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Latest episodes from New Books in Technology

Albert Glinsky, "Switched On: Bob Moog and the Synthesizer Revolution" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 7, 2023 71:25


The Moog synthesizer ‘bent the course of music forever' Rolling Stone declared. Bob Moog, the man who did that bending, was a lovable geek with Einstein hair and pocket protectors. He walked into history in 1964 when his homemade contraption unexpectedly became a sensation---suddenly everyone wanted a Moog. The Beatles, The Doors, The Byrds, and Stevie Wonder discovered his synthesizer, and it came to be featured in seminal film scores including Apocalypse Now and A Clockwork Orange. The Moog's game-changing sounds saturated 60's counterculture and burst into the disco party in the 70's to set off the electronic dance music movement. Bob had singlehandedly founded the synth industry and become a star in the process. But he was also going broke. Imitators copied his technology, the musicians' union accused him of replacing live players, and Japanese competitors started overtaking his work. He struggled to hang on to his inventions, his business, and his very name. Bob's story upends our notions of success and wealth, showing that the two don't always go together. In Switched On: Bob Moog and the Synthesizer Revolution (Oxford UP, 2022), author Albert Glinsky draws on exclusive access to Bob Moog's personal archives and his probing interviews with Bob's family and a multitude of associates, for this first complete biography of the man and his work. Switched On takes the reader on a roller coaster ride at turns triumphant, heart-breaking, and frequently laugh out loud absurd---a nuanced trip through the public and private worlds of this legendary inventor who altered the course of music.” Nathan Smith is a PhD Student in Music Theory at Yale University. He can be reached at nathan.smith@yale.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Mirror Image: New Technologies and the Self

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 7, 2023 15:05


16th-century glass mirrors and 21st-century camera phones actually share a lot in common; they both are technologies that shaped new forms of the self. Guests Ian Mortimer, historian and author of Millennium: From Religion to Revolution: How Civilization Has Changed Over a Thousand Years Ilan Stavans, professor of Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College and author of I Love My Selfie Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Robert M. Geraci, "Futures of Artificial Intelligence: Perspectives from India and the U.S." (Oxford UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 5, 2023 45:29


Twenty-first century life is increasingly governed by artificial intelligence (AI) technologies such as machine learning, big data analysis, facial recognition, and robotics. For decades, an ideology of apocalyptic progress and cosmic transformation has accompanied the advancement of AI in the United States; that vision is intimately connected to transhumanism, the idea that humanity can transcend its limits, even mortality, using technology. By describing the arrival and reconfiguration of transhumanist ideas in India, Robert M. Geraci's book Futures of Artificial Intelligence: Perspectives from India and the U.S. (Oxford UP, 2021) reveals how the nexus of religion and technology contributes to public life and our modern self-understanding while suggesting that the apocalyptic approach to AI should be tempered by other visions. Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Samantha Muka, "Oceans Under Glass: Tank Craft and the Sciences of the Sea" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2023 51:22


In Oceans Under Glass: Tank Craft and the Sciences of the Sea (University of Chicago Press, 2022), Samantha Muka, Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Stevens Institute of Technology, dives into the unexpected world of tank crafting. Throughout the book, Muka tells the stories behind the development of various kinds of aquariums, such as photography tanks and reef tanks. She explains how the knowledge and ingenuity of a variety of actors have been contributing to furthering our knowledge of oceanic environments. The myriad of technical and technological challenges that arise when attempting to maintain aquatic species in artificial environments has been the source of at least as many experiments in tank tinkering. Focusing on aquariums as complex, situated, and constantly evolving technological devices, Muka shows how the production of knowledge about the ocean depends on interactions between communities holding different knowledge, expertise, and interests: public aquarists, academic researchers, and hobbyists. Analyzing the “craft circulation” between these three groups, the author provides us with a dynamic picture that challenges a series of assumptions on how scientific knowledge is and can be produced. More than a history and sociology of tank craft, Oceans under Glass offers a meditation on the necessity of aquariums and their artificiality not only to learn about the ocean, but also to preserve some of their biodiversity. “Imagined worlds”, as Muka puts it, aquariums should also be understood as critical places where our future relationship to the oceans, for better and for worst, is being shaped. 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! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Lilie Chouliaraki and Myria Georgiou, "The Digital Border: Migration, Technology, Power" (NYU Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 2, 2023 80:59


Hello, world! This is the Global Media & Communication podcast series. In this episode, our host Juan Llamas-Rodriguez discusses the book The Digital Border: Migration, Technology, Power (2022) by Dr. Lilie Chouliaraki and Dr. Myria Georgiou. You'll hear about: What The Digital Border is about, its importance, and its implication; How the authors' previous works helped build the foundation for writing this book collaboratively; Why and how the authors chose to focus on specific forms of media such as social media and journalism; A discussion of humanitarian securitization vis a vis entrepreneurial securitization; How to understand the theoretical shift from the “crisis of migration” to the “crisis of responsibility”; How do we contend the different temporalities of resistance as various actors produce or respond to border technologies and infrastructures; As the displacement of people are intensifying, what frameworks and toolkits can be useful for us to rethink global migration against the “crisis of imaginary” (imaginary as a representational framework that people normatively think about certain issues); What are the futures of globalization and its counter movements in Global North from the perspectives of migration and bordering; What are the areas the authors wish to further explore in the future. About the book What is the role of digital technologies is shaping migration today? How do digital infrastructures, platforms, and institutions control the flow of people at the border? And how do they also control the public narratives of migration as a “crisis”? Finally, how do migrants themselves use these same platforms to speak back and make themselves heard in the face of hardship and hostility? Taking their case studies from the biggest migration event of the twenty-first century in the West, the 2015 European migration “crisis” and its aftermath up to 2020, Lilie Chouliaraki and Myria Georgiou offer a holistic account of the digital border as an expansive assemblage of technological infrastructures (from surveillance cameras to smartphones) and media imaginaries (stories, images, social media posts) to tell the story of migration as it unfolds in Europe's outer islands as much as its most vibrant cities. You can find this book on the NYU Press website. Authors: Lilie Chouliaraki is Professor of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics, where she also serves as the department's Doctoral Program Director. Myria Georgiou is Professor of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics, where she also serves as Research Director. Host: Juan Llamas-Rodriguez is an assistant professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, where he researches and teaches global media cultures, digital technologies, border studies, infrastructure studies, and Latin American media. Editor & Producer: Jing Wang is Senior Research Manager at CARGC at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Our podcast is part of the multimodal project powered by the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication (CARGC) at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. At CARGC, we produce and promote critical, interdisciplinary, and multimodal research on global media and communication. We aim to bridge academic scholarship and public life, bringing the very best scholarship to bear on enduring global questions and pressing contemporary issues. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Ethical AI

