Isabelle Stengers: The Invention of Modern Science (1993–) [EN, PT]

25 March 2014, dusan

The so-called exact sciences have always claimed to be different from other forms of knowledge. How are we to evaluate this assertion? Should we try to identify the criteria that seem to justify it? Or, following the new model of the social study of the sciences, should we view it as a simple belief? The Invention of Modern Science proposes a fruitful way of going beyond these apparently irreconcilable positions, that science is either “objective” or “socially constructed.” Instead, suggests Isabelle Stengers, one of the most important and influential philosophers of science in Europe, we might understand the tension between scientific objectivity and belief as a necessary part of science, central to the practices invented and reinvented by scientists.

First published in French as L’Invention des sciences modernes, La Découverte, Paris, 1993.

English edition
Translated by Daniel W. Smith
Publisher University of Minnesota Press, 2000
Theory Out of Bounds series, 19
ISBN 0816630569, 9780816630561
185 pages

Review (Robert Evans, Contemporary Sociology, 2002)
Commentary (Stephen Shaviro, 2004)

Publisher (EN)
Google books (EN)

The Invention of Modern Science (English, trans. Daniel W. Smith, 2000)
A invenção das ciências modernas (Portuguese, trans. Max Altman, 2002)

Matthew Fuller, Andrew Goffey: Evil Media (2012)

30 November 2013, dusan

Evil Media develops a philosophy of media power that extends the concept of media beyond its tried and trusted use in the games of meaning, symbolism, and truth. It addresses the gray zones in which media exist as corporate work systems, algorithms and data structures, twenty-first century self-improvement manuals, and pharmaceutical techniques. Evil Media invites the reader to explore and understand the abstract infrastructure of the present day. From search engines to flirting strategies, from the value of institutional stupidity to the malicious minutiae of databases, this book shows how the devil is in the details.

The title takes the imperative “Don’t be evil” and asks, what would be done any differently in contemporary computational and networked media were that maxim reversed.

Media here are about much more and much less than symbols, stories, information, or communication: media do things. They incite and provoke, twist and bend, leak and manage. In a series of provocative stratagems designed to be used, Evil Media sets its reader an ethical challenge: either remain a transparent intermediary in the networks and chains of communicative power or become oneself an active, transformative medium.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2012
ISBN 0262304406, 9780262304405
235 pages

Review: Nicholas Holm (Media Int’l AU, 2013).
Evil media on Monoskop wiki


PDF (updated on 2016-10-13)
HTML (added on 2015-8-28)

See also YoHa, et al., Evil Media Distribution Centre, 2013.

Alexander Bard, Jan Söderqvist: The Futurica Trilogy (2012)

30 December 2012, dusan

“In the late 1990’s, Swedish social theorists Alexander Bard and Jan Söderqvist started working on a radical new theory, since referred to as The Netocracy Hypothesis. At this early stage Bard & Söderqvist foresaw that the control of the internet would be the subject of the main power struggle for the next century; an outright war between a brand new rising elite (the netocrats) and an established but rapidly declining elite (the bourgeoisie). They made predictions against the tide in the early years of the new millennium (and cleverly foresaw both the dot com crash and September 11), and have since then been proven right in virtually every aspect and even in the most minute of details. Not only did Bard & Söderqvist foresee revolutionary innovations such as Google, Facebook, Al-Qaida and Wikileaks, they also went deeper and looked beyond where any other observer has been or managed to go, into the very power struggle of the on-going revolution. Now, for the first time, all three of Bard & Söderqvist’s groundbreaking works have been collected and released as one compact set, under the title The Futurica Trilogy. The first book is The Netocrats (explaining how the internet creates a new global upper class which fights and destroys the old stuggling power structure); the second book is The Global Empire (dealing with the worldview of the netocrats and how it radically differs from any previous ideology in history); and the third book is The Body Machines (discussing how the idea of what it means to be human in an interactive world radically differs from any previous concept of human existence).”

Originally published in Swedish in 3 volumes: Nätokraterna (2000), Det globala imperiet (2002), and Kroppsmaskinerna (2009).
Translated by Neil Smith
Publisher Stockholm Text, 2012
ISBN 9789187173035
740 pages

video interview with the authors (2008)