The Cultural Logic of Computation

Author: David Golumbia

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674053885

Category: Computers

Page: 272

View: 2473

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In The Cultural Logic of Computation, David Golumbia, who worked as a software designer for more than ten years, argues that computers are cultural "all the way down" - that there is no part of the apparent technological transformation that is not shaped by historical and cultural processes, or that escapes existing cultural politics. The Cultural Logic of Computation provides a needed corrective to the uncritical enthusiasm for computers common today in many parts of our culture.

The Cultural Logic of Computation

Author: David Golumbia

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674032927

Category: Computers

Page: 257

View: 4501

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In The Cultural Logic of Computation, David Golumbia, who worked as a software designer for more than ten years, argues that computers are cultural "all the way down" - that there is no part of the apparent technological transformation that is not shaped by historical and cultural processes, or that escapes existing cultural politics. The Cultural Logic of Computation provides a needed corrective to the uncritical enthusiasm for computers common today in many parts of our culture.

Control

Digitality as Cultural Logic

Author: Seb Franklin

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262029537

Category: Cybernetics

Page: 240

View: 2796

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Is there a cultural logic of what we have come to call the information age? Have the technologies and techniques centered on the computer provided not only tools but also the metaphors through which we now understand the social and economic formation of our world? In Control, Seb Franklin addresses the conditions of knowledge that make the concept of the "information economy" possible while at the same time obscuring its deleterious effects on material social spaces. In so doing, Franklin traces three intertwined threads: the relationships among information, labor, and social management that emerged in the nineteenth century; the mid-twentieth-century diffusion of computational metaphors; and the appearance of informatic principles in certain contemporary socioeconomic and cultural practices. Drawing on critical theory, media theory, and the history of science, Franklin names control as the episteme grounding late capitalism. Beyond any specific device or set of technically mediated practices, digitality functions within this episteme as the logical basis for reshaped concepts of labor, subjectivity, and collectivity, as well as for the intensification of older modes of exclusion and dispossession. In tracking the pervasiveness of this logical mode into the present, Franklin locates the cultural traces of control across a diverse body of objects and practices, from cybernetics to economic theory and management styles, and from concepts of language and subjectivity to literary texts, films, and video games.

What Algorithms Want

Imagination in the Age of Computing

Author: Ed Finn

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262035928

Category: Computers

Page: 257

View: 1978

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The gap between theoretical ideas and messy reality, as seen in Neal Stephenson, Adam Smith, and Star Trek. We depend on—we believe in—algorithms to help us get a ride, choose which book to buy, execute a mathematical proof. It's as if we think of code as a magic spell, an incantation to reveal what we need to know and even what we want. Humans have always believed that certain invocations—the marriage vow, the shaman's curse—do not merely describe the world but make it. Computation casts a cultural shadow that is shaped by this long tradition of magical thinking. In this book, Ed Finn considers how the algorithm—in practical terms, “a method for solving a problem”—has its roots not only in mathematical logic but also in cybernetics, philosophy, and magical thinking. Finn argues that the algorithm deploys concepts from the idealized space of computation in a messy reality, with unpredictable and sometimes fascinating results. Drawing on sources that range from Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash to Diderot's Encyclopédie, from Adam Smith to the Star Trek computer, Finn explores the gap between theoretical ideas and pragmatic instructions. He examines the development of intelligent assistants like Siri, the rise of algorithmic aesthetics at Netflix, Ian Bogost's satiric Facebook game Cow Clicker, and the revolutionary economics of Bitcoin. He describes Google's goal of anticipating our questions, Uber's cartoon maps and black box accounting, and what Facebook tells us about programmable value, among other things. If we want to understand the gap between abstraction and messy reality, Finn argues, we need to build a model of “algorithmic reading” and scholarship that attends to process, spearheading a new experimental humanities.