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 31, 2022 22:39


In this episode of High Theory, Alex Hanna talks with Nathan Kim about Ethical AI. Their conversation is part of our High Theory in STEM series, which tackles topics in science, technology, engineering, and medicine from a highly theoretical perspective. In this episode, Alex helps us think about the complicated recipes we call “artificial intelligence” and what we mean when we ask our technologies to be ethical. In the episode Alex references an article by Emily Tucker, called “Artifice and Intelligence,” (Tech Policy Press, 17 March 2022) which suggests we should stop using terms like “artificial intelligence” and an opinion piece in the Washington Post, on a similar theme, by Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell, “We warned Google that people might believe AI was sentient. Now it's happening” (17 June 2022). She also mentions a claim by Blake Lemoine that Google's LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) is sentient. We'll leave that one to your googling, if not your judgment. Dr. Alex Hanna is Director of Research at the Distributed AI Research Institute (DAIR). A sociologist by training, her work centers on the data used in new computational technologies, and the ways in which these data exacerbate racial, gender, and class inequality. You can read her recent article, “AI Ethics Are in Danger. Funding Independent Research Could Help,” co-authored with Dylan Baker in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and learn more about her work on her website. This week's image was produced by DALL-E 2 responding to the prompt: "generate the image of an artificial intelligence entity, deciding to protect shareholder interests over public good, in the style of Van Gogh." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Luke Munn, "Automation Is a Myth" (Stanford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 27, 2022 66:30


For some, automation will usher in a labor-free utopia; for others, it signals a disastrous age-to-come. Yet whether seen as dream or nightmare, automation, argues Munn, is ultimately a fable that rests on a set of triple fictions. There is the myth of full autonomy, claiming that machines will take over production and supplant humans. But far from being self-acting, technical solutions are piecemeal; their support and maintenance reveals the immense human labor behind "autonomous" processes. There is the myth of universal automation, with technologies framed as a desituated force sweeping the globe. But this fiction ignores the social, cultural, and geographical forces that shape technologies at a local level. And, there is the myth of automating everyone, the generic figure of "the human" at the heart of automation claims. But labor is socially stratified and so automation's fallout will be highly uneven, falling heavier on some (immigrants, people of color, women) than others.  In Automation Is a Myth (Stanford UP, 2022), Munn moves from machine minders in China to warehouse pickers in the United States to explore the ways that new technologies do (and don't) reconfigure labor. Combining this rich array of human stories with insights from media and cultural studies, Munn points to a more nuanced, localized, and racialized understanding of the "future of work." Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube Channel. Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Mariëlle Wijermars et al., "The Palgrave Handbook of Digital Russia Studies" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 24, 2022 55:50


How has digitalisation changed Russian politics? How has Russia's invasion of Ukraine changed Russia studies? What is special about Russia's approach to algorithmic governance and internet control? Assistant Professor in Cyber-Security and Politics from Maastricht University, Mariëlle Wijermars, talks about her ongoing research on Russian politics, internet policy and platform governance. In a conversation with Joanne Kuai, Mariëlle Wijermars also talks about The Palgrave Handbook of Digital Russia Studies. This open-access handbook was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2020 and was edited by Mariëlle together with Daria Gritsenko and Mikhail Kopotev. This handbook presents a multidisciplinary and multifaceted perspective on how the ‘digital' is simultaneously changing Russia and the research methods scholars use to study Russia. It provides a critical update on how Russian society, politics, economy, and culture are reconfigured in the context of ubiquitous connectivity and accounts for the political and societal responses to digitalization. Dr. Mariëlle Wijermars is an Assistant Professor in Cyber-Security and Politics at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. She is currently a CORE Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, where she researches internet freedom and the human rights' implications of internet policy and platform governance, in particular in authoritarian states. You can connect with Mariëlle Wijermars on Twitter @Marielle_W_ and on Mastodon @Marielle_W@mastodon.social. Joanne Kuai is a PhD Candidate at Karlstad University, Sweden, with a research project on Artificial Intelligence in Chinese Newsrooms. Her research interests centre around data and AI for media, computational journalism, and the social implications of automation and algorithms. Find her on LinkedIn or on Twitter @JoanneKuai. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Geert Lovink, "Sad by Design: On Platform Nihilism" (Pluto Press, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2022 60:15


Why is the internet making us so unhappy? Why is it in capital's interests to cultivate populations that are depressed and desperate rather than driven by the same irrational exuberance that moves money? Sadness is now a design problem. The highs and lows of melancholy are coded into social media platforms. After all the clicking, browsing, swiping and liking, all we are left with is the flat and empty aftermath of time lost to the app. Sad by Design: On Platform Nihilism (Pluto Press, 2019) by Geert Lovink offers a critical analysis of the controversies which drive our online media behaviours. Lovink calls for us to embrace the engineered intimacy of social media, messenger apps and selfies because boredom is the first stage of overcoming ‘platform nihilism'. Geert Lovink speaks to Pierre d'Alancaisez about the frustrations of studying the internet as it evolves from networks to platforms, the politically-contingent notions of online 'communities', and cycles of ideological production and capture. Geert Lovink is a media theorist and internet critic who has chronicled the development of internet and network cultures as they came of age alongside him. He is the author of Zero Comments, Networks Without a Cause, Social Media Abyss, and most recently Struck on the Platform. He is the founder of the Institute of Network Cultures. Pierre d'Alancaisez is a contemporary art curator, cultural strategist, researcher. Sometime scientist, financial services professional. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

John D. Wong, "Hong Kong Takes Flight: Commercial Aviation and the Making of a Global Hub, 1930s-1998" (Harvard UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2022 44:05


On July 6, 1998, the last flight took off from Kai Tak International Airport, marking the end of an era for Hong Kong aviation. For decades, international flights flew over the roofs of Kowloon apartments, before landing on Kai Tak's runway, extending out into the harbor. Kai Tak–frankly, a terrible place for one of the world's busiest international airports–is a good symbol of the story of Hong Kong's aviation, as told in Hong Kong Takes Flight: Commercial Aviation and the Making of a Global Hub, 1930s–1998 (Harvard University Press, 2022) by John D. Wong and published by Harvard University Press. Hong Kong's growth as a hub for commercial aviation was often unplanned, often the result of compromise–and yet wildly successful. The city was able to carve a niche for itself, in both the declining British empire and the wider world, while also having to deal with colonial bureaucracy, geopolitics, fierce competition and an entirely new Communist government across the border. In this interview, John and I talk about Hong Kong's history with aviation, from its very start with flying boats and puddlejumpers right through to the jumbo jet era. John D. Wong is Associate Professor at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, The University of Hong Kong. He is also the author of Global Trade in the Nineteenth Century: The House of Houqua and the Canton System (Cambridge University Press, 2016) You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Hong Kong Takes Flight. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Heather Ford, "Writing the Revolution: Wikipedia and the Survival of Facts in the Digital Age" (MIT Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2022 59:12


A close reading of Wikipedia's article on the Egyptian Revolution reveals the complexity inherent in establishing the facts of events as they occur and are relayed to audiences near and far. Wikipedia bills itself as an encyclopedia built on neutrality, authority, and crowd-sourced consensus. Platforms like Google and digital assistants like Siri distribute Wikipedia's facts widely, further burnishing its veneer of impartiality. But as Heather Ford demonstrates in Writing the Revolution: Wikipedia and the Survival of Facts in the Digital Age (MIT Press, 2022), the facts that appear on Wikipedia are often the result of protracted power struggles over how data are created and used, how history is written and by whom, and the very definition of facts in a digital age. In Writing the Revolution, Ford looks critically at how the Wikipedia article about the 2011 Egyptian Revolution evolved over the course of a decade, both shaping and being shaped by the Revolution as it happened. When data are published in real time, they are subject to an intense battle over their meaning across multiple fronts. Ford answers key questions about how Wikipedia's so-called consensus is arrived at; who has the power to write dominant histories and which knowledges are actively rejected; how these battles play out across the chains of circulation in which data travel; and whether history is now written by algorithms. Jen Hoyer is Technical Services and Electronic Resources Librarian at CUNY New York City College of Technology and a volunteer at Interference Archive. She is co-author of What Primary Sources Teach: Lessons for Every Classroom and The Social Movement Archive. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Jenny L. Davis, "How Artifacts Afford: The Power and Politics of Everyday Things" (MIT Press, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 20, 2022 38:38


