New Books in Science, Technology, and Society

New Books Network

Interviews with Scholars of Science, Technology, and Society about their New Books Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/science-technology-and-society

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Social Media and Political Participation in the Philippines
2d ago
Social Media and Political Participation in the Philippines
We are all familiar with the spread of disinformation on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. But just when we thought we’d seen the worst of it, along comes TikTok. What started out as an app for dance challenges and musical duets has, in recent times, emerged as one of the most concerning tools for amplifying political propaganda and lies. What does this mean in a country like the Philippines, where there are more than 89 million social media users? Joining Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, Assistant Professor Maria Elize Mendoza analyses the influential role of social media in Philippine political affairs, revealing intricate webs of disinformation, propaganda, and citizen mobilisation, with colossal political ramifications. About Maria Elize Mendoza: Maria Elize H. Mendoza is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines Diliman. She obtained her BA (magna cum laude) and MA degrees in Political Science under the BA-MA (Honours) Program of the Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines Diliman. She teaches courses on Philippine politics and social, economic, and political thought. Her research interests include Philippine local politics, the politics of education, and the relationship between social media and political participation. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: www.sydney.edu.au/sseac. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Social Media and Political Participation in the Philippines
2d ago
Social Media and Political Participation in the Philippines
We are all familiar with the spread of disinformation on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. But just when we thought we’d seen the worst of it, along comes TikTok. What started out as an app for dance challenges and musical duets has, in recent times, emerged as one of the most concerning tools for amplifying political propaganda and lies. What does this mean in a country like the Philippines, where there are more than 89 million social media users? Joining Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, Assistant Professor Maria Elize Mendoza analyses the influential role of social media in Philippine political affairs, revealing intricate webs of disinformation, propaganda, and citizen mobilisation, with colossal political ramifications. About Maria Elize Mendoza: Maria Elize H. Mendoza is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines Diliman. She obtained her BA (magna cum laude) and MA degrees in Political Science under the BA-MA (Honours) Program of the Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines Diliman. She teaches courses on Philippine politics and social, economic, and political thought. Her research interests include Philippine local politics, the politics of education, and the relationship between social media and political participation. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: www.sydney.edu.au/sseac. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Alex Williams and Jeremy Gilbert, "Hegemony Now: How Big Tech and Wall Street Won the World (And How We Win it Back)" (Verso, 2022)
2d ago
Alex Williams and Jeremy Gilbert, "Hegemony Now: How Big Tech and Wall Street Won the World (And How We Win it Back)" (Verso, 2022)
Today power is in the hands of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. How do we understand this transformation in power? And what can we do about it? We cannot change anything until we have a better understanding of how power works, who holds it, and why that matters. Through upgrading the concept of hegemony—understanding the importance of passive consent; the complexity of political interests; and the structural force of technology—Jeremy Gilbert and Alex Williams offer us an updated theory of power for the twenty-first century. Alex Williams and Jeremy Gilbert book Hegemony Now: How Big Tech and Wall Street Won the World (And How We Win it Back) (Verso, 2022) explores how these forces came to control our world. The authors show how they have shaped the direction of politics and government as well as the neoliberal economy to benefit their own interests. However, this dominance is under threat. Following the 2008 financial crisis, a new order emerged in which the digital platform is the central new technology of both production and power. This offers new opportunities for counter hegemonic strategies to win back power. Hegemony Now outlines a dynamic socialist strategy for the twenty-first century. Louisa Hann recently attained a PhD in English and American studies from the University of Manchester, specialising in the political economy of HIV/AIDS theatres. She has published work on the memorialisation of HIV/AIDS on the contemporary stage and the use of documentary theatre as a neoliberal harm reduction tool. She is currently working on a monograph based on her doctoral thesis. You can get in touch with her at louisahann92@gmail.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Tripp Mickle, "After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul" (William Morrow, 2022))
