All posts by Sergio Sismondo

Algorithmic psychometrics and the scalable subject

— Luke Stark — In June of 2014, researchers from Facebook and Cornell University found themselves in the midst of an unexpected crisis. The authors had published an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) describing a 2012 experiment that had subtly changed the content of the News Feeds of almost … Continue reading Algorithmic psychometrics and the scalable subject

Viscerality and abstraction

— Luke Stark – As a figurative adjective, ‘visceral’ was coined during the Renaissance, but fell out of use through the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, when something visceral was likely to refer specifically to the scientific or medical condition of the human gut and bowels. At the same time, emotions, passions, moods and feelings … Continue reading Viscerality and abstraction

Tech goes to university

—Alison T. Wynn and Shelley J. Correll— A typical recruiting session (a composite of many observed) You walk into the room and you’re immediately greeted by a bubbly female recruiter. ‘Welcome!’ she says enthusiastically. ‘Please sign in and take a raffle ticket. We’ll be auctioning off an iPad! And there’s plenty of food in the … Continue reading Tech goes to university

Authoritarianism and Indigenous peoples in the development of forensic genetic technologies

— Mark Munsterhjelm — A powerful new class of forensic genetic technologies being adapted by security agencies, called next generation sequencing (NGS) or massively parallel sequencing, have been sharply criticized by a number of scholars for resurrecting once discredited racial categories (Duster, 2015; Fullwiley, 2014). We might see NGS technologies in other terms, as well: … Continue reading Authoritarianism and Indigenous peoples in the development of forensic genetic technologies

Sensibilities of the flesh

— Nicole Charles — In an interview with a well-known Barbadian pediatrician about parents’ hesitancy toward the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Dr. Jones (a pseudonym) said to me: ‘I think after a while, people will come to their senses, do what’s best and protect [their children].’ But for Bernadette (also a pseudonym), a 39-year-old Afro-Barbadian mother … Continue reading Sensibilities of the flesh