A conceptual update of affordance theory that introduces the mechanisms and conditions framework, providing a vocabulary and critical perspective. Technological affordances mediate between the features of a technology and the outcomes of engagement with that technology. The concept of affordances, which migrated from psychology to design with Donald Norman's influential 1988 book, How Artifacts Afford: The Power and Politics of Everyday Things (MIT Press, 2020), offers a useful analytical tool in technology studies—but, Jenny L. Davis argues in How Artifacts Afford, it is in need of a conceptual update. Davis provides just such an update, introducing the mechanisms and conditions framework, which offers both a vocabulary and necessary critical perspective for affordance analyses. The mechanisms and conditions framework shifts the question from what objects afford to how objects afford, for whom, and under what circumstances. Davis shows that through this framework, analyses can account for the power and politics of technological artifacts. She situates the framework within a critical approach that views technology as materialized action. She explains how request, demand, encourage, discourage, refuse, and allow are mechanisms of affordance, and shows how these mechanisms take shape through variable conditions—perception, dexterity, and cultural and institutional legitimacy. Putting the framework into action, Davis identifies existing methodological approaches that complement it, including critical technocultural discourse analysis (CTDA), app feature analysis, and adversarial design. In today's rapidly changing sociotechnical landscape, the stakes of affordance analyses are high. Davis's mechanisms and conditions framework offers a timely theoretical reboot, providing tools for the crucial tasks of both analysis and design. Jenny L. Davis is Associate Professor of Sociology at Australian National University.  Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He is the author of Community Media Representations of Place and Identity at Tug Fest: Reconstructing the Mississippi River (Lexington, 2022). His general area of study is on media representations of people and place at festivals and celebrations. He is currently working on his next book where he conducted research on an annual canoeing and kayaking event that takes place on the Upper Mississippi River. To learn more about Michael O. Johnston you can go to his website, Google Scholar, Twitter @ProfessorJohnst, or by email at johnstonmo@wmpenn.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Renee M. P. Teate, "SQL for Data Scientists: A Beginner's Guide for Building Datasets for Analysis" (John Wiley & Sons, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 19, 2022 42:47


Economists and other social scientists are used to working with data that comes nicely organized into a table with a series of variable names across the top and a list of observations or datapoints down the right hand side. Data also naturally falls into this format when it comes from surveys we run. But the vast amounts of data generated by businesses and by all our online activities are usually organized in different ways. In corporate settings that first step of getting the right data and putting it into a table where it can be analyzed can be as important and challenging as the subsequent analyses. SQL (Structured Query Language) has been the standard language for accessing information in databases since the 1980s. In this episode I interview Renee Teate, also known as “Data Science Renee” on Twitter, about her new book, SQL for Data Scientists: A Beginner's Guide for Building Datasets for Analysis (Wiley, 2022). I learned about Renee from her popular blog and podcast, “Becoming a Data Scientist,” in which she talked about the paths she and others took to becoming a data scientist. While she was coming from more of an engineering background, many economists have been becoming data scientists from the other direction. They are building up their skills with databases and programming to complement their statistical and social science training, either because of new jobs in the tech sector or because of the new academic research possibilities this opens up. SQL is a crucial part of this toolkit, and this book is a great way to get started learning it. In our conversation, we also discuss her current role as a lead data scientist at higher education analytics company Heliocampus, and some of her tips for aspiring data scientists as they apply for and interview for their first jobs. Host Peter Lorentzen is the Chair of the Economics Department at the University of San Francisco, where he created a new Master's degree in Applied Economics designed specifically to train students in a combination of economics and data science skills that equips them to succeed in the new digital economy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Pamela H. Smith, "From Lived Experience to the Written Word: Reconstructing Practical Knowledge in the Early Modern World" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 19, 2022 61:59


How and why early modern European artisans began to record their knowledge. In From Lived Experience to the Written Word: Reconstructing Practical Knowledge in the Early Modern World (U Chicago Press, 2022), Pamela H. Smith considers how and why, beginning in 1400 CE, European craftspeople began to write down their making practices. Rather than simply passing along knowledge in the workshop, these literate artisans chose to publish handbooks, guides, treatises, tip sheets, graphs, and recipe books, sparking early technical writing and laying the groundwork for how we think about scientific knowledge today. Focusing on metalworking from 1400-1800 CE, Smith looks at the nature of craft knowledge and skill, studying present-day and historical practices, objects, recipes, and artisanal manuals. From these sources, she considers how we can reconstruct centuries of largely lost knowledge. In doing so, she aims not only to unearth the techniques, material processes, and embodied experience of the past but also to gain insight into the lifeworld of artisans and their understandings of matter. Please visit MS FR 640 at The Making and Knowing Project.  Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

The Future of the Arms Industry: A Discussion with Pieter D. Wezeman

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2022 45:53


If you read the business pages of most newspapers, they are filled with stories about the sort of companies that people do business with – airlines, retail outlets, football clubs and the like. There tend to be far fewer stories about the arms industry - unless it's about some scandal – generally bribes or sales to governments with poor human rights records. So today we are discussing the future of the arms industry with Pieter D. Wezeman who researches these matters at the leading institute in this area, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute or SIPRI. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Kelly I. Aliano, "The Performance of Video Games: Enacting Identity, History and Culture Through Play" (McFarland, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2022 42:23


When viewed through the context of an interactive play, a video game player fulfills the roles of both actor and spectator, watching and influencing a game's story in real time. This book presents video gaming as a virtual medium for performance, scrutinizing the ways in which a player's interaction with the narrative informs personal, historical, social and cultural understanding. Centering the author's own experiences as both video game player and performance scholar, The Performance of Video Games: Enacting Identity, History and Culture Through Play (McFarland, 2022) thoroughly applies concepts from theatre and performance studies. Chapters argue that the posthuman player position now challenges what can be contextualized as a lived experience, and how video games can change players' relationships with historical events and contemporary concerns, ultimately impacting how they develop a sense of self. Using the author's own gaming experiences as a framework, the book focuses on the intersection between player and narrative, exploring what engagement with a storyline reveals about identity and society. Rudolf Inderst is a professor of Game Design with a focus on Digital Game Studies at the IU International University of Applied Science, editor of “Game Studies Watchlist”, a weekly messenger newsletter about Game Culture and curator of @gamestudies at tiktok. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Danielle Keats Citron, "The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity, and Love in the Digital Age" (Norton, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2022 36:09


