anti-whiggish” trying to figure out why the anti-whiggish stance is not the good way to account for what it is to “win” in science, at least not if one aims at convincing the chemists and biologists and physicists she is working with.

-But she is a woman philosopher and at least she must develops some kind of feminist philosophy of science?

-There is hardly anyone more critical of the feminist literature although she uses it extensively and knows it quite well.

-Then, she must be one of these abstract minds trying to reconstruct rationally the foundations of science and being busy erasing all signs of her sex, gender, nationality and standpoint?

-Not at all, there is no one more externalist than her and reading more extensively in the litterature on the social history of science.

-What? Does she have any patience for those ridiculous attempts at connecting science and society?

-Worse than that, she is addicted to it and knows more “science studies” than anyone else in the field.

-Do you mean to say that she likes it because it flatters her radical leanings in politics?

-Worse, she wrote on drug legalization, she is a militant in a small left Belgium party and even went as far as working with charlatans practicing hypnosis and other kinds of unorthodox cures... I told you, Isabelle Stengers is always worse! She wrote as much on hypnosis as on physics and she happily compares chemistry laboratory and ethnopsychiatry, going so far as to rehabilitate the word “charlatan”2.

-Then she must be one of these ignorant radicals doing politics because they are unable to grasp the niceties of science?

-Not quite since she does radical politics through the careful definition of what Laplace, Lagrange, Carnot have done with their equations.

-I am thoroughly lost... Then she must be quite a woman?!

-Yes, and quite a mind!

-But, tell me, how come you have been asked to write a foreword for someone who seems obviously much better endowed in philosophical subtleties, political will and scientific knowledge than yourself?

-This is quite strange, I concur. I guess it is because of the tradition in science studies and in anthropology of the modern world to study “up” instead of “down”. Trying to swallow hard sciences had very good effect on the softer ones. I guess it is the same with Stengers. You grind your teeth on her argument, and you feel much better afterward!..."

[continues into the intro]

"One simple way to define this collection of articles presented in English, is to say that they have been written by a philosopher interested in the very classical question of distinguishing good science from bad. Her new solution to this old problem will be, however, difficult to grasp both for science studies and for philosophers and that requires some clarification. Isabelle Stengers does not share the anti-normative stance of most recent historians and sociologists of science and has no qualms in looking for a shibbolet that will help sort out science from non-science. In this sense, but in this sense only, her work is marginally more acceptable to Anglo-American epistemologists than those of “science studies” who shun away from any normative position. Philosophers will be able to recognize at least that here is someone who is not complacent vis-a-vis the production of bad science and who shares their will for a good cleansing job. The difference, because fortunately there is one, lies in the fact that her own touchstone means getting rid of most epistemologists and quite a lot of hard sciences! So the normative goal is similar but the principles of choice are radically different. "



"Stengers’ request to be cosmopolitically correct cut both ways, and cuts hard. In the obscure fights of the Science Wars, one can safely predicts, she will be seen as a traitor to all the camps, not because she is “in the middle” -no one is less of a middle-woman than her, no one is less an adept of the Golden Medium!- but because she imposes on all protagonists a criterion that they will do their utmost to escape. Although this book appears in a series called “Theories out of bound”, no theory is more binding than Stengers’ new demarcation criterion. Having often tried to escape its binding strength only to find myself forced to use it again, it is a great pleasure (and I say it with some glee) to imagine that English-speaking readers are now to be enmeshed into this most daring enterprise we, in the French-reading world, had to take into account for so long. It is my hope that they will learn more than I did (this is unlikely) in those twenty years when I tried to profit from her marvelous “habits of thoughts”, and also my hope that they will be forced even more than I was (this is more unlikely) to modify their definition of hard science and of radical politics by using Stengers’ shibboleth and pushing it everywhere -against herself if needs be!"
isabellestrengers  brunolatour  1997  whigpunk  whigishness  whigs  science  philosophy  philosophyofscience  history  culture  thirdculture  ilyaprigogine  physics  chemistry  feminism  socialhistory  politics  ethnopsychiatry  charlatans  radicalism 
march 2015 by robertogreco
David Buckland - Cape Farewell - The cultural response to climate change
"Since 2001 David Buckland has created and now directs the Cape Farewell project, bringing artists, scientists and educators together to collectively address and raise awareness about climate change. The artists have already been the subject of a film for The Culture Show and a BBC documentary. The art resulting from these fruitful journeys has toured around the world with exhibitions including Carbon14, Carbon13, Carbon12 and Unfold.