3d ago
Tripp Mickle, "After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul" (William Morrow, 2022))
Steve Jobs called Jony Ive his "spiritual partner at Apple." The London-born genius was the second-most powerful person at Apple and the creative force who most embodies Jobs's spirit, the man who designed the products adopted by hundreds of millions the world over: the iPod, iPad, MacBook Air, the iMac G3, and the iPhone. In the wake of his close collaborator's death, the chief designer wrestled with grief and initially threw himself into his work designing the new Apple headquarters and the Watch before losing his motivation in a company increasingly devoted more to margins than to inspiration. In many ways, Cook was Ive's opposite. The product of a small Alabama town, he had risen through the ranks from the supply side of the company. His gift was not the creation of new products. Instead, he had invented countless ways to maximize a margin, squeezing some suppliers, persuading others to build factories the size of cities to churn out more units. He considered inventory evil. He knew how to make subordinates sweat with withering questions. Jobs selected Cook as his successor, and Cook oversaw a period of tremendous revenue growth that has lifted Apple's valuation to $2 trillion. He built a commanding business in China and rapidly distinguished himself as a master politician who could forge global alliances and send the world's stock market into freefall with a single sentence. Author Tripp Mickle spoke with more than 200 current and former Apple executives, as well as figures key to this period of Apple's history, including Trump administration officials and fashion luminaries such as Anna Wintour while writing After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul (William Morrow, 2022). His research shows the company's success came at a cost. Apple lost its innovative spirit and has not designed a new category of device in years. Ive's departure in 2019 marked a culmination in Apple's shift from a company of innovation to one of operational excellence, and the price is a company that has lost its soul. Tripp Mickle is a technology and corporate reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network (Twitter: @caleb_zakarin). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Digital Lethargy
4d ago
Digital Lethargy
In this episode of High Theory, Tung-Hui Hu talks with Júlia Irion Martins about Digital Lethargy, as part of our High Theory in STEM series. As a modern ailment, digital lethargy is a societal pathology, like earlier forms of acedia, otium, and neurasthenia, but also a disease of performing selfhood within the disposable identities of contemporary, digital service work. In this episode, Tung-Hui Hu makes the argument that digital lethargy helps us turn away from the demand to constantly “be ourselves” and see the potential of quieter, more ordinary forms of survival in the digital age such as collective inaction. In the episode he discusses Heike Geissler’s Seasonal Associate (Semiotexte/Native Agents, 2018, trans. Katy Derbyshire). He also references the film Sleeping Beauty (dir. Julia Leigh, 2011), Douglas A. Blackmon’s Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (Anchor, 2008), Heike Geissler’s Seasonal Associate (Semiotexte/Native Agents, 2018, trans. Katy Derbyshire), and Cathy Park Hong’s Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning (Penguin Random House, 2020). Other mentions include the artist Aria Dean and scholar Achille Mbembe. Tung-Hui Hu is a poet and scholar. His new website has the best domain ending: tunghui.hu He is a 2022-23 Rome Prize Fellow in Literature at the American Academy in Rome and an associate professor of English at the University of Michigan. His book on this topic, Digital Lethargy: Dispatches from an Age of Disconnection (MIT Press, 2022), will be published on October 4 This week’s image was made by Saronik Bosu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Kirsti Niskanen and Michael J. Barany, "Gender, Embodiment, and the History of the Scholarly Persona" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021)
5d ago
Kirsti Niskanen and Michael J. Barany, "Gender, Embodiment, and the History of the Scholarly Persona" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021)