The boundary that once protected our intimate lives from outside interests is an artefact of the 20th century. In the 21st, we have embraced a vast array of technology that enables constant access and surveillance of the most private aspects of our lives. From non-consensual pornography, to online extortion, to the sale of our data for profit, we are vulnerable to abuse. As Citron reveals, wherever we live, laws have failed miserably to keep up with corporate or individual violators, letting our privacy wash out with the technological tide. And the erosion of intimate privacy in particular, Citron argues, holds immense toxic power to transform our lives and our societies for the worse (and already has). With vivid examples drawn from interviews with victims, activists and lawmakers from around the world, The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity, and Love in the Digital Age (Norton, 2022) reveals the threat we face and argues urgently and forcefully for a reassessment of privacy as a human right. And, as a legal scholar and expert, Danielle Citron is the perfect person to show us the way to a happier, better protected future. Jake Chanenson is a computer science Ph.D. student at the University of Chicago. Broadly, Jake is interested in topics relating to HCI, privacy, and tech policy. Previously, Jake has done some research in mixed reality, human-robot interaction, and AI ethics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Matthew Hall et al., "Digital Gender-Sexual Violations: Violence, Technologies, Motivations" (Routledge, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2022 70:54


This groundbreaking book argues that the fundamental issues around how victim-survivors of digital gender-sexual violations (DGSVs) are abused can be understood in terms of gender and sexual dynamics, constructions, positioning and logics. Digital Gender-Sexual Violations: Violence, Technologies, Motivations (Routledge, 2022) builds upon Hall and Hearn's previous work, Revenge Pornography, but has been substantially reworked to examine other forms of DGSV such as upskirting and sexual deepfakes, as well as the latest research and debates in the field. Facilitated by developments in internet and mobile technologies, the non-consensual posting of real or fake sexually explicit images of others for revenge, entertainment, homosocial status or political leverage has become a global phenomenon. Using discourse and thematic analytical approaches, this text examines digital, survey and interview data on gendered sexual violences, abuses, and violations. The words of both the perpetrators and victim-survivors are presented, showing the impact on victim-survivors and the complex ways in which phallocentric power relations and existing hegemonic masculinities are reinforced and invoked by perpetrators to position girls and women as gendered and sexualised commodities to be traded, admired, violated or abused for the needs of individual men or groups of men. Hall, Hearn, and Lewis explore their research in a broader social and political context, evaluating and suggesting changes to existing legislative frameworks, education, victim support, and practical and policy interventions against DGSV, along with wider political considerations. This is a unique resource for students, academics and researchers as well as professionals dealing with issues around digital gender-sexual violations. Iqra Shagufta Cheema writes and teaches in the areas of digital cultures, postcolonial literatures, transnational digital feminisms, gender and sexuality studies, and global south film studies. Check out their latest book: The Other #MeToos. Follow them on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Karen Levy, "Data Driven: Truckers, Technology, and the New Workplace Surveillance" (Princeton UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2022 34:01


Long-haul truckers are the backbone of the American economy, transporting goods under grueling conditions and immense economic pressure. Truckers have long valued the day-to-day independence of their work, sharing a strong occupational identity rooted in a tradition of autonomy. Yet these workers increasingly find themselves under many watchful eyes. Data Driven: Truckers, Technology, and the New Workplace Surveillance (Princeton UP, 2022) examines how digital surveillance is upending life and work on the open road, and raises crucial questions about the role of data collection in broader systems of social control. Karen Levy takes readers inside a world few ever see, painting a bracing portrait of one of the last great American frontiers. Federal regulations now require truckers to buy and install digital monitors that capture data about their locations and behaviors. Intended to address the pervasive problem of trucker fatigue by regulating the number of hours driven each day, these devices support additional surveillance by trucking firms and other companies. Traveling from industry trade shows to law offices and truck-stop bars, Levy reveals how these invasive technologies are reconfiguring industry relationships and providing new tools for managerial and legal control--and how truckers are challenging and resisting them. Data Driven contributes to an emerging conversation about how technology affects our work, institutions, and personal lives, and helps to guide our thinking about how to protect public interests and safeguard human dignity in the digital age. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Yasmine Ali, "Walk Through Fire: The Train Disaster That Changed America" (Citadel Press, 2023)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2022 44:10


The first book to examine the rarely-acknowledged Waverly Train Disaster of 1978 - the catastrophic accident that changed America forever and led to the formation of FEMA. Coinciding with the 45th anniversary of the event, Walk Through Fire: The Train Disaster That Changed America (Citadel Press, 2023) is a tribute to the first responders, as well as an examination of the strengths and vulnerabilities in rural America. On the night of February 22, 1978, a devastating freight train derailment drastically altered Waverly, Tennessee, and its place in history. This was one of the worst train explosions of the twentieth century, killing 16 people, injuring hundreds more, and causing millions of dollars in damage. What could have been dismissed as a single community's terrible misfortune instead became the catalyst for radical change, including the formation of FEMA, much-needed reforms in emergency response training, and the creation and enforcement of national and state safety regulations. Response to the disaster reshaped American infrastructure and laid the groundwork for the future of emergency management and disaster relief . . . and yet most Americans have never heard of Waverly.  Dr. Yasmine S. Ali, an award-winning medical writer and Waverly native, sets out to change this in Walk Through Fire, drawing from over a decade of meticulous research and interviews with survivors, first responders, and other firsthand accounts, including those of her own parents, first-generation Americans who were on call at the local hospital that treated the victims. Ali weaves a compelling narrative of small-town tragedy set against the broader backdrop of U.S. railroad history, rural healthcare, and other elements of American infrastructure that played a part in the creation--and the aftermath--of the Disaster. A tribute to resiliency and a call to action, Walk Through Fire tells the harrowing story of the Waverly Train Disaster from the perspectives of those who survived it, and those who still feel its impact today, illuminating how much a nation still has to learn from one small town in Tennessee. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Scott Moore, "China's Next Act: How Sustainability and Technology Are Reshaping China's Rise and the World's Future" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 13, 2022 39:32


If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it is that the world is bound together by shared challenges—and that at the center of those challenges stands China. China's Next Act: How Sustainability and Technology Are Reshaping China's Rise and the World's Future (Oxford UP, 2022) re-envisions China's role in the world in terms of sustainability and technology. The danger is that China's next act will drive divergence on the rules and standards the world desperately needs in the decades ahead. This book helps foreign countries, companies, and other organizations prepare for a future shaped by sustainability, technology—and a dramatic new chapter for China and our world. Sample takeaways: China-linked political + economic risk isn't going away and will get worse. No-regrets supply chain diversification will only make more sense over time. Environmental sustainability will become a bigger and bigger priority in the China market because of growing regulatory + consumer pressure. This is both in direct operations & larger supply chains. Data privacy, security, and surveillance will pose growing dilemmas for multi-national companies. Data governance is becoming more fragmented, and compliance and cross-border transfer more difficult. Firms need to prepare for “data de-globalization.” China is becoming a more isolated, but still large & important, innovation ecosystem. How to access & leverage this ecosystem, and the talent within it, will become a bigger challenge as China-global research collaborations, student flows, etc. shrink. China's frothy biotech sector is cooling, but will still be a major growth driver in the years ahead. And developments in biotech will disrupt and reshape many sectors and industries via biometrics, biomaterials, etc. Dr. Scott Moore is an acclaimed authority on China, sustainability, and technology whose career has spanned the U.S. government, multi-lateral institutions, and academia. He currently teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is also Director of China Programs and Strategic Initiatives. Before returning to academia, Dr. Moore worked extensively on the Paris Agreement on climate change at the U.S. Department of State and at the World Bank. He graduated from Princeton University and received his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Dong Wang is collection editor of Asian Studies books at Lived Places Publishing (New York & the UK), H-Diplo review editor, director of the Wellington Koo Institute for Modern China in World History (Germany & USA), research associate at Harvard Fairbank Center (since 2002), distinguished professor of history at Shanghai University (since 2016), a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and an elected Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Daniel Immerwahr, "The Galactic Vietnam: Technology, Modernization, and Empire in George Lucas's Star Wars" (2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2022 65:33