David is a designer, artist and film-maker whose lens-based works have been exhibited in numerous galleries in London, Paris and New York and collected by the National Portrait Gallery, London, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the Metropolitan Museum, New York and the Getty Collection, Los Angeles amongst others.

In 1999 David presented a one-man show of digitally mastered portraits of performers at London's National Portrait Gallery, which attracted over 100,000 visitors. Three new commissions, all in the USA, from MasterCard, Vanguard Insurance and Royal Caribbean have just been completed. Each entailed huge digital constructions on glass for the new atriums of each company.

Books
Five books of his photographs have been published including works on the Trojan Wars and The Last Judgment featuring the sculptures of Sir Anthony Caro, and two monographs of his own work. He has designed over 20 stage sets, as well as costumes, for The Royal Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Second Stride, Compagnie Cré-Ange and Siobhan Davies Dance Company. His short film for the Dance for the Camera season Dwell Time was broadcast on BBC1 in January 1996."
via:anne  art  artists  science  twocultures  thirdculture  davidbuckland  capefarewell  climatechange  carbon14  carbon13  carbon12  unfold  design  film  filmmaking 
october 2014 by robertogreco
No, there aren’t “two cultures” | Oscillator, Scientific American Blog Network
"To say that science is objectively focused on external reality and not, to quote the best subtitle of all time “produced by people with bodies, situated in time, space, culture, and society, and struggling for credibility and authority,” is to ignore the external reality of how science and culture shape one another through the life and work of scientists. The problem with the “two cultures” concept then is neither that non-scientists don’t know enough about thermodynamics, nor that science can’t fully capture the ineffable power of art, but that separating science off from culture leads to bad science.

The belief that science and scientists are somehow above the influence of cultural forces has made it easier to pass off harmful stereotypes and cultural biases as scientific facts. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the “science” of human difference and the generations of scientists who studied the “natural” inferiority of women and basically any minority group ever. These “scientific” beliefs about human nature change over time not because of the progressive power of science to correct previous errors with new evidence, but because of the changes that happen in culture when disenfranchised people fight hard to be heard — in politics, in art, and in science.

The idea that “true science” is strictly rational, with a clear path leading from questions to answers, organized around the infallible scientific method, is especially damaging for young scientists. When experiments fail or produce inconsistent, confusing data, students get lost in what systems biologist Uri Alon calls “the cloud” — where imagination and intellectual curiosity are necessary to break free. This process only looks plainly rational through 20/20 hindsight, when, following the rubric of the two cultures, scientists painstakingly remove the evidence of their intuitions, leaving a picture of science that is impossible to reproduce.

This is why as a teacher and biologist, I work with artists and social scientists: not to better communicate science through creative packaging, but to understand how cultures, science, and technology intersect. Too often, scientists think of artistic, humanistic, and social scientific methods as ways to make the rational medicine of science go down easier. If science were truly concerned with open inquiry and experimentation, we might look harder for ways to disprove the two cultures hypothesis."

[References William Deresiewicz's book review: "No, Jane Austen Was Not a Game Theorist: Using science to explain art is a good way to butcher both" http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116170/jane-austen-game-theorist-michael-suk-young-chwe-joke ]
twocultures  thirdculture  christinaagapakis  science  humanities  2014  via:anne  culture  dualism  art  transdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  williamderesiewicz  culturewars  michaelsuk-youngchwe  inquiry  experimentation  openinquiry  criticalthinking  scientism  stereotypes 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Art | Sci Center + Lab | UCLA Art | Sci Center + Lab
"The Art|Sci Center is dedicated to pursuing and promoting the evolving “Third Culture” by facilitating the infinite potential of collaborations between (media) arts and (bio/nano) sciences. The center’s affiliation with the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) offers access to cutting edge researchers and their laboratories and a dedicated gallery for exhibitions. Here too the center hosts the Sci|Art NanoLab Summer Institute for high school students by introducing them to the vast possibilities in the quantum field of art|science for the present and future generations. In cooperation with CNSI, the UCLA School of the Arts and the Department of Design | Media Arts, the Art|Sci Center supports visiting research scholars and artists in residency from around the world. The center presents lectures, mixers, and symposia to bring artists and scientists together in order to mesh these cultures and inspire individuals to think about art and science as already interrelated and relevant to our society."
ucla  art  science  thirdculture  openstudioproject  education  interdisciplinary  nanotechnology  biology  mediaarts 
november 2013 by robertogreco
THE THIRD CULTURE
"The third culture consists of those scientists and other thinkers in the empirical world who, through their work and expository writing, are taking the place of the traditional intellectual in rendering visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefining who and what we are."

