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Levine, C.: Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network (Paperback and eBook) | Princeton University Press
"Forms offers a powerful new answer to one of the most pressing problems facing literary, critical, and cultural studies today—how to connect form to political, social, and historical context. Caroline Levine argues that forms organize not only works of art but also political life—and our attempts to know both art and politics. Inescapable and frequently troubling, forms shape every aspect of our experience. Yet, forms don't impose their order in any simple way. Multiple shapes, patterns, and arrangements, overlapping and colliding, generate complex and unpredictable social landscapes that challenge and unsettle conventional analytic models in literary and cultural studies. Borrowing the concept of "affordances" from design theory, this book investigates the specific ways that four major forms—wholes, rhythms, hierarchies, and networks—have structured culture, politics, and scholarly knowledge across periods, and it proposes exciting new ways of linking formalism to historicism and literature to politics. Levine rereads both formalist and antiformalist theorists, including Cleanth Brooks, Michel Foucault, Jacques Rancière, Mary Poovey, and Judith Butler, and she offers engaging accounts of a wide range of objects, from medieval convents and modern theme parks to Sophocles's Antigone and the television series The Wire. The result is a radically new way of thinking about form for the next generation and essential reading for scholars and students across the humanities who must wrestle with the problem of form and context."
book  publisher  forms  formal  literary-criticism  methods  social  analysis 
may 2018 by tsuomela
Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life | RAND
"Over the past two decades, national political and civil discourse in the United States has been characterized by "Truth Decay," defined as a set of four interrelated trends: an increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of facts and data; a blurring of the line between opinion and fact; an increase in the relative volume, and resulting influence, of opinion and personal experience over fact; and lowered trust in formerly respected sources of factual information. These trends have many causes, but this report focuses on four: characteristics of human cognitive processing, such as cognitive bias; changes in the information system, including social media and the 24-hour news cycle; competing demands on the education system that diminish time spent on media literacy and critical thinking; and polarization, both political and demographic. The most damaging consequences of Truth Decay include the erosion of civil discourse, political paralysis, alienation and disengagement of individuals from political and civic institutions, and uncertainty over national policy. This report explores the causes and consequences of Truth Decay and how they are interrelated, and examines past eras of U.S. history to identify evidence of Truth Decay's four trends and observe similarities with and differences from the current period. It also outlines a research agenda, a strategy for investigating the causes of Truth Decay and determining what can be done to address its causes and consequences. "
post-truth  polarization  political-science  communication  truth  facts  epistemology  social  epistemic-closure 
january 2018 by tsuomela
Phenomenology of Sociality: Discovering the 'We' // Reviews // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // University of Notre Dame
"Thomas Szanto and Dermot Moran (eds.), Phenomenology of Sociality: Discovering the 'We', Routledge, 2016, 337pp., $148.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781138918795."
book  review  phenomenology  social 
june 2017 by tsuomela
Change of State | The MIT Press
"As the informational state replaces the bureaucratic welfare state, control over information creation, processing, flows, and use has become the most effective form of power. In Change of State Sandra Braman examines the theoretical and practical ramifications of this "change of state." She looks at the ways in which governments are deliberate, explicit, and consistent in their use of information policy to exercise power, exploring not only such familiar topics as intellectual property rights and privacy but also areas in which policy is highly effective but little understood. Such lesser-known issues include hybrid citizenship, the use of "functionally equivalent borders" internally to allow exceptions to U.S. law, research funding, census methods, and network interconnection. Trends in information policy, argues Braman, both manifest and trigger change in the nature of governance itself.After laying the theoretical, conceptual, and historical foundations for understanding the informational state, Braman examines 20 information policy principles found in the U.S Constitution. She then explores the effects of U.S. information policy on the identity, structure, borders, and change processes of the state itself and on the individuals, communities, and organizations that make up the state. Looking across the breadth of the legal system, she presents current law as well as trends in and consequences of several information policy issues in each category affected. Change of State introduces information policy on two levels, coupling discussions of specific contemporary problems with more abstract analysis drawing on social theory and empirical research as well as law. Most important, the book provides a way of understanding how information policy brings about the fundamental social changes that come with the transformation to the informational state."