In this episode I got to chat about two of my favorite things: the history of imperialism and Star Wars with Daniel Immerwahr, Professor of History at Northwestern University. Our conversation focused on his recent article “The Galactic Vietnam: Technology, Modernization, and Empire in George Lucas's Star Wars,” in Ideology in U.S. Foreign Relations: New Histories, edited by David Milne and Christopher Nichols (Columbia University Press, 2022). In the piece her uses the film and the figure of George Lucas to explore various aspects of the United States in the Cold War. Were Ewoks the Viet Cong? Was the Death Star a B-52? Was Alderaan Hanoi? Listen and find out. Daniel Immerwahr earned his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in 2011 after undergraduate studies at both Columbia and Cambridge. His previous work includes Thinking Small: The United States and the Lure of Community Development (Harvard, 2015) and the award winning and best-selling How to Hide an Empire: A Short History of the Greater United States (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019), which has been translated into German, Dutch, Italian, Korean, and Chinese so far. Dr. Immerwahr's writings have appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, the Washington Post, The New Republic, The Nation, Dissent, Jacobin, Slate, and elsewhere. Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 2018). When he's not reading or talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

The Future of AI in Work: A Discussion with Daniel Susskind

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 9, 2022 51:47


What exactly can artificial intelligence do? It's an issue some of the professions are grappling with – on the face of it, law is an area that rests on fine human judgment – but in fact many of tasks it involves can be performed by AI and if that is true for law then presumably it is also true for many other areas too. Daniel Susskind of Oxford University discusses his book The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the World of Human Experts (Oxford UP, 2022), Owen Bennett-Jones is a freelance journalist and writer. A former BBC correspondent and presenter he has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut. He is recently wrote a history of the Bhutto dynasty which was published by Yale University Press. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Julia Ticona, "Left to Our Own Devices: Coping with Insecure Work in a Digital Age" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 9, 2022 52:32


Hello, world! This is the Global Media & Communication podcast series. In this episode, our host Florence Madenga discusses the book Left to Our Own Devices Coping with Insecure Work in a Digital Age (2022) by Dr. Julia Ticona. You'll hear about: Dr. Ticona's intellectual trajectory and how her first monograph has been transformed from a dissertation project into a book What audience the book is intended for and what critical scholarship means for the author The design of the research project and the processes and ethics of conducting research about the gig economy How the ongoing pandemic has changed or altered the way Dr. Ticona thinks about this book The core arguments and take-away points from the book around keywords such as “digital inequality,” “precarity,” “platform economy,” and “digital hustle” The global implications of a study on low-wage gig economy workers in the American labor market The question of agency in workers' everyday life and how people survive in the global platform economy The gendered nature of labor in the gig economy and what Dr. Ticona calls “tethered care work” How we can better understand the complexity of our mediated worlds and precarious work beyond the tech companies and digital platforms About the book Over the past three decades, digital technologies like smartphones and laptops have transformed the way we work in the US. At the same time, workers at both ends of the income ladder have experienced rising levels of job insecurity and anxiety about their economic futures. In Left to Our Own Devices, Julia Ticona explores the ways that workers use their digital technologies to navigate insecure and flexible labor markets. Through 100 interviews with high and low-wage precarious workers across the US, she explores the surprisingly similar "digital hustles" they use to find work and maintain a sense of dignity and identity. Ticona then reveals how the digital hustle ultimately reproduces inequalities between workers at either end of polarized labor markets. A moving and accessible look at the intimate consequences of contemporary capitalism, Left to Our Own Devices will be of interest to sociologists, communication and media studies scholars, as well as a general audience of readers interested in digital technologies, inequality, and the future of work in the US. You can find this book on the Oxford University Press website. Author: Julia Ticona is an assistant professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Host: Florence Madenga is a doctoral fellow at CARGC at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Editor & Producer: Jing Wang is Senior Research Manager at CARGC at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Our podcast is part of the multimodal project powered by the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication (CARGC) at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. At CARGC, we produce and promote critical, interdisciplinary, and multimodal research on global media and communication. We aim to bridge academic scholarship and public life, bringing the very best scholarship to bear on enduring global questions and pressing contemporary issues. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

James A. Geraghty, "Inside the Orphan Drug Revolution: The Promise of Patient-Centered Biotechnology" (Cold Springs Harbor Lab Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2022 43:00


Advances in medicine have made possible better treatments for widespread, familiar human illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Yet there are thousands of much less common diseases, most of genetic origin, each classed as rare because it afflicts only a small number of people. These patient groups were long ignored by a pharmaceutical industry that judged them too small to provide a return on the investment needed to develop an effective remedy. Yet these orphaned diseases collectively caused misery and expense, often far greater than did more common ailments, for tens of millions of individuals and their families. Forty years ago, a revolution that transformed the prospects of patients with rare diseases was lit by three sparks. The passage of the 1983 U.S. Orphan Drug Act resulted from public pressure brought by rare disease patients, their families, and advocates. The AIDS epidemic triggered additional activism, compounded when patients with the rare disease hemophilia became HIV-positive after infusion of tainted blood products. And the third spark was the emergence in the early 1980s of biotechnology companies like Genentech, Amgen, and Biogen employing then-new genetic engineering instead of conventional approaches to pharmaceutical development. Soon after, Genzyme became the first company to develop a treatment for a rare genetic disorder, Gaucher disease, which would come to transform the industry. Jim Geraghty has been a passionate participant in the orphan drug revolution since its inception--a leader in the field as a strategy consultant, biotechnology executive, and venture entrepreneur. Inside the Orphan Drug Revolution: The Promise of Patient-Centered Biotechnology (Cold Springs Harbor Lab Press, 2022) is in part a history, with eyewitness accounts of advances as they occurred and portraits of the pioneering scientists and physicians, tireless activists, and visionary business leaders who made the revolution happen. And it tells deeply personal stories of patients and parents willing to risk new, untried therapies. But Geraghty also uses his exceptional experience and vantage point to look forward to the immense promise of the newest technologies like gene therapy and gene editing for the treatment of patients today and tomorrow. He concludes with thoughtful consideration of important questions. Why do drugs to treat orphan diseases cost so much? How can we ensure they are affordable? How can their effectiveness be responsibly assessed? And how can access to them be expanded internationally? This book graphically and poignantly illustrates how far an important healthcare revolution has come and reminds us that if not nurtured, it could end before its immense promise has been fulfilled. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Melissa Kagen, "Wandering Games" (MIT Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2022 52:36


