Archive (Page 2 of 3)

Experimental Anthropology

In exper­i­men­tal archae­ol­o­gy, we could for instance try to make the kind of shoes that our hunter-gatherer ances­tors might have had, and test how long they last in use.

But what if we are inter­est­ed in com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent kinds of ques­tions. Like, did they have rules for whom you’re allowed to have sex with? How did they raise their kids? We could always look at exist­ing hunter-gatherer cul­tures and guess that the cul­ture might have been sim­i­lar. But could we attempt to test our hypothe­ses, some­way?

Mindful Cyborgs #51 — Nordic Larp, Social Change, and Free-will Agency with Eleanor Saitta

Change is going to hap­pen. I guess in a lot of cas­es I see my role in the world as try­ing des­per­ate­ly to build enough tools, and enough under­stand­ing of how they work and how they can be used, and to get that stuff out into the world enough so that when stuff inevitably breaks and falls apart and explodes in our faces, we’ve got kind of a first aid kit that we can reach for.

Media, Technology & Culture 1.3: So, What’s New?

So, how do we make sense of new media? How can we guard against our temp­ta­tion to assume, our implic­it sense, even, that every­thing in our expe­ri­ence of today’s emerg­ing dig­i­tal media is brand new and unprece­dent­ed? And how do we do that while also appre­ci­at­ing the things that real­ly are new or unique to our cur­rent cul­tur­al con­text and moment in his­to­ry?

Media, Technology & Culture 1.2: Yesterday’s New“s

We’re con­tin­u­ing our series of install­ments, focus­ing on what makes new media new. Or put anoth­er way, how new are new media, real­ly?

Media, Technology & Culture 1.1: Messages about the Medium

We’re going to talk at length about new media. And in our first few install­ments we’re going to begin by think­ing for a bit about what makes a medi­um new.

Institutions in the Age of Algorithms, and Why We Still Need Them

If you look at human his­to­ry all the way through, we orga­nize our­selves in dif­fer­ent ways. Tribes, reli­gions, guilds, states, more recent­ly com­pa­nies and net­works. And what these insti­tu­tions do is they sort of cod­i­fy val­ues and beliefs, and they they trans­port them across the gen­er­a­tions. So we see this phe­nom­e­non that when you cod­i­fy val­ues in insti­tu­tions, you give those val­ues longevi­ty.

What Should We Know About Algorithms?

When I go talk about this, the thing that I tell peo­ple is that I’m not wor­ried about algo­rithms tak­ing over human­i­ty, because they kind of suck at a lot of things, right. And we’re real­ly not that good at a lot of things we do. But there are things that we’re good at. And so the exam­ple that I like to give is Amazon rec­om­mender sys­tems. You all run into this on Netflix or Amazon, where they rec­om­mend stuff to you. And those algo­rithms are actu­al­ly very sim­i­lar to a lot of the sophis­ti­cat­ed arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence we see now. It’s the same under­neath.

Holding To Account

I’m glad those social net­works pro­vide those ser­vices. I think it’s impor­tant for the dia­logue to hap­pen that way. But it can’t be the only way for us to have pub­lic dis­course. Online, we only have these spaces that are owned by pri­vate com­pa­nies. We don’t have pub­lic parks.

Empowerment Through Cooking

In 2004, after work­ing for more than ten years as a cook, I vis­it­ed a favela for the first time. I saw in cook­ing a way to train peo­ple, and so I offered a voca­tion­al train­ing pro­gram in a local insti­tu­tion.

Data and Oil

I come here today because I’m excit­ed about data but also because I’m ter­ri­fied. I’m ter­ri­fied that we are hav­ing progress with­out cul­ture in the world of data. And as we’ve seen with these failed indus­tries before, progress with­out cul­ture does not work.