The Politics of Bitcoin

Software As Right-wing Extremism

Author: David Golumbia

Publisher: Forerunners: Ideas First

ISBN: 9781517901806

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 100

View: 2377

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Since its introduction in 2009, Bitcoin has been widely promoted as a digital currency that will revolutionize everything from online commerce to the nation-state. Yet supporters of Bitcoin and its blockchain technology subscribe to a form of cyberlibertarianism that depends to a surprising extent on far-right political thought. The Politics of Bitcoin exposes how much of the economic and political thought on which this cryptocurrency is based emerges from ideas that travel the gamut, from Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, and Ludwig von Mises to Federal Reserve conspiracy theorists. Forerunners: Ideas First is a thought-in-process series of breakthrough digital publications. Written between fresh ideas and finished books, Forerunners draws on scholarly work initiated in notable blogs, social media, conference plenaries, journal articles, and the synergy of academic exchange. This is gray literature publishing: where intense thinking, change, and speculation take place in scholarship.

In The Plex

How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

Author: Steven Levy

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1416596712

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 432

View: 4191

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Written with full cooperation from top management, including cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, this is the inside story behind Google, the most successful and most admired technology company of our time, told by one of our best technology writers. Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet and become an indispensable part of our lives. How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes readers inside Google headquarters—the Googleplex—to show how Google works. While they were still students at Stanford, Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin revolutionized Internet search. They followed this brilliant innovation with another, as two of Google’s earliest employees found a way to do what no one else had: make billions of dollars from Internet advertising. With this cash cow, Google was able to expand dramatically and take on other transformative projects: more efficient data centers, open-source cell phones, free Internet video (YouTube), cloud computing, digitizing books, and much more. The key to Google’s success in all these businesses, Levy reveals, is its engineering mind-set and adoption of such Internet values as speed, openness, experimentation, and risk taking. After its unapologetically elitist approach to hiring, Google pampers its engineers—free food and dry cleaning, on-site doctors and masseuses—and gives them all the resources they need to succeed. Even today, with a workforce of more than 23,000, Larry Page signs off on every hire. But has Google lost its innovative edge? With its newest initiative, social networking, Google is chasing a successful competitor for the first time. Some employees are leaving the company for smaller, nimbler start-ups. Can the company that famously decided not to be evil still compete? No other book has ever turned Google inside out as Levy does with In the Plex.

Taking Care of Youth and the Generations

Author: Bernard Stiegler

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804762724

Category: Philosophy

Page: 238

View: 9041

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The book presents a powerful reminder of adults' responsibility for the development of long-term attention (and thus of maturity) in children, particularly in the face of the techniques of attention-destruction practiced by the programming industries.

Mathematics and Art

A Cultural History

Author: Lynn Gamwell

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691165289

Category: Art

Page: 576

View: 8250

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This is a cultural history of mathematics and art, from antiquity to the present. Mathematicians and artists have long been on a quest to understand the physical world they see before them and the abstract objects they know by thought alone. Taking readers on a tour of the practice of mathematics and the philosophical ideas that drive the discipline, Lynn Gamwell points out the important ways mathematical concepts have been expressed by artists. Sumptuous illustrations of artworks and cogent math diagrams are featured in Gamwell’s comprehensive exploration. Gamwell begins by describing mathematics from antiquity to the Enlightenment, including Greek, Islamic, and Asian mathematics. Then focusing on modern culture, Gamwell traces mathematicians’ search for the foundations of their science, such as David Hilbert’s conception of mathematics as an arrangement of meaning-free signs, as well as artists’ search for the essence of their craft, such as Aleksandr Rodchenko’s monochrome paintings. She shows that self-reflection is inherent to the practice of both modern mathematics and art, and that this introspection points to a deep resonance between the two fields: Kurt Gödel posed questions about the nature of mathematics in the language of mathematics and Jasper Johns asked “What is art?” in the vocabulary of art. Throughout, Gamwell describes the personalities and cultural environments of a multitude of mathematicians and artists, from Gottlob Frege and Benoît Mandelbrot to Max Bill and Xu Bing. Mathematics and Art demonstrates how mathematical ideas are embodied in the visual arts and will enlighten all who are interested in the complex intellectual pursuits, personalities, and cultural settings that connect these vast disciplines.