In Wandering Games (MIT Press, 2022), Melissa Kagen analyzes wandering within different game worlds, viewed through the lenses of work, colonialism, gender, and death. Wandering in games can be a theme, a formal mode, an aesthetic metaphor, or a player action. It can mean walking, escaping, traversing, meandering, or returning. Kagen introduces the concept of “wandering games,” exploring the uses of wandering in a variety of game worlds. She shows how the much-derided Walking Simulator—a term that began as an insult, a denigration of games that are less violent, less task-oriented, or less difficult to complete—semi-accidentally tapped into something brilliant: the vast heritage and intellectual history of the concept of walking in fiction, philosophy, pilgrimage, performance, and protest. Kagen examines wandering in a series of games that vary widely in terms of genre, mechanics, themes, player base, studio size, and funding, giving close readings to Return of the Obra Dinn, Eastshade, Ritual of the Moon, 80 Days, Heaven's Vault, Death Stranding, and The Last of Us Part II. Exploring the connotations of wandering within these different game worlds, she considers how ideologies of work, gender, colonialism, and death inflect the ways we wander through digital spaces. Overlapping and intersecting, each provides a multifaceted lens through which to understand what wandering does, lacks, implies, and offers. Kagen's account will attune game designers, players, and scholars to the myriad possibilities of the wandering ludic body. Rebekah Buchanan is a Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Jonathan R. Hunt, "The Nuclear Club: How America and the World Policed the Atom from Hiroshima to Vietnam" (Stanford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2022 78:58


The Nuclear Club: How America and the World Policed the Atom from Hiroshima to Vietnam (Stanford UP, 2022) reveals how a coalition of powerful and developing states embraced global governance in hopes of a bright and peaceful tomorrow. While fears of nuclear war were ever-present, it was the perceived threat to their preeminence that drove Washington, Moscow, and London to throw their weight behind the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) banishing nuclear testing underground, the 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco banning atomic armaments from Latin America, and the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) forbidding more countries from joining the most exclusive club on Earth. International society, the Cold War, and the imperial U.S. presidency were reformed from 1945 to 1970, when a global nuclear order was inaugurated, averting conflict in the industrial North and yielding what George Orwell styled a "peace that is no peace" everywhere else. Today the nuclear order legitimizes foreign intervention worldwide, empowering the nuclear club and, above all, the United States, to push sanctions and even preventive war against atomic outlaws, all in humanity's name. Grant Golub is an Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a PhD candidate in the Department of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on the politics of American grand strategy during World War II. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

94 Elizabeth Kolbert on the Nature of the Future (GT, JP, NS, HY)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2022 46:20


How should humans respond to our ongoing human-made climate catastrophe? To answer that question, Recall this Book turned to prize-winning climate reporter Elizabeth Kolbert, who visited Brandeis this Fall. The topic was Under a White Sky, her recent book that documents the responses to the climate crisis ranging from a form of climate engineering that shoots reflective particles into the air to cool the atmosphere, to negative emission technologies that capture and inject carbon dioxide underground. "You'd have to be pretty hard-hearted not to feel called to some kind of action when you see what we humans have done." But Elizabeth wonders what the best alternatives are. Should we set aside half the earth for biodiversity? Why is it that genetic engineering has become the cultural flashpoint for fear of unintended consequences? There are no easy answers at this point. Elizabeth thinks that if you're not frightened by what's going right now, including American politics around vaccination refusal, you're not paying attention. Because this episode is associated with the annual Brandeis New Student Book Forum, first-year students Hedy Yang and Srinidhi Sriraman (who also goes by Nidhi) jump in with some thoughts. Noticing repeated mentions of Henry David Thoreau in the book, Nidhi inquires about his role in inspiring Elizabeth's writing. Hedy's question about environmental justice and the comparative agency of rich and poor countries moves Elizabeth to talk about the staggering inequities in consumption and the goal of convergence in carbon emissions. What is the mechanism by which this happens, though? Do humans have the right to implement these technologies? Is the solution to issues created by human control really more control? Mentioned in the Episode E.O. Wilson, Half Earth "Gene editing could revive a nearly lost tree"; the chestnut gene splicing debate in a recent Washington Post article. (Elizabeth has reported on Bill Powell's work) Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818) Cormac McCarthy, The Road (2006) Cli-fi: climate fiction in all its bleakness. For example, Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake. Kim Stanley Robinson, Ministry for the Future Rob Nixon, Slow Violence: how to see things happening at different time scales. Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962) Henry David Thoreau, "the touchstone" of American nature writing. e.g Walden (1854); dated yes, but "in most ways ahead of his time" Des Poissons dans le Desert: Elizabeth's book title in French! Listen to the episode here. Read the transcript here. Special credit and thanks for this episode goes to Hedy Yang and Srinidhi Sriraman, who took part in the audio editing and the preparation of the show notes, respectively. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Sofya Glazunova, "Digital Activism in Russia: The Communication Tactics of Political Outsiders" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022 46:44


Digital Activism in Russia: The Communication Tactics of Political Outsiders (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022) examines various forms of Russian online anti-establishment resistance, focusing in particular on the period between 2016 and 2019. Grounded in qualitative content analysis of the YouTube videos and social media activities of opposition activist Alexey Navalny and his associates, the book covers the history of digital resistance associated with this cohort, its style and strategies, and the impact that this form of political communication has had on the Russian public sphere. Sofya Glazunova is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Digital Media Research Centre at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia. Glazunova specialises in political communication, digital resistance, Russian media, disinformation, fake news, and digital propaganda. In addition to Digital Activism in Russia: The Communication Tactics of Political Outsiders (2022), she is the co-author of the Global Disinformation Index report entitled Disinformation Risk Assessment: The Online News Market in Australia (2021). Iva Glisic is a historian and art historian specialising in modern Russia and the Balkans. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Paul Belleflamme and Martin Peitz, "The Economics of Platforms: Concepts and Strategy" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022 50:08


Digital platforms controlled by Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, Tencent and Uber have transformed not only the ways we do business, but also the very nature of people's everyday lives. It is of vital importance that we understand the economic principles governing how these platforms operate. Paul Belleflamme and Martin Peitz's book The Economics of Platforms: Concepts and Strategy (Cambridge UP, 2021) explains the driving forces behind any platform business with a focus on network effects. The authors use short case studies and real-world applications to explain key concepts such as how platforms manage network effects and which price and non-price strategies they choose. This self-contained text is the first to offer a systematic and formalized account of what platforms are and how they operate, concisely incorporating path-breaking insights in economics over the last twenty years. Martin Peitz is professor of economics at the University of Mannheim (since 2007), a director of the Mannheim Centre for Competition and Innovation – MaCCI (since 2009). He has been member of the economic advisory group on competition policy (EAGCP) at the European Commission (2013–2016), an academic director of the Centre on Regulation in Europe, CERRE (2012–2016) and head of the Department of Economics (2010–2013). Martin has widely published in leading economics journals. He also frequently trains and advises government agencies in Europe and abroad on competition and regulation issues. Peter Lorentzen is economics professor at the University of San Francisco. He heads USF's Applied Economics Master's program, which focuses on the digital economy. His research is mainly on China's political economy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Sarah Abel, "Permanent Markers: Race, Ancestry, and the Body After the Genome" (UNC Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2022 65:38


Over the past twenty years, DNA ancestry testing has morphed from a niche market into a booming international industry that encourages members of the public to answer difficult questions about their identity by looking to the genome. At a time of intensified interest in issues of race and racism, the burgeoning influence of corporations like AncestryDNA and 23andMe has sparked debates about the commodification of identity, the antiracist potential of genetic science, and the promises and pitfalls of using DNA as a source of "objective" knowledge about the past.  Permanent Markers: Race, Ancestry, and the Body After the Genome (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) engages these debates by looking at the ways genomic ancestry testing has been used in Brazil and the United States to address the histories and legacies of slavery, from personal genealogical projects to collective racial politics. Reckoning with the struggles of science versus capitalism, "race-blind" versus "race-positive" public policies, and identity fluidity versus embodied experiences of racism, Permanent Markers seeks to explain why those of us in societies that have broadly embraced the social construction of race continue to search for, and find, evidence that our bodies are marked permanently by the past. Sarah Abel is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cambridge's Centre of Latin American Studies.  Reighan Gillam is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at University of Southern California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Tim Walker and Lucian Morris, "The Handbook of Banking Technology" (John Wiley & Sons, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2022 82:08