"Indeed, the traditional American intellectuals are, in a sense, increasingly reactionary, and quite often proudly (and perversely) ignorant of many of the truly significant intellectual accomplishments of our time."

"The role of the intellectual includes communicating. Intellectuals are not just people who know things but people who shape the thoughts of their generation. An intellectual is a synthesizer, a publicist, a communicator. In his 1987 book The Last Intellectuals, the cultural historian Russell Jacoby bemoaned the passing of a generation of public thinkers and their replacement by bloodless academicians. He was right, but also wrong. The third-culture thinkers are the new public intellectuals."
1959  1991  communication  publicintellectuals  intellectuals  russelljacoby  thinking  literature  technology  research  philosophy  science  culture  thirdculture  johnbrockman  cpsnow 
november 2012 by robertogreco
…My heart’s in Accra » Teju Cole: Every Day is for The Thief
"One of the loveliest blogs of the past few years was Teju Cole’s…has subsequently disappeared, leaving dozens of dead links…Blogs usually don’t work like this – they outlive the enthusiasm of their authors, lying neglected & silent. The Japanese call dead blogs “ishikoro” – pebbles. A missing blog is something else, a hole, like a dropped stitch in a row of knitting…

I’ve been exhuming the digital remains of Teju Cole…via the Wayback Machine…in the wake of reading his lovely & all too short “Every Day is for The Thief“…one of the best books I’ve read this year…one that I plan to press into the hands of friends travelling to West Africa for the first time…especially into the hands of African friends returning home.

I don’t know why Cole took down his brilliant blog, or why this beautiful book ends on a lovely but abrupt note. But if I respect a man’s right to speak, I’ve also got to respect his silence."
nigeria  lagos  thirdculture  identity  belonging  2008  writing  ishikoro  waybackmachine  silence  blogging  blogs  ethanzuckerman  everydayisforthethief  tejucole  books  africa 
may 2012 by robertogreco
How Do You Run Away from Home?
"For some people, psychological home has clearly moved online. I recall an op-ed somewhere several years ago, comparing cellphones to pacifiers. Appropriate, if they represent a connection to psychological ‘home.’ Putting your phone away is like suddenly being teleported away from home to a strange new place.

For others, the three R’s still dominate the idea of home. Online life is not satisfying for these people. I think this segment will shrink, just as the number of people who are attached to paper books is shrinking.

For a speculative third category, we have the sitcom-ish idea of interchangeable people in roles. I am not sure this category is real yet. I see some evidence for it in my own life, but it is not compelling.

But for a fourth category of people, the need for a psychological home itself is reduced. A utilitarian home is enough. The getting away drive has irreversibly altered psychology."
psychogeography  2012  davidgraeber  gettingaway  thirdculture  runningaway  interchangability  offline  internet  web  digital  online  belonging  culture  anarchism  existentialism  libertarianism  francisfukuyama  robertsapolsky  psychology  history  place  homes  home  rootedness  identity  individualism  venkateshrao 
april 2012 by robertogreco
My Summer at an Indian Call Center | Mother Jones
"Call-center employees gain their financial independence at the risk of an identity crisis. A BPO salary is contingent on worker's ability to de-Indianize: to adopt a Western name & accent &, to some extent, attitude. Aping Western culture has long been fashionable; in the call-center classroom, it's company policy. Agents know that their jobs only exist because of the low value the world market ascribes to Indian labor. The more they embrace the logic of global capitalism, the more they must confront the notion that they are worth less."

