Wikipedia and the politics of openness: Information, Communication & Society

In Wikipedia and the Politics of Openness, Nathaniel Tkacz unpacks why and how Wikipedia enjoys this particular exemplar status. It is this kind of talk that tells a great deal about what Wikipedia is, even as it might obscure the way it actually works. The very title bespeaks one of Tkacz’s most important claims: that Wikipedia does not exist alone, that it is circumscribed by … Continue reading Wikipedia and the politics of openness: Information, Communication & Society

Wikipedia traffic data and electoral prediction: towards theoretically informed models | EPJ Data Science | Full Text

This aim of this article is to explore the potential use of Wikipedia page view data for predicting electoral results. Responding to previous critiques of work using socially generated data to predict elections, which have argued that these predictions take place without any understanding of the mechanism which enables them, we first develop a theoretical model which highlights why people might seek information online at … Continue reading Wikipedia traffic data and electoral prediction: towards theoretically informed models | EPJ Data Science | Full Text

New book: Weapons of Math Destruction: How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy

We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives—where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance—are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated. But as Cathy O’Neil … Continue reading New book: Weapons of Math Destruction: How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy

Loon for All – Project Loon – Google

Project Loon balloons float in the stratosphere, twice as high as airplanes and the weather. In the stratosphere, there are many layers of wind, and each layer of wind varies in direction and speed. Loon balloons go where they’re needed by rising or descending into a layer of wind blowing in the desired direction of travel. By partnering with Telecommunications companies to share cellular spectrum … Continue reading Loon for All – Project Loon – Google

Jimmy Wales on the Lopsided Geography of Wikipedia – The Atlantic

Now imagine you can’t access Wikipedia. Or you can, but not in your native language. Or there are plenty of entries in your language, but few on the subjects that are part of your daily life. Or those entries exist, but they’re not written by locals like yourself. You certainly have other ways of getting information. But Wikipedia is one of the most ambitious information … Continue reading Jimmy Wales on the Lopsided Geography of Wikipedia – The Atlantic

Fred Turner – From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism

Can this encyclopedia of countercultural romance have anything to do with today’s technological world, a world of broadband connections, TCP/IP protocol and the Internet? The Internet, after all, began during the cold war as an attempt to create a network of computers that would be resilient in case of nuclear attack. Its instigator, the United States Department of Defense, was at the very center of … Continue reading Fred Turner – From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism

Inventing the Internet (Janet Abbate)

Given the growing number of recent books that explore the Internet as a religious and spiritual terrain, such as Erik Davis’ Techgnosis, it should not be surprising that the rhetoric surrounding digital technologies has begun transforming into mythology. Even generally measured business publications like The Economist can be caught recounting the activities and ventures of scientists, technologists, and digital entrepreneurs in biblical, epic, and heroic … Continue reading Inventing the Internet (Janet Abbate)

Review: Cosmopolitanism by Kwame Anthony Appiah | Books | The Guardian

Prehistoric hunter-gatherers encountered fewer people in a lifetime than we would on a single day walking down New York’s Fifth Avenue. Though their world of isolated clans shaped our natures, we live in a world where our most trivial deeds can affect unknown millions on the other side of the globe. Kwame Anthony Appiah, an Anglo-Ghanaian philosophy professor based at Princeton, proposes two principles to … Continue reading Review: Cosmopolitanism by Kwame Anthony Appiah | Books | The Guardian

Social media and the social sciences: How researchers employ Big Data analytics

Social media posts are full of potential for data mining and analysis. Recognizing this potential, platform providers increasingly restrict free access to such data. This shift provides new challenges for social scientists and other non-profit researchers who seek to analyze public posts with a purpose of better understanding human interaction and improving the human condition. This paper seeks to outline some of the recent changes … Continue reading Social media and the social sciences: How researchers employ Big Data analytics

Quelle est la forme d’internet ?

Louise Drulhe (@louisedrulhe), jeune designeuse issue de l’ENSAD se trouve actuellement en résidence pour trois mois à la Paillasse pour y poursuivre ses recherches sur la “forme d’Internet”, qu’elle a interrogée sous la forme d’un Atlas critique de l’Internet. Elle nous a présenté ce projet dans le cadre des “Jeudis du design” qui se tiennent régulièrement dans ce biofablab. Il existe beaucoup de textes qui … Continue reading Quelle est la forme d’internet ?

Review of Rob Kitchin’s The Data Revolution – Theory, Culture & Society

Rob Kitchin’s The Data Revolution helpfully strips away the hype surrounding ‘big data’ and clarifies key terms. This review suggests some avenues where the book could be taken further, particularly in reference to the performativity of big data discourses and infrastructures, giving the example of Cameron and Palin’s dismantling of the hype around globalisation. It is also suggested that the performative effects of data enact … Continue reading Review of Rob Kitchin’s The Data Revolution – Theory, Culture & Society

Is Facebook’s Trending Topics Biased Against Africa And The Middle East? – Forbes

One of the fascinating byproducts of this week’s Facebook row is that after years of requests from the research community, Facebook has finally released what it asserts is the master guidebook and list of news outlets it considers representative of global events, used to filter its Trending Topics module. While Facebook notes that “Trending is currently available in English in select countries” and thus would … Continue reading Is Facebook’s Trending Topics Biased Against Africa And The Middle East? – Forbes

Contropedia

Collaborative content creation inevitably reaches situations where different points of view lead to conflict. One of the most prominent examples of collaboration online is Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. It is a system where conflict is mediated by both policy and software, and where conflicts often reflect larger societal debates. We are building a platform for the real-time analysis and visualization of … Continue reading Contropedia

A social network analysis of Twitter: Mapping the digital humanities community – Cogent Arts & Humanities – Volume 3, Issue 1 | Cogent OA

Defining digital humanities might be an endless debate if we stick to the discussion about the boundaries of this concept as an academic “discipline”. In an attempt to concretely identify this field and its actors, this paper shows that it is possible to analyse them through Twitter, a social media widely used by this “community of practice”. Based on a network analysis of 2,500 users … Continue reading A social network analysis of Twitter: Mapping the digital humanities community – Cogent Arts & Humanities – Volume 3, Issue 1 | Cogent OA

How should we do the history of Big Data?