In The Handbook of Banking Technology (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), Walker and Morris provide a first comprehensive view of the systems that support a bank. During the interview, they bring out the interactions of these components and how the themes they touch on in the book come together. Years of first-hand experience combined with detailed research come together to explain the intricacies of the technological architecture of modern banking. Quite often the authors provide a long-term perspective of how these applications develop in order to provide a better understanding of how we got to where we are.  The other podcast mentioned in this interview is James Bessen "The New Goliaths".  Bernardo Batiz-Lazo is currently straddling between Newcastle and Mexico City. You can find him on twitter on issues related to business history of banking, fintech, payments and other musings. Not always in that order. @BatizLazo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow, "Chokepoint Capitalism: How Big Tech and Big Content Captured Creative Labor Markets and How We'll Win Them Back" (Beacon Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2022 46:53


Corporate concentration has breached the stratosphere, as have corporate profits. An ever-expanding constellation of industries are now monopolies (where sellers have excessive power over buyers) or monopsonies (where buyers hold the whip hand over sellers)—or both. In Chokepoint Capitalism: How Big Tech and Big Content Captured Creative Labor Markets and How We'll Win Them Back (Beacon, 2022), scholar Dr. Rebecca Giblin and writer and activist Cory Doctorow argue we're in a new era of “chokepoint capitalism,” with exploitative businesses creating insurmountable barriers to competition that enable them to capture value that should rightfully go to others. All workers are weakened by this, but the problem is especially well-illustrated by the plight of creative workers. From Amazon's use of digital rights management and bundling to radically change the economics of book publishing, to Google and Facebook's siphoning away of ad revenues from news media, and the Big Three record labels' use of inordinately long contracts to up their own margins at the cost of artists, chokepoints are everywhere. By analyzing book publishing and news, live music and music streaming, screenwriting, radio and more, Giblin and Doctorow deftly show how powerful corporations construct “anti-competitive flywheels” designed to lock in users and suppliers, make their markets hostile to new entrants, and then force workers and suppliers to accept unfairly low prices. In the book's second half, Giblin and Doctorow then explain how to batter through those chokepoints, with tools ranging from transparency rights to collective action and ownership, radical interoperability, contract terminations, job guarantees, and minimum wages for creative work. Chokepoint Capitalism is a call to workers of all sectors to unite to help smash these chokepoints and take back the power and profit that's being heisted away—before it's too late. 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! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Aynne Kokas, "Trafficking Data: How China Is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2022 54:40


On August 6, 2020, the Trump Administration issued a ban on TikTok in the United States, requiring that the owner, Beijing-based Bytedance, sell the company to American investors or shut it down. Legions of TikTokers were devastated at the possible loss of their beloved platform, and for what: a political grudge with China? American suitors like Walmart and Oracle tried to make a deal with Bytedance to keep the platform operating in the US. But then something curious happened. The Chinese government refused to let Bytedance sell TikTok on national security grounds. As it turns out, the pandemic era platform for dance challenges is a Chinese government asset. As digital technologies and social media have evolved into organizing forces for the way in which we conduct our work and social lives, the business logic that undergirds these digital platforms has become clear: we are their product. We give these businesses information about everything--from where we live and work to what we like to do for entertainment, what we consume, where we travel, what we think politically, and with whom we are friends and acquaintances. We do this willingly, but often without a full understanding of how this information is stored or used, or what happens to it when it crosses international boundaries. As Aynne Kokas argues, both corporations and governments traffic much of this data without our consent--and sometimes illegally--for political and financial gain. In Trafficking Data: How China Is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty (Oxford UP, 2022), Aynne Kokas looks at how technology firms in the two largest economies in the world, the United States and China, have exploited government policy (and the lack thereof) to gather information on citizens, putting US national security at risk. Kokas argues that US government leadership failures, Silicon Valley's disruption fetish, and Wall Street's addiction to growth have fuelled China's technological goldrush. In turn, American complacency yields an unprecedented opportunity for Chinese firms to gather data in the United States and quietly send it back to China, and by extension, to the Chinese government. Drawing on years of fieldwork in the US and China and a large trove of corporate and policy documents, Trafficking Data explains how China is fast becoming the global leader in internet governance and policy, and thus of the data that defines our public and private lives. Peter Lorentzen is economics professor at the University of San Francisco. He heads USF's Applied Economics Master's program, which focuses on the digital economy. His research is mainly on China's political economy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Anna Pendergrast and Kelly Pendergrast, "More Zeros and Ones: Digital Technology, Maintenance and Equity in Aotearoa New Zealand" (Bridget Williams Books, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 21, 2022 55:28


Many of today's digital technologies inadvertently amplify the power structures and prejudices of wider society. By examining the way digital tools and platforms are designed, built, and maintained, this BWB Text aims to identify how we can do better for everyone in Aotearoa. Following on from the success of Shouting Zeros and Ones (BWB Texts), More Zeros and Ones: Digital Technology, Maintenance and Equity in Aotearoa New Zealand (Bridget Williams Books, 2022) includes writers with specific expertise in applying topics such as environmental science, law, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi to recent developments in technology. More Zeros and Ones continues the exploration of emerging issues for digital technology and society in Aotearoa New Zealand. Contributors Dr Nessa Lynch, Amber Craig, Hīria Te Rangi, Dr Sarah Bickerton, Sarah Pritchett, Hannah Blumhardt, Dr Paul Smith, Professor Graeme Austin, Siobhan McCarthy, Dr Karaitiana Taiuru, Dr Andrew Chen, Dr Karly Burch, Dr Moana Nepia, Nicholas Jones, Dr Marama Muru-Lanning, Dr Henry Williams, Mira O'Connor, and Professor Anna Brown. Key Point About the Book: Highlights the opportunities created when using inclusive approaches in the development of new technology Discusses ‘systemic oppression' in the creation of technology for the general consumer Brings to light the dangers of creating new technologies without input from the people most affected by them Ed Amon has a Master of Indigenous Studies from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He is a columnist at his local paper: Hibiscus Matters, and a Stand-up Comedian. His main interests are indigenous studies, politics, history, and cricket. Follow him on twitter @edamoned or email him at edamonnz@gmail.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Robert P. Crease with Peter D. Bond, "The Leak: Politics, Activists, and Loss of Trust at Brookhaven National Laboratory" (MIT Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2022 55:18


In 1997, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory found a small leak of radioactive water near their research reactor. Brookhaven was--and is--a world-class, Nobel Prize-winning lab, and its reactor was the cornerstone of US materials science and one of the world's finest research facilities. The leak, harmless to health, came from a storage pool rather than the reactor. But its discovery triggered a media and political firestorm that resulted in the reactor's shutdown, and even attempts to close the entire laboratory. A quarter century later, the episode reveals the dynamics of today's controversies in which fears and the dismissal of science disrupt serious discussion and research of vital issues such as vaccines, climate change, and toxic chemicals. This story has all the elements of a thriller, with vivid characters and dramatic twists and turns. Key players include congressmen and scientists; journalists and university presidents; actors, supermodels, and anti-nuclear activists, all interacting and teaming up in surprising ways. The authors, each with insider knowledge of and access to confidential documents and the key players, reveal how a fact of no health significance could be portrayed as a Chernobyl-like disaster. The Leak: Politics, Activists, and Loss of Trust at Brookhaven National Laboratory (MIT Press, 2022) reveals the gaps between scientists, politicians, media, and the public that have only gotten more dangerous since 1997. Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