Plain Text

The Poetics of Computation

Author: Dennis Tenen

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 1503602346

Category: Social Science

Page: 280

View: 723

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This book challenges the ways we read, write, store, and retrieve information in the digital age. Computers—from electronic books to smart phones—play an active role in our social lives. Our technological choices thus entail theoretical and political commitments. Dennis Tenen takes up today's strange enmeshing of humans, texts, and machines to argue that our most ingrained intuitions about texts are profoundly alienated from the physical contexts of their intellectual production. Drawing on a range of primary sources from both literary theory and software engineering, he makes a case for a more transparent practice of human–computer interaction. Plain Text is thus a rallying call, a frame of mind as much as a file format. It reminds us, ultimately, that our devices also encode specific modes of governance and control that must remain available to interpretation.

The Culture of Connectivity

A Critical History of Social Media

Author: José van Dijck

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199970785

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 228

View: 4241

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The Culture of Connectivity tells the full story of the rise of social media in the first decade of the twenty-first century up to the present, providing both a historical and a critical analysis of the emergence of major platforms in the context of a rapidly changing ecosystem of connective media. platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Wikipedia.

Postdigital Aesthetics

Art, Computation And Design

Author: D. Berry,M. Dieter

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137437200

Category: Art

Page: 320

View: 597

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Postdigital Aesthetics is a contribution to questions raised by our newly computational everyday lives and the aesthetics which reflect both the postdigital nature of this age, but also critical perspectives of a post-internet world.

The Message Is Murder

Substrates of Computational Capital

Author: Jonathan Beller

Publisher: Pluto Press (UK)

ISBN: 9780745337302

Category:

Page: 224

View: 6329

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Written as a wake-up call to the field of media studies, The Message is Murder analyses the violence bound up in the everyday functions of digital media. At its core is the concept of 'computational capital' - the idea that capitalism itself is a computer, turning qualities into quantities, and that the rise of digital culture and technologies under capitalism should be seen as an extension of capitalism's bloody logic.Engaging with Borges, Turing, Claude Shannon, Hitchcock and Marx, this book tracks computational capital to reveal the lineages of capitalised power as it has restructured representation, consciousness and survival in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, It argues that the global intensification of inequality relies on the discursive, informatic and screen-mediated production of social differenceUltimately The Message is Murder makes the case for recognising media communications across all platforms - books, films, videos, photographs and even language itself - as technologies of political economy, entangled with the social contexts of a capitalism that is inherently racial, gendered and genocidal.

Cultural Software

A Theory of Ideology

Author: J. M. Balkin

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300084504

Category: Law

Page: 335

View: 5276

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In this book J. M. Balkin offers a strikingly original theory of cultural evolution, a theory that explains shared understandings, disagreement, and diversity within cultures. Drawing on many fields of study--including anthropology, evolutionary theory, cognitive science, linguistics, sociology, political theory, philosophy, social psychology, and law--the author explores how cultures grow and spread, how shared understandings arise, and how people of different cultures can understand and evaluate each other's views. Cultural evolution occurs through the transmission of cultural information and know-how--"cultural software"--in human minds, Balkin says. Individuals embody cultural software and spread it to others through communication and social learning. Ideology, the author contends, is neither a special nor a pathological form of thought but an ordinary product of the evolution of cultural software. Because cultural understanding is a patchwork of older imperfect tools that are continually adapted to solve new problems, human understanding is partly adequate and partly inadequate to the pursuit of justice. Balkin presents numerous examples that illuminate the sources of ideological effects and their contributions to injustice. He also enters the current debate over multiculturalism, applying his theory to problems of mutual understanding between people who hold different worldviews. He argues that cultural understanding presupposes transcendent ideals and shows how both ideological analysis of others and ideological self-criticism are possible.

