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March 01 2013

La lettre et/ou l'image : ce qui est premier ?

Entendant Michel Serres, parcourant le livre de Raffaele Simone (Pris dans la Toile, L’esprit au temps du web, le débat Gallimard trad., 2012), après avoir lu l’entretien entre Boris Cyrulnik et Denis Peschanski (Mémoire et traumatisme : l’individu et la fabrique des grands récits, INA 2012), une question vient à l’esprit : la lettre ou l’image, Qu’est-ce qui est premier ? Autrement dit on parle d’une civilisation de l’oral, une de l’écrit et une troisième du numérique, mais quelle est la place de l’image ? Autrement dit l’image a-t-elle autant de force civilisatrice que l’écrit, le mot, la lettre. Dans la même ligne, Pierre Babin et Marie France Kouloumdjian s’interrogeaient en 1980 sur « les nouveaux modes de comprendre » (Le Centurion, 1983), nous montrent combien nous avons négligé l’image au cours de notre histoire et combien sa mise en avant, via les écrans de cinéma, de télévision et d’ordinateur, nous invite à en mesurer l’importance.

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

February 21 2012

Play fullscreen
iLaw 2011: Interoperability

yt permalink

This week the Berkman Center and the Research Center for Information Law, St. Gallen released the latest study on the state of interoperability: “Breaking Down Digital Barriers.” This joint report follows the Roadmap to Open ICT Ecosystems released in 2005, as it navigates the nuanced territory of consumer, corporate, and governmental interests in the benefits and roadblocks to interoperable ICT systems.

The report and accompanying case studies on DRM-protected music, Digital Identity, and Mashups are available for download on the project website. The presentation and discussion of the report and its findings, took place in Washington, DC. Runtime: 01:04:20

Download the MP3 (time: 01:03:50)

January 21 2012

Knowledge naturalized and socialized | understandingsociety.blogspot 2012-01-19

There has been a field of philosophy for quite a long time called "epistemology naturalized." (Here are good articles on naturalized epistemology and evolutionary epistemology in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.) Putting the point simply, the goal of this field is to reconcile two obvious points:
  • Human beings are natural organisms, with cognitive faculties that have resulted from a process of natural selection.  All our beliefs about the world have been created and evaluated using these natural and biologically contingent faculties, generally in social interaction with other knowers.
  • We want to assert that our beliefs about the world are rationally and empirically supportable, and they have a certain probability of being approximately true.
The first point is a truism about the knowledge-producing organism.  The second is an expectation of what we want our beliefs to accomplish in terms of their relationships to the external world.

One of the earliest exponents of naturalized epistemology was W.V.O. Quine in "Epistemology Naturalized", included in Ontological Relativity (1969). Here is a definitive statement of his approach:
Epistemology, or something like it, simply falls into place as a chapter of psychology and hence of natural science. It studies a natural phenomenon, viz., a physical human subject. This human subject is accorded a certain experimentally controlled input -- certain patterns of irradiation in assorted frequencies, for instance -- and in the fullness of time the subject delivers as output a description of the three-dimensional external world and its history. The relation between the meager input and the torrential output is a relation that we are prompted to study for somewhat the same reasons that always prompted epistemology: namely, in order to see how evidence relates to theory, and in what ways one's theory of nature transcends any available evidence...But a conspicuous difference between old epistemology and the epistemological enterprise in this new psychological setting is that we can now make free use of empirical psychology. (82-3)
What are those cognitive faculties that the human organism possesses thanks to our evolutionary history?  Here are several that are important for belief formation.  We have perceptual abilities; we can observe objects and their sensible properties.  We can form concepts that serve to organize our thoughts about the world. We can identify patterns among cognized events.  We can reason deductively and inductively, allowing us to explore the logical relationships among various of our beliefs. We can formulate causal hypotheses about what factors influence what outcomes.  And we can create hypotheses about unobservable structures and properties that are thought to explain and generate the patterns we identify in the sensible world. These capacities presumably have natural histories and, presumably, cognitive gaps. So how can what we know about the human organism's cognitive capacities illuminate the rational warrant of the belief systems that we create?

Experimentation is a key part of belief formation, at least when our beliefs have to do with causation.  We may think that a certain mushroom causes insomnia.  We can design a simple experiment to attempt to test or validate this hypothesis: Identify two representative groups of persons; design a typical diet for everyone; administer the mushroom supplement to the diet of one group and withhold it from the second "control" group; record sleep patterns for both groups.  If there is an average difference in the incidence of insomnia between the two groups, we have prima facie reason to accept the hypothesis. If there is no difference, then we have reason to reject the hypothesis.