In Gender, Embodiment, and the History of the Scholarly Persona. Incarnations and Contestations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), Professors Kirsti Niskanen and Michael J. Barany present a rich collection of essays on the historical construction and reinvention of scholarly personae. The book carries this investigation by focusing on three contextual conditions that play a decisive role in the fashioning of such personae: international travels, embodiment, and gender. The book also pays great attention to the role of incomes and funding opportunities in the evolution of scholarly personae in disciplines as varied as mathematics, philosophy, experimental psychology, pedagogy, history, and medicine. Niskanen and Barany “see the history of scholarly personae as occupying a vital space in cultural theories of science and scholarship”. This statement should be understood in at least two ways. Firstly, the study of scholarly personae delves into the dynamic interactions between personalities, institutions, professional ethos, social norms, international exchanges, and explains how these interactions generate ways of conducting and presenting one’s life. Secondly, uncovering such histories of scholarly personae eventually leads to a better understanding of contextual forces that prevent or encourage the emergence of greater diversity and equity within academia today. At the intersection of a wide range of scholarly disciplines and geographical contexts, Gender, Embodiment, and the History of the Scholarly Persona represent a major contribution to the historical study of scientific personae since Lorraine Daston and H. Otto Sibum’s special issue, “Scientific Personae and Their Histories”, published in 2003. Victor Monnin, Ph.D. is an historian of science specialized in the history of Earth sciences. He is teaching the Humanities and French language to undergraduates. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Kathryn Harkup, "Death By Shakespeare: Snakebites, Stabbings and Broken Hearts" (Bloomsbury, 2020)
5d ago
Kathryn Harkup, "Death By Shakespeare: Snakebites, Stabbings and Broken Hearts" (Bloomsbury, 2020)
William Shakespeare found dozens of different ways to kill off his characters, and audiences today still enjoy the same reactions – shock, sadness, fear – that they did more than 400 years ago when these plays were first performed. But how realistic are these deaths, and did Shakespeare have the knowledge to back them up? In the Bard's day death was a part of everyday life. Plague, pestilence and public executions were a common occurrence, and the chances of seeing a dead or dying body on the way home from the theatre were high. It was also a time of important scientific progress. Shakespeare kept pace with anatomical and medical advances, and he included the latest scientific discoveries in his work, from blood circulation to treatments for syphilis. He certainly didn't shy away from portraying the reality of death on stage, from the brutal to the mundane, and the spectacular to the silly. Elizabethan London provides the backdrop for Death By Shakespeare: Snakebites, Stabbings and Broken Hearts (Bloomsbury, 2020), as Dr. Kathryn Harkup turns her discerning scientific eye to the Bard and the varied and creative ways his characters die. Was death by snakebite as serene as Shakespeare makes out? Could lack of sleep have killed Lady Macbeth? Can you really murder someone by pouring poison in their ear? Dr. Harkup investigates what actual events may have inspired Shakespeare, what the accepted scientific knowledge of the time was, and how Elizabethan audiences would have responded to these death scenes. Death by Shakespeare will tell you all this and more in a rollercoaster of Elizabethan carnage, poison, swordplay and bloodshed, with an occasional death by bear-mauling for good measure. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
NBN Classic: Phoebe Moore, "The Quantified Self in Precarity: Work, Technology and What Counts" (Routledge, 2017)
6d ago
NBN Classic: Phoebe Moore, "The Quantified Self in Precarity: Work, Technology and What Counts" (Routledge, 2017)
This episode proved remarkably popular, so we're reposting it as an NBN classic for those who missed it the first time. Humans are accustomed to being tool bearers, but what happens when machines become tool bearers, calculating human labour via the use of big data and people analytics by metrics? Phoebe Moore's The Quantified Self in Precarity: Work, Technology and What Counts (Routledge, 2017) highlights how, whether it be in insecure ‘gig’ work or office work, such digitalisation is not an inevitable process – nor is it one that necessarily improves working conditions. Indeed, through unique research and empirical data, Moore demonstrates how workplace quantification leads to high turnover rates, workplace rationalisation and worker stress and anxiety, with these issues linked to increased rates of subjective and objective precarity. Scientific management asked us to be efficient. Now, we are asked to be agile. But what does this mean for the everyday lives we lead? With a fresh perspective on how technology and the use of technology for management and self-management changes the ‘quantified’, precarious workplace today, The Quantified Self in Precarity will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in fields such as Science and Technology, Organisation Management, Sociology and Politics. John Danaher is a lecturer the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is also the host of the wonderful podcast Philosophical Disquisitions. You can find it here on Apple Podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