Taking its lead from Ian Hacking’s article ‘How should we do the history of statistics?’, this article reflects on how we might develop a sociologically informed history of Big Data. It argues that within the history of social statistics we have a relatively well developed history of the material phenomenon of Big Data. Yet this article argues that we now need to take the concept … Continue reading How should we do the history of Big Data?

Mapping Wikipedia: Geolocated Articles as a Proxy of Culture and Attention | Digital Humanities Specialist

Such is the nature of the modern university that a sudden spark of inspiration can lead to a quick and radical dive into data that, once upon a time, would have taken supercomputers and manpower far beyond the reach of humanities scholars.  When Jon Christensen proposed we explore the possibilities of mapping culture in urban areas, I immediately thought of Eric Fischer’s work mapping Twitter … Continue reading Mapping Wikipedia: Geolocated Articles as a Proxy of Culture and Attention | Digital Humanities Specialist

Diversifying Your Online World: Ethan Zuckerman’s New Book “Rewire” – MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing

In a new book, MIT’s Ethan Zuckerman asserts that we need to overcome the Internet’s sorting tendencies and create tools to make ourselves ‘digital cosmopolitans.’ The Internet promises a seemingly frictionless way of connecting individuals from around the globe. But in reality, that’s not what happens online: Instead, we clump together with people similar to ourselves, and have those affinities reinforced by tools that guide … Continue reading Diversifying Your Online World: Ethan Zuckerman’s New Book “Rewire” – MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Remplacé par des machines ou dirigé par des algorithmes ? | Ethnographies numériques

Il y a quelques semaines, AlphaGo, un programme informatique de la société Deep Mind, a vaincu le joueur coréen Lee Sedol dans une série de parties de Go. Pour divers observateurs, ce fut un moment marquant, car ce jeu de plateau a pendant longtemps été réputé comme difficile à maitriser par des machines. Au-delà de cette victoire, un aspect du dispositif de jeu a attiré … Continue reading Remplacé par des machines ou dirigé par des algorithmes ? | Ethnographies numériques

Krippendorff’s alpha – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Krippendorff‘s alpha coefficient[1] is a statistical measure of the agreement achieved when coding a set of units of analysis in terms of the values of a variable. Since the 1970s, alpha is used in content analysis where textual units are categorized by trained readers, in counseling and survey research where experts code open-ended interview data into analyzable terms, in psychological testing where alternative tests of the same phenomena need to be compared, … Continue reading Krippendorff’s alpha – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

How the machine ‘thinks’: Understanding opacity in machine learning algorithms

This article considers the issue of opacity as a problem for socially consequential mechanisms of classification and ranking, such as spam filters, credit card fraud detection, search engines, news trends, market segmentation and advertising, insurance or loan qualification, and credit scoring. These mechanisms of classification all frequently rely on computational algorithms, and in many cases on machine learning algorithms to do this work. In this article, I … Continue reading How the machine ‘thinks’: Understanding opacity in machine learning algorithms

New series of reports highlights profound changes in online discourse in Arab countries | Berkman Center

The Berkman Center is pleased to announce the publication of “Mobilization for Change,” a new series of reports examining the role of the networked public sphere in advancing civic participation and collective action in the Arab region. The online space in Egypt, Tunisia, and Bahrain reflects a growingly polarized and contentious offline political environment, with less consensus than existed five years ago. Fieldwork corroborates insights from social … Continue reading New series of reports highlights profound changes in online discourse in Arab countries | Berkman Center

Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems | Books | The Guardian

Imagine if the people of the Soviet Union had never heard of communism. The ideology that dominates our lives has, for most of us, no name. Mention it in conversation and you’ll be rewarded with a shrug. Even if your listeners have heard the term before, they will struggle to define it. Neoliberalism: do you know what it is? Its anonymity is both a symptom … Continue reading Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems | Books | The Guardian

How do politicians use Facebook? An applied Social Observatory

In the age of the digital generation, written public data is ubiquitous and acts as an outlet for today’s society. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn have profoundly changed how we communicate and interact. They have enabled the establishment of and participation in digital communities as well as the representation, documentation and exploration of social behaviours, and had a disruptive effect on how we … Continue reading How do politicians use Facebook? An applied Social Observatory

Analyser les discours institutionnels

Quel magazine n’a jamais arboré quelque titre du genre « Pourquoi l’école va mal » ou « Pourquoi la France a peur » ? Mais est-on sûr que l’école va vraiment mal ou que la France a vraiment peur ? En fait, non. C’est ce que l’on appelle un présupposé, et le cas appartient à la grande famille des procédés qui émaillent les textes et discours produits par les médias, les publicitaires, … Continue reading Analyser les discours institutionnels

Analyses sémantiques – Wikipedia

Wikipedia is the world’s largest collaboratively edited source of encyclopaedic knowledge. But in spite of its utility, its contents are barely machine-interpretable. Structural knowledge, e. g. about how concepts are interrelated, can neither be formally stated nor automatically processed. Also the wealth of numerical data is only available as plain text and thus can not be processed by its actual meaning. We provide an extension … Continue reading Analyses sémantiques – Wikipedia