So what is the "social" part of knowledge creation?  In what sense does our understanding of knowledge need to be socialized? This is the key question giving rise to the various versions of the sociology of knowledge and science considered in recent posts. It is plain that social influences and social interactions come into virtually every aspect of the "naturalistic" inventory of belief formation offered above. Perception, concept formation, hypothesis formation, theory formation, reasoning, and belief assessment all have social components.The cognitive frameworks that we use, both in everyday perception and learning as well as in specialized scientific research, are socially and culturally informed. This seems to be particularly true in the case of social knowledge, both ordinary and scientific.

So we can add an additional bullet to the two provided at the start about the conditions of knowledge:
  • Belief systems have substantial social underpinnings in the form of division of labor in belief acquisition, socially shared institutions of inquiry, and socially shared (and contested) standards of belief assessment.
Here are a handful of ways in which knowledge is socially conditioned and created:

(1) We form beliefs or interpretations about the motives and reasons for other persons' behavior. These interpretations are formulated in terms of concepts and expectations that are themselves socially specific -- honor, shame, pride, revenge, spite, altruism, love.  And this is an important point: the actor him/herself has internalized some such set of ideas, which in turn influences the behavior.  This means that action is doubly constructed: by the actor and by the interpreter.

(2) We form beliefs about institutions -- the family, the mayor's office, the police department, the presidency. These beliefs are deeply invested in a set of presuppositions and implicatures, which are themselves socially specific.

(3) Knowledge gathering and assessing is inherently social in that it depends on the cooperative and competitive activities of groups of knowledge workers. These may be communities of scientists, theologians, or engineers. Disagreements are inherent in these social groups, and the embodied norms and power relationships that determine which belief systems emerge as "correct" are crucial parts of the knowledge formation process.

(4) We give weight to certain standards of reasoning and we discount other standards of reasoning.  Some of us give credence to magical claims, and we attach some evidentiary weight to statements about magical connections; others disregard magical claims and arguments. These disagreements are culture-specific. (Martin Hollis, ed., Rationality and Relativism, considers a lot of these sorts of questions.)

(5) Standards and definitions of "evidence" and "reason for belief" are socially variable and plastic. Moreover, there is likely to be more variance in these areas in some zones of belief than others. We may find more unanimity about procedures for assessing causal statements about common observable circumstances than about theoretical hypotheses, and even less for assessing beliefs about the likely effects of social policies.

"Naturalizing" and "socializing" knowledge is important because it allows us to investigate the concrete processes and practices through which human beings arrive at beliefs about the world.  The continuing challenge that the philosophy of science raises is the epistemic one: how can we evaluate the rational force of the beliefs and modes of reasoning that are documented through these empirical investigations of the knowledge enterprise?
Reposted from02myhumsci-01 02myhumsci-01

#Serres - from The Origin of Geometry

What we have left of all this history presents nothing but two languages as such, narratives or legends and proofs or figures, words and formulas. Thus it is as if we were confronted by two parallel lines which, as is well known, never meet. The origin constantly recedes, inaccessible, irretrievable. The problem is open.

I have tried to resolve this question three times. First, by immersing it in the technology of communications. When two speakers have a dialogue or a dispute, the channel that connects them must be drawn by a diagram with four poles, a complete square equipped with its two diagonals. However loud or irreconcilable their quarrel, however calm or tranquil their agreement, they are linked, in fact, twice: they need, first of all, a certain intersection of their repertoires, without which they would remain strangers; they then band together against the noise which blocks the communication channel. These two conditions are necessary to the diaIogue, though not sufficient. Consequently, the two speakers have a common interest in excluding a third man and including a fourth, both of whom are prosopopoeias of the,powers of noise or of the instance of intersection.(1) <#1>Now this schema functions in exactly this manner in Plato’s /Dialogues/, as can easily be shown, through the play of people and their naming, /their resemblances and differences/, their mimetic preoccupations and the dynamics of their violence. Now then, and above all, the mathematical sites, from the /Meno /through the /Timaeus/, by way of the /Statesman /and others, are all reducible geometrically to this diagram. Whence the origin appears, we pass from one language to another, the language said to be natural presupposes a dialectical schema, and this schema, drawn or written in the sand, as such, is the first of the geometric idealities. Mathematics presents itself as a successful dialogue or a communication which rigorously dominates its repertoire and is maximally purged of noise. Of course, it is not that simple. The irrational and the unspeakable lie in the details; listening always requires collating; there is always a leftover or a residue, indefinitely. But then, the schema remains open, and history possible. The philosophy of Plato, in its presentation and its models, is therefore inaugural, or better yet, it seizes the inaugural moment.