NBN Classic: Mark Bartholomew, "Adcreep: The Case Against Modern Marketing" (Stanford Law Books, 2017)
6d ago
NBN Classic: Mark Bartholomew, "Adcreep: The Case Against Modern Marketing" (Stanford Law Books, 2017)
This episode proved remarkably popular, so we're reposting it as an NBN classic for those who missed it the first time. Advertising is everywhere. By some estimates, the average American is exposed to over 3,000 advertisements each day. Whether we realize it or not, "adcreep"―modern marketing's march to create a world where advertising can be expected anywhere and anytime―has come, transforming not just our purchasing decisions, but our relationships, our sense of self, and the way we navigate all spaces, public and private. In Adcreep: The Case Against Modern Marketing (Stanford Law Books, 2017), Mark Bartholomew journeys through the curious and sometimes troubling world of modern advertising. Bartholomew exposes an array of marketing techniques that might seem like the stuff of science fiction: neuromarketing, biometric scans, automated online spies, and facial recognition technology, all enlisted to study and stimulate consumer desire. This marriage of advertising and technology has consequences. Businesses wield rich and portable records of consumer preference, delivering advertising tailored to your own idiosyncratic thought processes. They mask their role by using social media to mobilize others, from celebrities to your own relatives, to convey their messages. Guerrilla marketers turn every space into a potential site for a commercial come-on or clandestine market research. Advertisers now know you on a deeper, more intimate level, dramatically tilting the historical balance of power between advertiser and audience. In this world of ubiquitous commercial appeals, consumers and policymakers are numbed to advertising's growing presence. Drawing on a variety of sources, including psychological experiments, marketing texts, communications theory, and historical examples, Bartholomew reveals the consequences of life in a world of non-stop selling. Adcreep mounts a damning critique of the modern American legal system's failure to stem the flow of invasive advertising into our homes, parks, schools, and digital lives. John Danaher is a lecturer the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is also the host of the wonderful podcast Philosophical Disquisitions. You can find it here on Apple Podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
NBN Classic: Jonathan Sadowsky, "The Empire of Depression: A New History" (Polity, 2020)
1w ago
NBN Classic: Jonathan Sadowsky, "The Empire of Depression: A New History" (Polity, 2020)
This episode proved remarkably popular, so we're reposting it as an NBN classic for those who missed it the first time. When is sorrow sickness? That is the question that this book asks, exploring how our understandings of sadness, melancholy, depression, mania and anxiety have changed over time, and how societies have tried to treat something which lies on the border between the natural and the pathological. Jonathan Sadowsky's book The Empire of Depression: A New History (Polity, 2020) explores the various medical treatments for depression, classed as a modern illness with definite (but changing) symptoms from the 20th century onwards, in relation to a longer history of treatments for ‘melancholia’ and related states considered either as biological or social sicknesses or as a natural part of some people’s constitution. He also compares the western history of medicalising depression with the experiences of both sadness and clinical depression in non-western cultures, such as Nigeria and Japan. He asks, what have we lost as a consequence of the hegemony of the western clinical model, and how can we reclaim the patient experience in the face of sometimes hostile doctors and pharmaceutical companies? The book is poetic but well-researched, written by a leading medical historian, and distinguished from the crowd of books about depression through its global focus, and its historical rigour. C.J. Valasek is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology & Science Studies at the University of California San Diego. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
NBN Classic: Virginia Eubanks, "Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor" (St. Martin's, 2018)
1w ago
NBN Classic: Virginia Eubanks, "Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor" (St. Martin's, 2018)