book  publisher  information  policy  governance  government  law  social  state 
september 2015 by tsuomela
Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality
"Actual and perceived social isolation are both associated with increased risk for early mortality. In this meta-analytic review, our objective is to establish the overall and relative magnitude of social isolation and loneliness and to examine possible moderators. We conducted a literature search of studies (January 1980 to February 2014) using MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Social Work Abstracts, and Google Scholar. The included studies provided quantitative data on mortality as affected by loneliness, social isolation, or living alone. Across studies in which several possible confounds were statistically controlled for, the weighted average effect sizes were as follows: social isolation odds ratio (OR) = 1.29, loneliness OR = 1.26, and living alone OR = 1.32, corresponding to an average of 29%, 26%, and 32% increased likelihood of mortality, respectively. We found no differences between measures of objective and subjective social isolation. Results remain consistent across gender, length of follow-up, and world region, but initial health status has an influence on the findings. Results also differ across participant age, with social deficits being more predictive of death in samples with an average age younger than 65 years. Overall, the influence of both objective and subjective social isolation on risk for mortality is comparable with well-established risk factors for mortality. "
loneliness  social  isolation  health  personality  mortality  psychology 
july 2015 by tsuomela
Centre for Social Ontology | Centre for Social Ontology
"The Centre for Social Ontology (CSO) is funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation. We were established in 2011 at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne. Now based in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick, our main focus is the Morphogenetic Project."
social  ontology  philosophy  sociology 
may 2015 by tsuomela
SOCIAM | The Theory and Practice of Social Machines
"SOCIAM - Social Machines - will research into pioneering methods of supporting purposeful human interaction on the World Wide Web, of the kind exemplified by phenomena such as Wikipedia and Galaxy Zoo. These collaborations are empowering, as communities identify and solve their own problems, harnessing their commitment, local knowledge and embedded skills, without having to rely on remote experts or governments."
research  social  machine  crowdsourcing  citizen-science  human  computing 
august 2014 by tsuomela
Understanding Society: Mechanisms and intellectual movements
"It is therefore interesting to consider the role that reference to social mechanisms has played in recent works of the sociology of science and the sociology of knowledge. A particularly good example is found in the work of sociologists like Camic, Lamont, Gross, and Frickel, and Frickel and Gross's "General Theory of Scientific/Intellectual Movements" (2005) is a good place to start"
science  social  social-movement  sociology  intellectual  movements 
february 2014 by tsuomela
Don’t Mention the War | Jacobin
"With a vacuous social vision, economics confronts the “return of the social question” woefully unprepared."
economics  social  fairness  history  neoclassical 
september 2013 by tsuomela
How to be optimistic about climate change | through the looking glass
"I’ll end with an attempt at a bit of inspiration from a trained scientist famous for insisting there is no alternative: Thatcher. In some ways, her radicalism proves the hippie cliché that another world is possible. Even if we might disagree with the world she helped make, it shows that social structures can be dismantled and re-fashioned. And others can be dismantled and re-fashioned again. And again."
optimism  environment  climate-change  global-warming  activism  change  social 
april 2013 by tsuomela
Machines of Laughter and Forgetting - NYTimes.com
"The hidden truth about many attempts to “bury” technology is that they embody an amoral and unsustainable vision. Pick any electrical appliance in your kitchen. The odds are that you have no idea how much electricity it consumes, let alone how it compares to other appliances and households. This ignorance is neither natural nor inevitable; it stems from a conscious decision by the designer of that kitchen appliance to free up your “cognitive resources” so that you can unleash your inner Oscar Wilde on “contemplating” other things. Multiply such ignorance by a few billion, and global warming no longer looks like a mystery."
