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tsuomela : definition   124

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Some say climate change marks the Anthropocene, a new geological age. They’re wrong.
An interesting argument against the hubris of defining a geologic epoch on the basis of a short period of human activity ~ last 200 years.
anthropocene  geology  definition 
february 2016 by tsuomela
What Do you Mean by Archive? Genres of Usage for Digital Preservers | The Signal: Digital Preservation
"One of the tricks to working in an interdisciplinary field like digital preservation is that all too often we can be using the same terms but not actually talking about the same things. In my opinion, the most fraught term in digital preservation discussions is “archive.”"
archive  archives  theory  definition  data-curation 
march 2014 by tsuomela
A Thousand Kinds of Life: Culture, Nature, and Anthropology | Dissent Magazine
"In the latest twist in an unusually public academic dispute, one of the world’s most influential and highly regarded anthropologists resigned in protest from the prestigious National Academy of Sciences in late February. In quitting the academy, Marshall Sahlins took aim in part at the work of fellow anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon, whose contentious memoir, Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes—The Yanamamö and the Anthropologists, was recently published by Simon & Schuster. But his action is also a skirmish in a much longer and very important debate over what it means to be human—a debate with consequences for the broader public discussion."
anthropology  controversy  human-nature  definition  ethnography 
april 2013 by tsuomela
"In any discussion of government science policies, it rarely seems to take long for someone to invoke the notion of "basic research." "
science  policy  research  basic-research  definition  history  terminology  sts  communication  rhetoric 
october 2012 by tsuomela
The Philosopher's Stone: OLD NEWS
"However, as someone might have said but I think did not, the victorious get to write the dictionaries, and so “socialism” came to mean, in the twentieth century, whatever Stalin and his henchmen were up to. The success of a peasant revolution in China which also wrapped itself in the mantle of Marx pretty much sealed the fate of the word. The collapse of the Soviet empire then permitted the beneficiaries and celebrators of advanced post-industrial and financial capitalism to proclaim the world historical victory of capitalism over socialism. Socialism, it was said, was dead, save for the effete and incomprehensible dithering of some European folks who, since they spoke foreign languages, could be conveniently ignored.

The effect of this series of historical conjunctures was to take us all back to the period of the early nineteenth century, when capitalism was equated with rationality simpliciter. And by a rather devious, not to say diabolical, maneuver, capitalism was equated with the rule of markets. To criticize capitalism was thus to suggest that markets were unnecessary."
socialism  vocabulary  definition  history  written-by-the-victors  rhetoric  politics  public-opinion 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Open the Future: Ambition
"And that's the underlying irony of this debate: the only way to truly re-wild the Earth would be to do active management" Annotated link
environment  future  nature  definition 
july 2012 by tsuomela
What is Good Teaching? A Reflection | Common Dreams
"As a public school teacher, I've come to believe that good teaching comes down to six essential practices. I call them Inducement, Conveyance, Meta-Learning, Empowerment, Modeling, and Application. Just as when all eight amino acids must be present for a protein to form, all six of these activities must be present for Good Teaching (and Good Learning) to occur."
teaching  pedagogy  creativity  definition  success 
may 2012 by tsuomela
- e-Literate - MOOCs: Two Different Approaches to Scale, Access and Experimentation
"With all of the recent interest in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), it would be worth summarizing the two branches of MOOCs including recent posts or interviews by the founders of the concept."
online  education  mooc  definition 
may 2012 by tsuomela
Clifford Geertz on “Ideology” as an Analytical Term, Pt. 2 « Ether Wave Propaganda
"Getting back to ideology, then, Geertz supposed that it was a template for understanding and action at times when existing templates had failed, “where institutionalized guides for behavior, thought, or feeling are weak or absent” (63). It could certainly be negative and pathological, but it might also be inevitable, and, indeed, positive in times of social and political uncertainty."