This episode proved remarkably popular, so we're reposting it as an NBN classic for those who missed it the first time. The State of Indiana denies one million applications for healthcare, foodstamps and cash benefits in three years―because a new computer system interprets any mistake as “failure to cooperate.” In Los Angeles, an algorithm calculates the comparative vulnerability of tens of thousands of homeless people in order to prioritize them for an inadequate pool of housing resources. In Pittsburgh, a child welfare agency uses a statistical model to try to predict which children might be future victims of abuse or neglect. Since the dawn of the digital age, decision-making in finance, employment, politics, health and human services has undergone revolutionary change. Today, automated systems―rather than humans―control which neighborhoods get policed, which families attain needed resources, and who is investigated for fraud. While we all live under this new regime of data, the most invasive and punitive systems are aimed at the poor. In Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor (St. Martin's, 2018), Virginia Eubanks systematically investigates the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people in America. The book is full of heart-wrenching and eye-opening stories, from a woman in Indiana whose benefits are literally cut off as she lays dying to a family in Pennsylvania in daily fear of losing their daughter because they fit a certain statistical profile. The U.S. has always used its most cutting-edge science and technology to contain, investigate, discipline and punish the destitute. Like the county poorhouse and scientific charity before them, digital tracking and automated decision-making hide poverty from the middle-class public and give the nation the ethical distance it needs to make inhumane choices: which families get food and which starve, who has housing and who remains homeless, and which families are broken up by the state. In the process, they weaken democracy and betray our most cherished national values. This deeply researched and passionate book could not be more timely. John Danaher is a lecturer the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is also the host of the wonderful podcast Philosophical Disquisitions. You can find it here on Apple Podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
James Belich, "The World the Plague Made: The Black Death and the Rise of Europe" (Princeton UP, 2022)
Sep 23 2022
James Belich, "The World the Plague Made: The Black Death and the Rise of Europe" (Princeton UP, 2022)
In 1346, a catastrophic plague beset Europe and its neighbours. The Black Death was a human tragedy that abruptly halved entire populations and caused untold suffering, but it also brought about a cultural and economic renewal on a scale never before witnessed. The World the Plague Made is a panoramic history of how the bubonic plague revolutionized labour, trade, and technology and set the stage for Europe’s global expansion. In The World the Plague Made: The Black Death and the Rise of Europe (Princeton University Press, 2022) Dr. James Belich takes readers across centuries and continents to shed new light on one of history’s greatest paradoxes. Why did Europe’s dramatic rise begin in the wake of the Black Death? Belich shows how the plague doubled the per capita endowment of everything even as it decimated the population. Many more people had disposable incomes. Demand grew for silks, sugar, spices, furs, gold, and slaves. Europe expanded to satisfy that demand—and the plague provided the means. Labour scarcity drove more use of waterpower, wind power, and gunpowder. Technologies like water-powered blast furnaces, heavily gunned galleons, and musketry were fast-tracked by plague. A new “crew culture” of “disposable males” emerged to man the guns and galleons. Setting the rise of Western Europe in a global context, Belich demonstrates how the mighty empires of the Middle East and Russia also flourished after the plague, and how European expansion was deeply entangled with the Chinese and other peoples throughout the world. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
David Max Moerman, "The Japanese Buddhist World Map: Religious Vision and the Cartographic Imagination" (U Hawaii Press, 2021)
Sep 23 2022
David Max Moerman, "The Japanese Buddhist World Map: Religious Vision and the Cartographic Imagination" (U Hawaii Press, 2021)
From the fourteenth through the nineteenth centuries Japanese monks created hundreds of maps to construct and locate their place in a Buddhist world. Expansively illustrated with multiple maps and illustrations, The Japanese Buddhist World Map: Religious Vision and the Cartographic Imagination (University of Hawai’i Press, 2021) by D. Max Moerman is the first monograph of its kind to explore the largely unknown archive of Japanese Buddhist world maps and analyze their production, reproduction, and reception. In examining these fascinating sources of visual and material culture, Moerman argues for an alternative history of Japanese Buddhism—one that compels us to recognize the role of the Buddhist geographic imaginary in a culture that encompassed multiple cartographic and cosmological world views. The contents and contexts of Japanese Buddhist world maps reveal the ambivalent and shifting position of Japan in the Buddhist world, its encounter and negotiation with foreign ideas and technologies, and the possibilities for a global history of Buddhism and science. Moerman’s visual and intellectual history traces the multiple trajectories of Japanese Buddhist world maps, beginning with the earliest extant Japanese map of the world: a painting by a fourteenth-century Japanese monk charting the cosmology and geography of India and Central Asia based on an account written