sts  technology  technology-effects  technology-critique  social  invisible  visibility 
march 2013 by tsuomela
How Natural Selection Can Create Both Self- and Other-Regarding Preferences, and Networked Minds : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group
"Biological competition is widely believed to result in the evolution of selfish preferences. The related concept of the ‘homo economicus’ is at the core of mainstream economics. However, there is also experimental and empirical evidence for other-regarding preferences. Here we present a theory that explains both, self-regarding and other-regarding preferences. Assuming conditions promoting non-cooperative behaviour, we demonstrate that intergenerational migration determines whether evolutionary competition results in a ‘homo economicus’ (showing self-regarding preferences) or a ‘homo socialis’ (having other-regarding preferences). Our model assumes spatially interacting agents playing prisoner's dilemmas, who inherit a trait determining ‘friendliness’, but mutations tend to undermine it. Reproduction is ruled by fitness-based selection without a cultural modification of reproduction rates. Our model calls for a complementary economic theory for ‘networked minds’ (the ‘homo socialis’) and lays the foundations for an evolutionarily grounded theory of other-regarding agents, explaining individually different utility functions as well as conditional cooperation."
evolution  cooperation  agent-based-model  selfishness  social  pro-social  altruism 
march 2013 by tsuomela
Social isolation, loneliness, and all-cause mortality in older men and women
"Both social isolation and loneliness are associated with increased mortality, but it is uncertain whether their effects are independent or whether loneliness represents the emotional pathway through which social isolation impairs health. We therefore assessed the extent to which the association between social isolation and mortality is mediated by loneliness. W"
loneliness  isolation  social  connection  networks  psychology  mortality  health 
march 2013 by tsuomela
Truth, Lies, and 'Doxxing': The Real Moral of the Gawker/Reddit Story | Wired Opinion | Wired.com
"This raises serious moral and ethical concerns: In a networked society, who among us gets to decide where the moral boundaries lie? This isn’t an easy question and it’s at the root of how we, as a society, conceptualize justice. Governance and the construction of a society is not a fact of life; it’s a public project that we must continuously make and remake. Networked technologies are going to increasingly put pressure on our regulatory structures as conflicting social values crash into one another. In order to benefit from innovation, we must also suffer the destabilizing aspects of new technology."
troll  trolling  privacy  social  shaming  journalism  media  social-media  outing 
march 2013 by tsuomela
5 Ways You're Accidentally Making Everyone Hate You | Cracked.com
"Sure it was. For you. You didn't perceive yourself as being in a position of power because that is the main advantage of power -- that you don't have to think about it. You don't think about money when you're eating at a restaurant. But you sure as fuck think about it when you're too poor to eat."
power  privilege  relationship  social  interaction  hatred 
february 2013 by tsuomela
The Leviathan Model
"We propose an opinion dynamics model that combines processes of vanity and opinion propagation. The interactions take place between randomly chosen pairs. During an interaction, the agents propagate their opinions about themselves and about other people they know. Moreover, each individual is subject to vanity: if her interlocutor seems to value her highly, then she increases her opinion about this interlocutor. On the contrary she tends to decrease her opinion about those who seem to undervalue her. The combination of these dynamics with the hypothesis that the opinion propagation is more efficient when coming from highly valued individuals, leads to different patterns when varying the parameters. For instance, for some parameters the positive opinion links between individuals generate a small world network. In one of the patterns, absolute dominance of one agent alternates with a state of generalised distrust, where all agents have a very low opinion of all the others (including themselves). We provide some explanations of the mechanisms behind these emergent behaviors and finally propose a discussion about their interest. "
agent-based-model  complexity  model  social  opinion  self-perception  networks 
february 2013 by tsuomela
Everyday Sociology Blog
"Welcome to Everydaysociologyblog.com, a site that features interesting, informative, and most of all entertaining commentary from sociologists around the United States. Come to this site regularly to get a sociological take on what is happening in the news (and on what should be in the news)."
weblog-company  sociology  publisher  education  learning  social 
january 2013 by tsuomela
The Society Pages
"The Society Pages is an online, multidisciplinary social science project headquartered in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota and supported by publishing partner W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. The Society Pages’ mission is to bring measured social science to broader public visibility and influence. That is to say, we’re talking about society with society."