// oAnth - original URL at driftwork.tumblr

Reposted from02myhumsci-01 02myhumsci-01

November 10 2011


Ein Politker der CDU kann bei einer Aussage über die Linke sehr gut wissen, welche Zeitung darüber auf welche Weise berichten wird. Diese eingespielten Regeln führen dazu, dass man als Leser oder Zuschauer ein permanentes Déja-vu-Erlebnis hat. Irgendwie hat man den Eindruck, dass man das alles schon einmal erlebt hat, wenn auch nicht ganz genau so, aber auch nicht ganz anders. Und obwohl sich alle Beteiligten darüber informieren können, dass es sich so verhält, weshalb bei vielen eine Ernüchterung ob solcher Mechanismen die Motivation zum Weitermachen gefährdet, geht es einfach so weiter. Also auch dann, wenn die Strukturen der Reproduktion durchschaut werden, kann daran nichts geändert werden, solange das Dispositiv, das alle relevanten Vorentscheidungen durch seinen Filter schon getroffen hat, weiter funktioniert.

Sprechblasen zweiter Ordnung #piratenpartei | Differentia - 2011-11-10

August 14 2011



As William Wall argues, we are living in neoliberal times, in which structural inequalities are at their highest since the 19th Century, and we should begin to articulate these riots in this context; as Zygmunt Bauman pointed out ‘these are riots of defective and disqualified consumers’; or as Laurie Penny aptly argues, they are about grasping some power or rebalancing the balance of power. These are all thoughtful reflections to articulate the riots. They are all commendable, as are the videos of the Hackney Afro-Caribbean woman and the Darcus Howe interview. I am certain that, in times of discontent, we all gather our knowledge and experience to address the present, and expertise is not necessarily a required skill.

We have all heard strangers on the tube or the bus opening up to each other, trying to share their experiences and understanding of these days. All of these could be an attempt to grasp our reality, to share our vulnerability, concerns and hope – an attempt to address and share the present. I haven’t got the experience and historical knowledge of the UK that Howe has or, Penny’s on the ground journalistic facticity, or Bauman’s theoretical knowledge, but I have a moving image playing on my mind and the interview with that woman from Ealing given to the Sky reporter yesterday morning to go by. Let’s see what I can make of them. Let’s just turn to the woman from Ealing first.

Here is an approximation of the story. The woman from Ealing was telling the Sky reporter that a group of rioters, three or four, she could not be precise on either the number or their gender as they were wearing black masks and hoodies, broke into the front room of her house. Her voice was shaking when she was reiterating the story. As they were standing around looking into the house, she somehow asked them ‘What do you want?’, to which they did not reply. They just said to each other ‘let’s go’.  ‘What do you want?’ ‘Let’s go’.


the mentioned links (besides many others) in this quotation you may find bundled together via

Riots and Ineloquence | Critical Legal Thinking - Elena Loizidou - 2011-08-11

July 13 2011



„Kultur ist Reichtum an Problemen“, schrieb der Historiker Egon Friedell vor fast hundert Jahren – man könnte auch sagen, dass Eli Pariser Schwierigkeiten mit der Tatsache hat, dass die Welt und damit auch die Demokratie immer komplexer wird. Das Zeitalter der Massenmedien geht zu Ende, nun beginnt die Zeit der Medienmassen. Ja, zunehmend viele unterschiedliche Zugänge und Auffassungen sind mühsam. Aber stattdessen alles wieder auf eine Mainstream-Einheitlichkeit zu reduzieren, ist auch keine Lösung.