ideology  definition  anthropology  psychology  sts  history  social-science 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Clifford Geertz on “Ideology” as an Analytical Term, Pt. 1 « Ether Wave Propaganda
"Geertz divided diagnostic accounts of ideology into the “interest” theory and the “strain” theory"
ideology  definition  anthropology  psychology  sts  history  social-science 
april 2012 by tsuomela
UnderstandingSociety: Mapping sociology
Discusses three books: Craig Calhoun's Sociology in America: A History (2007), Jonathan Turner's Handbook of Sociological Theory (2001), and Julia Adams et al's Remaking Modernity: Politics, History, and Sociology(2005)
sociology  discipline  boundaries  definition  theory  empirical  description  themes  mapping  mindmap 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Technology: The Emergence of a Hazardous Concept | Technology and Culture
"The hazardous character of technology—the word, the concept—is a consequence of the history just outlined. As I have argued, the generality of the word—its lack of specificity, the very aspect which evidently enabled it to supplant its more explicit and substantial precursors—also made it peculiarly susceptible to reification. Reification, as the philosopher George Lukacs famously explained, is what occurs when we endow a human activity with the characteristics of a thing or things. It thereby acquires, as he put it, “a ‘phantom-objectivity,’ an autonomy that seems so strictly rational and all-embracing as to conceal every trace of its fundamental nature: the relation between people.”27 In contemporary discourse, private and public, technologies are habitually represented by “things”—by their most conspicuous artifactual embodiments: transportation technology by automobiles, airplanes, and railroads
history  technology  sts  science  language  vocabulary  19c  industrial  definition  abstraction 
may 2011 by tsuomela
Blogs and Bullets: Breaking Down Social Media - Whimsley
Differentiates some of the categories that connect social media and political change.
social-media  networks  politics  vocabulary  definition  revolution  change 
april 2011 by tsuomela
Contrary Brin: The Difference Between Science Fiction and Fantasy?
"Science fiction, in sharp contrast, considers the possibility of learning and change.

Not that children always choose to learn from their parent's mistakes! When they don't, when they are obstinately stupid and miss opportunities, you can get a sci fi tragedy... far more horrible than anything "tragic" in Aristotle's POETICS. Aristotle says tragedy is Oedepus writhing futilely against fate. A sci fi tragedy portrays people suffering, same as in older tragedies... but with this crucial difference -- things did not have to be this way. It wasn't "fate." We - or the characters - could've done better. There was, at some point, a chance to change our own destiny.
sf  literature  criticism  definition  fantasy  fiction  rhetoric 
april 2011 by tsuomela
U.S. Intellectual History: The Culture Wars: Notes Towards a Working Definition
"Most scholars understand the culture wars to have been ephemeral. I argue against that consensus. Although the culture wars were emotional, overstated, and often hyperbolic, they were not necessarily a proxy for more important developments. Rather, I contend that the culture wars are best understood as the terrain that allowed Americans in the 1980s and 1990s to acknowledge, if not accept, the transformations to American life wrought by the tumultuous developments of the 1960s and 1970s. Most explicitly, the culture wars granted Americans space to articulate new understandings of American life in the context of the altered landscapes of race, gender, and religion. Through the culture wars, Americans found new forms of solidarity in the face of an increasingly rudderless and fragmented culture that threw into doubt all foundations. I contend that the culture wars, then, are the defining narrative of postmodern America. "
culture-war  history  intellectual  1990s  1980s  political-correctness  american-studies  american  definition  culture 
march 2011 by tsuomela
What Is Academic Work? -
"After it was all over, everyone pronounced the occasion a great success
academia  work  labor  interdisciplinary  definition  academic  problem-solving  understanding 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Why anthropology is ‘true’ even if it is not ‘science’ | Savage Minds
"Throughout his career — for instance in his classic short piece ‘The Study of Geography’ — Boas made a distinction between not between the ‘natural sciences’ and the ‘interpretive sciences’ but rather between generalizing sciences (which study things that happen over and over again, like gravity) and the ‘historical sciences’ (which study things which happen just once in history, like the Battle of Hastings). "
science  anthropology  definition  boundary-policing  self-definition  controversy  academic  fields 
december 2010 by tsuomela
The Information Palace by James Gleick | NYRBlog | The New York Review of Books
The word “information” has grown urgent and problematic—a signpost seen everywhere, freighted with new meaning and import. We hardly need the lexicographers of the Oxford English Dictionary to tell us that, but after all, this is what they live for. It is a word, they tell us, “exhibiting significant linguistic productivity,” a word that “both reflects and embodies major cultural and technological change,” therefore a word crying out for their attention.
information  language  definition  dictionary  history  words  linguistics 
december 2010 by tsuomela
Definitions and Standards : Uncertain Principles
The image most people have of physical standards would have both the meter and the second tied to some sort of physical reference, with the speed of light determined in terms of those two standards. And, in fact, that's how things used to be-- if you look at the history of the definition of the meter, you see that it was tied to a physical standard until 1983. So why the change?