weblog-company  sociology  publisher  education  learning  social 
january 2013 by tsuomela
The Anthropic Stupidity Hypothesis - Charlie's Diary
"Why is the human species only as intelligent as it is, and not more so?"
intelligence  species  speculation  social  behavior  learning 
january 2013 by tsuomela
Facebook’s Categorial Imperative | TechCrunch
"Facebook’s newest feature adds some much-needed relevance to the huge proportion of its data hoard that no user has seen or, if we’re honest, thought about, in days, weeks, or years. But Graph Search is ultimately nothing more than a handy sorting algorithm, and it’s indicative of the fact that really, Facebook doesn’t understand the first thing about us."
facebook  social-networking  search  demography  perception  social 
january 2013 by tsuomela
Why Are Environmentalists Taking Anti-Science Positions? by Fred Pearce: Yale Environment 360
"On issues ranging from genetically modified crops to nuclear power, environmentalists are increasingly refusing to listen to scientific arguments that challenge standard green positions. This approach risks weakening the environmental movement and empowering climate contrarians."
environment  environmental  movement  ideology  natural  nature  social  anthropocene  science  modernization 
december 2012 by tsuomela
Breaking Down Walls of Sound | MIT Technology Review
"By altering the craft of how music is recorded, technology is ­actually renewing the social, ephemeral aspects that are ­experienced most fully in live performance."
music  technology  technology-effects  recording  social  behavior  performance  sts 
december 2012 by tsuomela
'Social Reading' Projects Bring Commentary Into the Text - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Work by Stephen Duncombe. "The result of his sabbatical labors has just gone live. Called Open Utopia, it's a free, online version of Thomas More's Utopia that anyone can browse—and annotate. An example of what's sometimes called social reading, Open Utopia builds on the idea that a book doesn't have to be a static text. Online, a book can be a gathering place, a shared space where readers record their reactions and conversations. Those interactions ultimately become part of the book too, a kind of amplified marginalia."
digital-humanities  reading  social  social-computing  online  interaction  utopia 
november 2012 by tsuomela
UnderstandingSociety: The social world as morphogenesis
"Critical realism has progressed far since Roy Bhaskar's early writings on the subject in A Realist Theory of Science. One of the most important thinkers to have introduced new ideas into the debate is Margaret Archer. Several books in the mid-1990s represented genuinely original contributions to issues about the nature of social ontology and methodology, including especially Realist Social Theory: The Morphogenetic Approach and Culture and Agency: The Place of Culture in Social Theory. "
books  review  social  social-science  causation  philosophy  ontology  micro-meso-macro  critical-realism 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Towards a diachronic ethnography of media and actual social changes « media/anthropology
"n this paper I address the question of how to study media and social change ethnographically. To do so I draw from the relevant media anthropology literature, including my own research in Malaysia and Spain. I first sketch a history of media anthropology, identifying a number of key works and themes as well as two main phases of growth since the 1980s. I then argue that anthropologists are well positioned to contribute to the interdisciplinary study of media and social change. However, to do so we must first shift our current focus on media and ‘social changing’ (i.e. how things are changing) to the study of media in relation to actual social changes, e.g. the suburbanisation of Kuala Lumpur in the 1970s to 2000s, or the secularisation of morality in post-Franco Spain. This shift from the ethnographic present continuous to the ethnographic past tense simple (how things changed from A to B) – a move from potential to actual changes – does not require that we abandon our commitment to ethnography in favour of social history. Rather, it demands new forms of ‘diachronic ethnography’ that can handle the processual, finite logic of actual social changes."
media  change  social  ethnography  history  theory  media-studies 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Exploring Tappestry: A Storable Social Network for Learning | David Kelly
This post discusses one of the first applications to utilize the Tin Can API, Tappestry, an iPhone app from Float Learning.
e-learning  mobile  social  social-networking  education  learning  pedagogy  apps 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Does Google Have Any Social Skills at All?