„Für jedes Problem gibt es eine ganz einfache Lösung“, sagte Albert Einstein einmal. „Sie ist immer falsch.“




Elektrischer Reporter 2011-07-06
Kompetente Nutzer, inkompetente Medien und das komplett persönliche Netz
Von wegen Filterblase | - 2011-07-12

April 21 2010


March 07 2010




11 Fazit: Klare und ehrliche politische Kommunikation braucht kognitive Transparenz

Ein Abgesang auf Fakten und Zahlen, auf die Relevanz politisch-gesellschaftlicher Realitäten? Eine Aufforderung zum professionell gemachten Spin, der sich aktueller Erkenntnisse der Neuroforschung bedient? Ein Schritt weg von den eigentlichen Themen, den Sach- und Fachfragen der Politik, hin zu einem emotiven Wahlkampf? Keinesfalls. Fakten sind zentral in der Politik. Aber ihre Bedeutung kann nicht außerhalb neuronaler Schaltkreise vom Gehirn berechnet werden. Dieser Artikel hat anhand ausgewählter Beispiele der EU-Kampagnen die Bedeutung von Sprache für den politischen Willensbildungsprozess nachgezeichnet und gezeigt: Jeder Fakt wird in der politischen Kommunikation – immer, ob man sich dessen bewusst ist oder nicht – zusammen mit einem gedanklichen Frame angeboten. Und wer Framing auf ein Instrument zum Erwecken positiver oder negativer Emotionen bei der Wählerschaft reduziert, der mag zwar auf kurze Sicht gute Slogans entwickeln. Doch kognitive Transparenz sieht anders aus. Eine politische Kommunikation der kognitiven Transparenz zu führen bedeutet, sich als Partei die eigenen grundlegenden Wertevorstellungen und verinnerlichten Denkmuster bewusst zu machen, um dann einzelne Vorhaben in dieses Wertesystem einordnen und entsprechend kommunizieren zu können. Denkmuster deutscher Parteien stehen notgedrungen in engem Zusammenhang mit historischen sowie aktuellen gesellschaftlichen und politischen Strukturen. Sie aufzudecken ist eine längerfristige, nicht über Nacht lösbare Aufgabe. Es ist aber eine Arbeit, die für Parteien wie Bürger von großer Bedeutung ist. Es wird für die politische Debatte in Deutschland ein Gewinn sein, wenn die Parteien im Bundestagswahlkampf 2009 und darüber hinaus die in diesem Artikel vorgestellten Erkenntnisse der Neuro- und Sprachwissenschaft zugunsten einer klaren und ehrlichen Kommunikation ihrer unterschiedlichen politischen Werte- und Denkmuster beachten.



Reichlich verspätet, gilt es leider vorab anzumerken, dass dergleichen Selbstverständlichkeiten auf öffentlichen Politik-Plattformen Aufmerksamkeit erlangen - in der Kognitionspsychologie und Kognitionslinguistik sind das letztendlich alte Hüte, um nicht zu sagen Gemeinplätze! Übrigens, die Begrifflichkeit, die hier gewählt wurde, "Neuro-Linguistik", erscheint mir im Hinblick auf die fachübergreifende Thematik anbetrachts des weiten Spektrums der kognitionsorientierten Wissenschaften zu eng.

Grundsätzlich zeigt sich wieder einmal mehr, wie unsere Parteienlandschaft aus geschlossenen Meinungs-Zirkeln bis hinunter in die Jugendorganisationen und parteizugehörigen Denkfabriken besteht, in denen man urplötzlich zumindest nach außen mit großem Trara Neuland zu betreten vorgibt, was letztendlich bei jedem akademisch Gebildeten nur Unmut hervorrufen muss - warum mittlerweile 15 bis 20 Jahre ungenutzt ins Land gingen, ohne das Potential, das in der zeitgenössischen Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaft schlummert, produktiv umsetzen zu können. Nein, neoliberal war die große Leitlinie, und wer auch immer aufmuckte, fallspezifische Differenzierungen, historisches Hintergrund- und aktuell erhobenes Datenwissen, sowie - wie hier geschehen - fachübergreifende Lösungsansätze einforderte, wurde besserwisserisch getadelt, auf später vertröstet oder, gar nicht selten, mit unverholenem Zynismus abgefertigt.

Um nicht missverstanden zu werden: es ist selbstredend anzuraten, in das Papier einen Blick zu werfen.

oanth - muc - 20100307

September 19 2009

FCC chief gets new net neutrality support in House from Waxman - - By Kim Hart - 09/17/09 10:51 PM ET The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that he supports legislation that would prohibit Internet companies from giving preferential treatment to certain services and content on the Web. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said he signed on to a bill introduced by Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) to codify the principal of net neutrality, which would force Internet service providers to treat all traffic the same. His endorsement of the policy gives new support to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who reaffirmed his own commitment to net neutrality in his first appearance before Congress since his confirmation hearing. The House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet on Thursday peppered all five members of the FCC with questions ranging from its broadband strategy to agency reform efforts.
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