Daily Archives: March 4, 2017

Liked on YouTube: A Dennett Adagio

Awful pun: conducting brain experiments.

I liked this on YouTube because it illustrates both our endeavour to understand the human brain and the progress we are making at the same time as emphasising its ineffable complexity.

A Dennett Adagio
Functional MRI scan of the brilliant brain of DANIEL DENNETT, December 2015. This is a rest state (default mode) image series captured at the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center in Connecticut. After standard preprocessing, I reduced the dimensionality of the data with Independent Component Analysis, extracting eight synchronized networks as shown. Each was assigned a tone; the more rapidly varying regions are higher in pitch. This part of the experiment, resting without any stimulus or task, lasted six minutes. It’s accelerated here x2.

Dan Lloyd
via YouTube

Instagram! Black-footed ferret

via Instagram http://ift.tt/2m7FC2s

I heard a discussion on the radio about de-extinction. By saying the term, I’m being complicit in its persistence, further admitting its putative meaning into existence,

The way we talk about (and express) our experiences somehow creates the possibility for the conditions of those experiences (Lister p.210)

A similar concept was articulated by one of the broadcast’s interviewees (Richard Grenyer, Associate Professor in Biodiversity and Biogeography at Oxford University) who argued with conviction that the term de-extinction is actively harmful because it constitutes an understanding of animal species now extinct, or about to become so, as resurrect-able. Such a meaning carries with it the risk that we will not properly care for the biodiversity of our planet because we will soon (in a generation) be able to conjure up woolly mammoths and black-footed ferrets by sleight of our automated hands.

We are doing the same with our technological lexicon – the language of computers, networks, databases and protocols is performing a posthuman self we might easily fail to properly cherish unless, as Shah (2015) urges,

we take the form, function, role, and intention of digital technologies more seriously in our analysis of technosocial regimes and systems of governance. More often than not, the architecture, protocols, algorithms, and the aesthetics and logic of data are not addressed in the growing discourse around study of technology driven social and political organisation.

(Shah, 2015, p.39)

Shah, N. (2015). Identity and Identification: The Individual in the Time of Networked Governance Socio-Legal Review, 11:2, pp.22-40

Comment on Micro-ethnography of a MOOC about muckraking by hmurphy

Thank you, Cathy, I really appreciate your comment. I’m so impressed with the ingenuity of our classmates in selecting exciting software to use – this, regrettably, is not fancy: just powerpoint slides, saved as a pdf 🙂

I think my ‘translate into authority’ comment needs to be taken with some caution – the small sample size and a sort of wishy-washy understanding of what ‘authority’ might imply in this context means that it’s a pretty subjective thing for me to have said. I think how we might recognise authority is also open to some interpretation!

That said, I wondered if it might be a question of ratio, whether a 50:50 expert/non-expert split might lead to a different sense of community than a, say, 5:95 split.

from Comments for Helen’s EDC blog http://ift.tt/2m5mct4