"In a sense, Arjuna is too westernized to be happy in India. He speaks with an American accent, listens to American rock music, & suffers from American-style malaise. In his more candid moments, he admits that life would have been easier if he had hewn to the traditional Indian path. "I spent my youth searching for the real me. Sometimes I feel that now I've destroyed anything that is the real me, that I am floating somewhere in between.""
culture  economics  work  india  outsourcing  callcenters  identity  thirdculture  independence  freedom  tradeoffs  unintendedconsequences  money  motivation  2011  tradition  westernization 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Notes from a Literary Apprenticeship : The New Yorker
"My reading was my mirror, & my material; I saw no other part of myself…

For though they had created me, & reared me, & lived w/ me day after day, I knew that I was a stranger to them, an American child…

Even after I received the Pulitzer, my father reminded me that writing stories was not something to count on…I listen to him, & at the same time I have learned not to listen, to wander to the edge of the precipice & to leap. & so, though a writer’s job is to look and listen, in order to become a writer I had to be deaf & blind.

I see now that my father, for all his practicality, gravitated toward a precipice of his own, leaving his country and his family, stripping himself of the reassurance of belonging. In reaction, for much of my life, I wanted to belong to a place, either the one my parents came from or to America, spread out before us. When I became a writer my desk became home; there was no need for another…Born of my inability to belong, it is my refusal to let go."
writing  literature  narrative  identity  thirdculture  jhumpalahiri  risk  glvo  art  craft  residence  place  belonging  2011  libraries  books  home  life  reading  classideas  india  parenting  schools  memory  experience  childhood 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Musing about 2011 and an un-national generation – confused of calcutta
"The internet, Web, Cloud, these are essentially disruptive global constructs for many of us. The atoms that serve as infrastructure for these global constructs are physically located in specific countries; the laws & regulations that govern the industries disrupted by these constructs are themselves usually national in structure; the firms doing the disrupting are quasi-stateless in character, trying…to be “global”; emerging & future generations have worldviews that are becoming more & more AmazonBay, discarding the national middle for edges of global & hyperlocal.

We are all so steeped in national structures for every aspect of this: the law, governance model, access & delivery technologies, ways of doing business — that we’re missing the point.

Everything is becoming more stateless, more global. We don’t know how to deal with it. So we’re all trying very hard to put genies back in bottles, pave cowpaths, turn back waves, all with the same result.

Abject failure."
postnational  global  globalization  globalism  nationalism  national  business  law  culture  mobility  cv  jprangaswami  digital  analog  thirdculture  un-national  generations  internet  web  cloud  government  wikileaks  taxes  regulation  fundraising  residency  identity  statelessness  open  closed  trade  copyright  regional  local  hyperlocal  williamstafford  poetry  borders 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Currents - The Struggle of the Global Placeless - NYTimes.com
"modern myth that globalization is new. But world has integrated before, disintegrated in war & integrated again. Goods & people have swirled for long time & in 17-19th century you might have found on any ship crew & passengers made up of slaves, traders, cooks, officers, colonizers & pilgrims more diverse...

What is arguably new is influence of placeless & elevation of placelessness, in some quarters at least, to virtue.

placeless are no longer just flotsam & jetsam of empires & colonies...president of US now...among our leading thinkers & bankers, philanthropists & public servants...

Sudhir Kakar...suggested this longing for place can be buried/denied/suppressed in placeless, but it will never truly go away.

postmodern notion of “multiple identities” has become fashionable...w/ its notion that “migration is opportunity to reinvent one’s identity.” But this vision, though liberating, denies role of place in forming consciousness, particularly in childhood"

[via: http://www.underpaidgenius.com/placeless ]
placelessnes  place  memory  identity  glvo  thirdculture  children  globalization  migration  immigration  class  borders  barackobama  2010  history  diversity  sudhirkakar  culture  roots 
april 2010 by robertogreco
'Wondrous Life' Explores Multinationality : NPR
"Novelist Junot Diaz's first novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao explores the complexities of living in two cultures at once. Set in both the United States and in the Dominican Republic, the novel follows the story of Oscar Wao in prose that frequently mixes Spanish and English in the same sentence."
culture  literature  ethnicity  latinos  multinationality  junotdíaz  toread  geek  nerds  thirdculture 
december 2009 by robertogreco
FT.com / Arts & weekend / Books - Dislocation, dislocation, dislocation
"I suspect that being a European third-culture kid is an excellent training for modern life. As the speed of change increases, it gets harder for people to have a sense of rootedness, even if they are living in the place where they grew up."
children  thirdculture  culture  life  connectedness  roots  place  identity  global  world  technology  bilingualism  language  travel  work  education  geography 
april 2007 by robertogreco

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