by a seventh-century Chinese pilgrim-monk. He goes on to discuss the cartographic inclusion and marginal position of Japan, the culture of the copy and the power of replication in Japanese Buddhism, and the transcultural processes of engagement and response to new visions of the world produced by Iberian Christians, Chinese Buddhists, and the Japanese maritime trade. Later chapters explore the transformations in the media and messages of Buddhist cartography in the age of print culture and in intellectual debates during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries over cosmology and epistemology and the polemics of Buddhist science. The Japanese Buddhist World Map offers a wholly innovative picture of Japanese Buddhism that acknowledges the possibility of multiple and heterogeneous modernities and alternative visions of Japan and the world. D. Max Moerman is a Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College of Columbia University. His research interests lie in the visual and material culture of Japanese religions. Shatrunjay Mall is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He works on transnational Asian history, and his dissertation explores intellectual, political, and cultural intersections and affinities that emerged between Indian anti-colonialism and imperial Japan in the twentieth century. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Amber Sinha, "The Networked Public: How Social Media is Changing Democracy" (Rupa Publications, 2019)
Sep 20 2022
Amber Sinha, "The Networked Public: How Social Media is Changing Democracy" (Rupa Publications, 2019)
Amber Sinha works at the intersection law, technology and society, and studies the impact of digital technologies on socio-political processes and structures. His research aims to further the discourse on regulatory practices around internet, technology, and society. He is currently a Senior Fellow-Trustworthy AI at Mozilla Foundation studying models for algorithmic transparency. Networks, whether in the form of Facebook and Twitter or WhatsApp groups, are exerting immense, unchecked power in subverting political discourse and polarizing the public in India. If people’s understandings of their political reality can be so easily manipulated through misinformation, then what role can they play in fostering deliberative democracies? Amber Sinha asks this much ignored and often-misunderstood question in his book The Networked Public: How Social Media is Changing Democracy (Rupa Publications, 2019). In search for an answer, he investigates the history of misinformation and the biases that make the public susceptible to it, how digital platforms and their governance impacts the public’s behaviour on them, as well as the changing face of political targeting in this data-driven world.  The book weaves sharp analysis with academic rigour to show that while the public can be irrational and gullible, their actions—be it mob violence or spreading fake news—are symptoms of deeper social malaise and products of their technological contexts.The Networked Public is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how social media and the Internet is transforming democracy not only in India, but across the world. Alok Prasanna Kumar is Co-Founder and Lead, Vidhi Karnataka. Sarayu Natarajan is the Founder of Aapti Institute. In the past, she has worked in management consulting and the venture fund industry before the plunge into researching politics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Alex Nathanson, "A History of Solar Power Art and Design" (Routledge, 2021)
Sep 19 2022
Alex Nathanson, "A History of Solar Power Art and Design" (Routledge, 2021)
Alex Nathanson's book A History of Solar Power Art and Design (Routledge, 2021) examines the history of creative applications of photovoltaic (PV) solar power, including sound art, wearable technology, public art, industrial design, digital media, building integrated design, and many others. The growth in artists and designers incorporating solar power into their work reflects broader social, economic, and political events. As the cost of PV cells has come down, they have become more accessible and have found their way into a growing range of design applications and artistic practices. As climate change continues to transform our environment and becomes a greater public concern, the importance of integrating sustainable energy technologies into our culture grows as well. The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, design history, design studies, environmental studies, environmental humanities, and sustainable energy design. Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality. He has authored two books, “Contractors CANNOT Build Your House,” and “Six Months Now, ARCHITECT for Life.” He is an Assistant Professor at Alfred State College and has served as the Director of Government Affairs and as the Director of Education for the AIA Rochester Board of Directors. Always eager to help anyone understand the world of Architecture, he hosts the New Books Network – Architecture podcast, is an NCARB Licensing Advisor and helps coach candidates taking the Architectural Registration Exam. btoepfer@toepferarchitecture Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Stefan Höltgen, "Open History: The Archaeology of Retrocomputing" (Kulturverlag Kadmos, 2021)