The reason for the change is basically that we can do a much better job of measuring time than position, thanks to spectroscopic techniques developed in the 1940's.
history  science  measurement  metrology  definition  standard  sts  speed  light  physics 
december 2010 by tsuomela
Dr. Gordon Pask on Cybernetics
Defined by Norbert Wiener in 1948 as the science of communication and control in the animal and the machine, cybernetics has been more or less broadly interpreted.
cybernetics  definition  encyclopedia  reference  control  systems  feedback  history 
november 2010 by tsuomela
Why you are not an Artist « Scott Berkun
I think to call someone an Artist means they have some sense of a higher purpose beyond commerce. Not that they don’t profit from their work, or promote themselves, but that the work itself has spiritual, philosophical, emotional or experiential attributes as central goals. An artist’s work is about an idea, a feeling, or an exploration of a form, framed more by their own intuitions, than the checklists and protocols of bureaucracies and corporations.
art  creativity  definition  artist 
june 2010 by tsuomela
How to Save the World - A 'Finding the Sweet Spot' Workbook?
1. Explorers, whose work is study and research, and whose work-product is discovery and insight
2. Interpreters, whose work is mentoring and facilitation, and whose work-product is understanding
3. Inventors, whose work is imagining, and whose work-product is ideas
4. Designers, whose work is crafting, and whose work-product is models
5. Generators, whose work is creating and building, and whose work-product is 'goods' and services
6. Nurturers, whose work is cultivating, and whose work-product is well-being
7. Menders, whose work is sustaining, and whose work-product is regeneration
8. Actors, whose work is re-creating, and whose work-product is fun
9. Connectors, whose work is distributing, and whose work-product is cross-pollination
community  work  meaning  jobs  definition  taxonomy 
october 2009 by tsuomela
Strange Horizons Columns: A Story About Plot, by Matthew Cheney
Grisham wants to use an emphasis on plot to distinguish his work from novels he scorns, novels he calls "literature," but he's not talking about plot in general so much as an approach to plot. To show this, we can consider Aristotle via some terminology stolen from the Russian Formalist critic Viktor Shklovsky. Shklovsky distinguishes story (fabula) and plot (syuzhet) from each other by saying that story is a sequence of narrated events linked by time and causation, while plot is what happens when the story is told—there are almost infinite ways of telling a story, and the vast majority of them move the story farther from a natural or realistic sequence.
literature  writing  genre  plot  definition  criticism  literary  sf  review 
september 2009 by tsuomela
They call it Theory Monday — Crooked Timber
Michael Berube follows up his CHE essay on cultural studies. "I’m basically arguing like so: one, when cultural studies is seen as nothing more than the (celebratory) study of popular culture, it’s easy to dismiss—and two, the political economy crowd has long had a vested interest in doing so, because cultural studies posed a direct challenge to them." ... "At this point I’m touching on a large (and, for some people, sore) subject—namely, cultural studies’ ambivalence about its own institutionalization."
cultural-studies  definition  academic  institutions  methods  self-definition 
september 2009 by tsuomela
Postmodern Economists, Empiricist Sociologists? The Problem of Unobservables « A (Budding) Sociologist’s Commonplace Book
In an excellent paper in a similar vein, Espeland and Hirsch (1990) give numerous examples of the kinds of manipulations possible of accounting profits that, they argue, made possible the conglomerates of the 1960s. Especially popular tricks allowed firms to count the earnings of acquired firms retroactively, thus increasing the apparent profitability of the firm post-merger
economics  sociology  profit  accounting  observation  definition  boundaries  unobservables 
july 2009 by tsuomela
New Rules for the New Economy
increasing returns - a good definition of a network is organic behavior in a technological matrix
definition  networks  feedback  positive  growth 
june 2009 by tsuomela
Formal definitions are less useful than you think
In short, you do not need shared formal definitions to be productive as a group. A good research paper does not need to introduce formal definitions.
meaning  computer  computer-science  science  formal  definition  collaboration 
april 2009 by tsuomela
Less Wrong: When Truth Isn't Enough
Analyze these sentences:
I am intelligent. You are clever. He's an egghead.
I am proud. You are arrogant. He's full of himself.
rationality  discussion  language  definition  connotation  denotation  meaning  metaphor 
march 2009 by tsuomela
Siris: On Suits on Games
commentary on The Grasshopper: Games of Life and Utopia, Bernard Suits.
games  definition  play  philosophy 
march 2009 by tsuomela
Hullabaloo - Trading Eights With Digby
On the main point, I totally agree. We really need to hear leftwing voices in the mainstream media. Where we may disagree is, to some extent, on a labeling or definition refinement... liberals are not leftists.
leftism  politics  socialism  liberal  definition  progressivism 
march 2009 by tsuomela
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