The Future of Data Control: A Discussion with Sarah Lamdan

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2022 49:38


A few big companies are selling information about us to governments and companies. But beyond a general sense of unease, what do we need to know about this and what do we need to do about it? Professor Sarah Lamdan gives answers to those questions in her book Data Cartels: The Companies that Control and Monopolise our Information (Stanford UP, 2022). Listen to her conversations with Owen Bennett Jones. Owen Bennett-Jones is a freelance journalist and writer. A former BBC correspondent and presenter he has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut. He is recently wrote a history of the Bhutto dynasty which was published by Yale University Press. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Matthew Crain, "Profit over Privacy: How Surveillance Advertising Conquered the Internet" (U Minnesota Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2022 42:18


The contemporary internet's de facto business model is one of surveillance. Browser cookies follow us around the web, Amazon targets us with eerily prescient ads, Facebook and Google read our messages and analyze our patterns, and apps record our every move. In Profit over Privacy: How Surveillance Advertising Conquered the Internet (U Minnesota Press, 2021), Matthew Crain gives internet surveillance a much-needed origin story by chronicling the development of its most important historical catalyst: web advertising. The first institutional and political history of internet advertising, Profit over Privacy uses the 1990s as its backdrop to show how the massive data-collection infrastructure that undergirds the internet today is the result of twenty-five years of technical and political economic engineering. Crain considers the social causes and consequences of the internet's rapid embrace of consumer monitoring, detailing how advertisers and marketers adapted to the existential threat of the internet and marshaled venture capital to develop the now-ubiquitous business model called "surveillance advertising." He draws on a range of primary resources from government, industry, and the press and highlights the political roots of internet advertising to underscore the necessity of political solutions to reign in unaccountable commercial surveillance. The dominant business model on the internet, surveillance advertising is the result of political choices--not the inevitable march of technology. Unlike many other countries, the United States has no internet privacy law. A fascinating prehistory of internet advertising giants like Google and Facebook, Profit over Privacy argues that the internet did not have to turn out this way and that it can be remade into something better. Peter C. Kunze is a visiting assistant professor of communication at Tulane University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Earvin Charles B. Cabalquinto, "(Im)mobile Homes: Family Life at a Distance in the Age of Mobile Media" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 14, 2022 29:33


How do transnational Filipino families remain connected through mobile media technologies? In (Im)mobile Homes: Family Life at a Distance in the Age of Mobile Media (Oxford UP, 2022), Earvin Charles B. Cabalquinto explains the different ways in which smartphones, messaging apps, and social media facilitate transnational connectivity. He explains how relationships of care, intimacy, and connection to the homeland are established through digital routines shaped by power relations and familial expectations. Aside from providing an overview of the book's key themes, the podcast goes deep into the methodological complexities of documenting intimate lives through mobile phone technologies as well as the ethical challenges of writing intimate portraits of Filipinos' everyday lives.Earvin Charles B. Cabalquinto is a lecturer at Deakin University in Australia. Like this interview? You may also be interested in: Elizaveta Friesem, Media is Us: Understanding Communication and Moving Beyond Flame (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021) Zoetanya Sujon, The Social Media Age (SAGE, 2021). Nicole Curato is a Professor of Sociology in the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. She co-hosts the New Books in Southeast Asia Studies channel. This episode was created in collaboration with Erron C. Medina of the Development Studies Program of Ateneo De Manila University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Ernest M. Valea, "Artificial Intelligence, Reincarnation, and Resurrection: An Inquiry Into the Ultimate Fulfillment of Human Nature" (Resource Publications, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 14, 2022 44:23


Ernest M. Valea's Artificial Intelligence, Reincarnation, and Resurrection: An Inquiry Into the Ultimate Fulfillment of Human Nature (Resource Publications, 2021) explores old and new hopes that have emerged in the human quest to defeat death. On the one hand, it answers questions such as: Are we just physical machines of great complexity, with the brain as the hardware on which consciousness operates as its software? If so, can we speculate on ways in which the mind could be uploaded to a machine and no longer suffer the frailty of this biological body? And could an android robot or a mindfile in a computer simulation be conscious? On the other hand, the book examines the hope of survival through reincarnation according to the teachings of Eastern religions and New Age thought. All these topics are discussed from the perspectives of Christian theology and the philosophy of mind. This dual investigation will help Christians formulate a coherent response to old and new challenges to their faith. Ernest M. Valea is the author of The Buddha and the Christ: Reciprocal Views (2008), Buddhist-Christian Dialogue as Theological Exchange (2015), and The Spiritual Dimension of Alternative Medicine (2020). Adrian Guiu holds a PhD in History of Christianity from the University of Chicago and teaches at Wright College in Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Karen Bakker, "The Sounds of Life: How Digital Technology Is Bringing Us Closer to the Worlds of Animals and Plants" (Princeton UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2022 56:24


The natural world teems with remarkable conversations, many beyond human hearing range. Scientists are using groundbreaking digital technologies to uncover these astonishing sounds, revealing vibrant communication among our fellow creatures across the Tree of Life. At once meditative and scientific, The Sounds of Life: How Digital Technology Is Bringing Us Closer to the Worlds of Animals and Plants (Princeton UP, 2022)shares fascinating and surprising stories of nonhuman sound, interweaving insights from technological innovation and traditional knowledge. We meet scientists using sound to protect and regenerate endangered species from the Great Barrier Reef to the Arctic and the Amazon. We discover the shocking impacts of noise pollution on both animals and plants. We learn how artificial intelligence can decode nonhuman sounds, and meet the researchers building dictionaries in East African Elephant and Sperm Whalish. At the frontiers of innovation, we explore digitally mediated dialogues with bats and honeybees. Technology often distracts us from nature, but what if it could reconnect us instead? The Sounds of Life offers hope for environmental conservation and affirms humanity's relationship with nature in the digital age. After learning about the unsuspected wonders of nature's sounds, we will never see walks outdoors in the same way again. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

Adam Crowley, "Representations of Poverty in Videogames" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2022 63:32


Adam Crowley's book Representations of Poverty in Videogames (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022) argues that digital games address contemporary, middle-class anxieties about poverty in the United States. The early chapters consider gaming as a modern form of slumming and explore the ways in which titles like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and World of Warcraft thematize poverty. The argument turns to the field of literary studies to identify analytical frameworks for addressing and understanding these themes. Throughout, the book considers how the academic area of inquiry known as game studies has developed over time, and makes use of such scholarship to present, frame, and value its major claims and findings. In its conclusion, the book models how poverty themes might be identified and associated for the purpose of gaining greater insights into how games can shape, and also be shaped by, the player's economic expectations. Rudolf Inderst is a professor of Game Design with a focus on Digital Game Studies at the IU International University of Applied Science, editor of “Game Studies Watchlist”, a weekly messenger newsletter about Game Culture and curator of @gamestudies at tiktok. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/technology

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