Sep 16 2022
Stefan Höltgen, "Open History: The Archaeology of Retrocomputing" (Kulturverlag Kadmos, 2021)
Today I talked to Stefan Höltgen about his book Open History: The Archaeology of Retrocomputing (Kulturverlag Kadmos, 2021). How can historical computers be described properly from the viewpoint of computer science? By considering media archaeology’s theory of operative and thus a-historical media computer archaeology combines an interdisciplinary set of theories and methods to answer this question. At first, the problems of computer historiography (technical inaccuracy, inconsistency, and idiosyncrasy) will be deconstructed with the help of history criticism (H. Whyte, R. G. Collingwood), discourse archaeology (M. Foucault), and media archaeology (W. Ernst). Following that, technology–oriented tools and methods are gathered for describing ‘old’ computers within an ‘archaeography’ and analyzing them within a mid-range theory. Methods of computer science (from theoretical, practical, and technical c.s.), electronics, logics, mathematics, and diagrammatics supersede hermeneutical methods of historiography. Additional tools (re-enactment, demonstration, computer philology) from media science and other disciplines complement this set of methods. The objects of the following analyzation are early microcomputers (1975-95). Retro computing, that has been practiced for decades as a hobbyistic way of computer archaeology, sets the frame for four computer archaeological projects that had been implemented within media scientific seminars (and other occasions): 1. a computer philological analysis of a ‘traditional’ computer demo (simulating a jumping ball) on different platforms and in different programming languages since the 1960s; 2. the development of a “Game of Life” on an 8-bit platform to examine the didactical and ‘historiographical’ potentialities of cellular automata; 3. the development of a new computer game for a 1978 gaming console to examine the differences between software emulation and material hardware; 4. the reparation of an 8-bit computer from 1976 done by a hardware hacker to analyze the tools, methods and knowledge-gaining process of such a non-professional approach. These projects are discussed afterwards to gain the specific didactical modus operandi of retro computing hobbyists. Just like historical home computing (starting from the late 1970s) retro computing autodidactically gathers theoretical, historical, and practical knowledge by trial and error, gamification, and e-learning through a “learning by doing” procedure. The confrontation of three historical examples with three actual retro computing projects will prove this. The didactical reflection of retro computing projects describes a ‘retro didactic’ that would be useful for a broad application of historic sensitive, computer scientific knowledge with the help of less complex systems (like early microcomputers are). Rudolf Inderst is a professor of Game Design with a focus on Digital Game Studies at the IU International University of Applied Science and editor of “Game Studies Watchlist”, a weekly messenger newsletter about Game Culture. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Beronda L. Montgomery, "Lessons from Plants" (Harvard UP, 2021)
Sep 15 2022
Beronda L. Montgomery, "Lessons from Plants" (Harvard UP, 2021)
We know that plants are important. They maintain the atmosphere by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. They nourish other living organisms and supply psychological benefits to humans as well, improving our moods and beautifying the landscape around us. But plants don't just passively provide. They also take action. Beronda L. Montgomery explores the vigorous, creative lives of organisms often treated as static and predictable. In fact, plants are masters of adaptation. They "know" what and who they are, and they use this knowledge to make a way in the world. Plants experience a kind of sensation that does not require eyes or ears. They distinguish kin, friend, and foe, and they are able to respond to ecological competition despite lacking the capacity of fight-or-flight. Plants are even capable of transformative behaviors that allow them to maximize their chances of survival in a dynamic and sometimes unfriendly environment. Lessons from Plants (Harvard UP, 2021) enters into the depth of botanic experience and shows how we might improve human society by better appreciating not just what plants give us but also how they achieve their own purposes. What would it mean to learn from these organisms, to become more aware of our environments and to adapt to our own worlds by calling on perception and awareness? Montgomery's meditative study puts before us a question with the power to reframe the way we live: What would a plant do? Marshall Poe is the founder and editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at marshallpoe@newbooksnetwork.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member!