"The keynote sounded one futuristic clarion call after another: Glass, the wearable computer
google  technology  social  attitude  audience  engineering 
july 2012 by tsuomela
UnderstandingSociety: Social hierarchy and popular culture
"Based on these findings, Peterson recommends junking the "elite culture-mass culture" distinction in favor of an "omnivore-univore" distinction. There is indeed a significant difference in the cultural tastes of high-status and low-status people
culture  elites  elitism  taste  music  mass  social  hierarchy  popular  class 
may 2012 by tsuomela
Rise in Scientific Journal Retractions Prompts Calls for Reform - NYTimes.com
"Ms. Bradford, of Science magazine, agreed. “I would agree that a scientist’s career advancement should not depend solely on the publications listed on his or her C.V.,” she said, “and that there is much room for improvement in how scientific talent in all its diversity can be nurtured.”

Even scientists who are sympathetic to the idea of fundamental change are skeptical that it will happen any time soon. “I don’t think they have much chance of changing what they’re talking about,” said Dr. Korn, of Harvard. "
science  sts  peer-production  incentives  academia  publisher  structure  social  reform  retractions  accuracy 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Peak Attention and the Colonization of Subcultures
"The question of how such coded language emerges, spreads and evolves is a big one. I am interested in a very specific question: how do members of an emerging subculture recognize each other in public, especially on the Internet, using more specialized coded language?

The question is interesting because the Web is making traditional subcultures — historically illegible to governance mechanisms, and therefore hotbeds of subversion — increasingly visible and open to cheap, large-scale economic and political exploitation. This exploitation takes the form of attention mining, and is the end-game on the path to what I called Peak Attention a while back.

Does this mean the subversive potential of the Internet is an illusion, and that it will ultimately be domesticated? Possibly." Annotated link http://www.diigo.com/bookmark/http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2012/01/27/peak-attention-and-the-colonization-of-subcultures
internet  culture  subculture  code  code-words  attention  data-mining  social  social-networking  social-media  communication  signals  society  power  government  facebook 
april 2012 by tsuomela
UnderstandingSociety: Social subjectivities
"So it seems fairly clear and direct to say that human subjectivity is itself an important cause of a variety of forms of social patterns: forms of collective behavior, the shaping of social practices, and the adjustment and accommodation of the behavior of other actors in society. This seems to have a fairly striking consequence, however: it seems to imply that the ways that we think about society and social relations actually has a substantial effect on the ways in which society plays out. This is a fundamentally different situation from the natural sciences
sociology  social  explanation  subjectivity  psychology  philosophy  causation 
march 2012 by tsuomela
Open the Future: The Future Isn't What It Used to Be
"And on and on. If futurists have become almost too good at technological foresight, we remain woefully primitive in our abilities to examine and forecast changes to cultural, political, and social dynamics.

Why is this? There isn't a single cause. "
futurism  futures  prediction  technology  social  change 
february 2012 by tsuomela
The Rise of the New Groupthink - NYTimes.com
"Solitude is out of fashion. Our companies, our schools and our culture are in thrall to an idea I call the New Groupthink, which holds that creativity and achievement come from an oddly gregarious place. Most of us now work in teams, in offices without walls, for managers who prize people skills above all. Lone geniuses are out. Collaboration is in. "
solitude  silence  computers  technology-effects  social  media  behavior  creativity  novelty  brainstorming  business 
january 2012 by tsuomela
From underwear to aircraft noise: logging 70 years of social change
The summer of 2011 marks the seventieth anniversary of the very first Government Social Survey.

In celebration, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) pays tribute to the thousands of interviewers who have asked the public questions on everything from underwear to aircraft noise. We have delved into the archives and picked surveys from 1941, 1951, etc to mark each decade.
country(GreatBritain)  state  survey  government  statistics  polling  social 
january 2012 by tsuomela
BBC News - Why state surveys asked about bras and haddock
From bra ownership to television interference, the government has wanted to know some strange stuff about people in the UK. Now a history of social surveys reveals why.
surveys  history  country(GreatBritain)  statistics  state  government  polls  tracking  social 
january 2012 by tsuomela
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