Mathematics Across Cultures

The History of Non-Western Mathematics

Author: Helaine Selin

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9401143013

Category: Mathematics

Page: 479

View: 2517

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Mathematics Across Cultures: A History of Non-Western Mathematics consists of essays dealing with the mathematical knowledge and beliefs of cultures outside the United States and Europe. In addition to articles surveying Islamic, Chinese, Native American, Aboriginal Australian, Inca, Egyptian, and African mathematics, among others, the book includes essays on Rationality, Logic and Mathematics, and the transfer of knowledge from East to West. The essays address the connections between science and culture and relate the mathematical practices to the cultures which produced them. Each essay is well illustrated and contains an extensive bibliography. Because the geographic range is global, the book fills a gap in both the history of science and in cultural studies. It should find a place on the bookshelves of advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, and scholars, as well as in libraries serving those groups.

Computational Intelligence in Archaeology

Author: Barcelo, Juan A.

Publisher: IGI Global

ISBN: 1599044919

Category: Computers

Page: 436

View: 734

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Provides analytical theories offered by innovative artificial intelligence computing methods in the archaeological domain.

Turing's Man

Western Culture in the Computer Age

Author: J. David Bolter

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 9780807841082

Category: Computers

Page: 264

View: 5360

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Discusses the role of technology in Western civilization and examines the impact of the computer on modern culture

Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities

Author: Nick Montfort

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262331985

Category: Computers

Page: 328

View: 4218

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This book introduces programming to readers with a background in the arts and humanities; there are no prerequisites, and no knowledge of computation is assumed. In it, Nick Montfort reveals programming to be not merely a technical exercise within given constraints but a tool for sketching, brainstorming, and inquiring about important topics. He emphasizes programming's exploratory potential -- its facility to create new kinds of artworks and to probe data for new ideas. The book is designed to be read alongside the computer, allowing readers to program while making their way through the chapters. It offers practical exercises in writing and modifying code, beginning on a small scale and increasing in substance. In some cases, a specification is given for a program, but the core activities are a series of "free projects," intentionally underspecified exercises that leave room for readers to determine their own direction and write different sorts of programs. Throughout the book, Montfort also considers how computation and programming are culturally situated -- how programming relates to the methods and questions of the arts and humanities. The book uses Python and Processing, both of which are free software, as the primary programming languages.

Physical Computation

A Mechanistic Account

Author: Gualtiero Piccinini

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199658854

Category: Computer science

Page: 313

View: 1306

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Computation permeates our world, but a satisfactory philosophical theory of what it is has been lacking. Gualtiero Piccinini presents a mechanistic account of what makes a physical system a computing system. He argues that computation does not entail representation or information-processing, although information-processing entails computation.

Post-Postmodernism

or, The Cultural Logic of Just-in-Time Capitalism

Author: Jeffrey Nealon

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804783217

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 248

View: 4678

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Post-Postmodernism begins with a simple premise: we no longer live in the world of "postmodernism," famously dubbed "the cultural logic of late capitalism" by Fredric Jameson in 1984. Far from charting any simple move "beyond" postmodernism since the 1980s, though, this book argues that we've experienced an intensification of postmodern capitalism over the past decades, an increasing saturation of the economic sphere into formerly independent segments of everyday cultural life. If "fragmentation" was the preferred watchword of postmodern America, "intensification" is the dominant cultural logic of our contemporary era. Post-Postmodernism surveys a wide variety of cultural texts in pursuing its analyses—everything from the classic rock of Black Sabbath to the post-Marxism of Antonio Negri, from considerations of the corporate university to the fare at the cineplex, from reading experimental literature to gambling in Las Vegas, from Badiou to the undergraduate classroom. Insofar as cultural realms of all kinds have increasingly been overcoded by the languages and practices of economics, Nealon aims to construct a genealogy of the American present, and to build a vocabulary for understanding the relations between economic production and cultural production today—when American-style capitalism, despite its recent battering, seems nowhere near the point of obsolescence. Post-postmodern capitalism is seldom late but always just in time. As such, it requires an updated conceptual vocabulary for diagnosing and responding to our changed situation.