Matching Items (13)

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Liminal Space

Description

Liminal Space is a pen-and-paper roleplaying game designed to facilitate performative, personalized, and critical exploration of identity, value and truth dissensus; contemporary social, technological, political, and environmental issues; and modes

Liminal Space is a pen-and-paper roleplaying game designed to facilitate performative, personalized, and critical exploration of identity, value and truth dissensus; contemporary social, technological, political, and environmental issues; and modes of relating to socio-technical change, instability, and uncertainty. Pen-and-paper roleplaying games emerge from a 40-year history as an entertainment medium, but in recent decades have displayed the ability to personally speak to more "serious" issues. Mechanically, they combine elements of classroom or public-engagement, pedagogic, roleplaying exercises with benefits or participatory scenario construction, allowing players to immerse themselves in bespoke situations reflecting their personal interests, anxieties, and pedagogic aims and to reflexively and critically engage with contested truths or social disruptions in a safe space. Formal studies of roleplaying games are sparse, and I, the author, hope that Liminal Space can draw more study to a unique communication, entertainments, and performance medium and to the unique communities that surround it.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Knowing the Future: Visions of the Bioeconomy and the Politics of Global Transformation

Description

This dissertation explores the contemporary politics of global transformation: the ways biological expertise and economic rationalities are positioned as agents of governance in the face of emerging global crisis. It

This dissertation explores the contemporary politics of global transformation: the ways biological expertise and economic rationalities are positioned as agents of governance in the face of emerging global crisis. It examines visions for a new bioeconomy that are offered in response to impending global crisis. Leaders point to calculations of global population growth and resource depletion to predict future crises and call for a new bioeconomy as a pillar of sustainable and “good” governance.

Focusing on visions and practices of bioeconomy-making in the U.S. and Brazil, the dissertation examines bioeconomy discourse as a response to global crisis and a framework of global governance that promises resource abundance and human wellbeing. Bioeconomy discourse makes visible shared notions of how the world is and how it should be that animate the world-making practices of bioeconomy. The dissertation analyzes the bioeconomy as simultaneously a product of existing institutional and nationally situated values and rationalities, and a significant site of performative novelty. It is an effort to reformulate existing projects in the biosciences—from technology regulation to market formation—and establish new rationalities of governance in the name of producing thoroughgoing transformations to both the global economy and to life itself.

Framing existing scientific and economic rationalities as suppressed and misdirected in their power to govern, bioeconomy proponents envision a novel order derivable from the proper conjugation of biological and economic rationalities. Through the lens of bioconstitutionalism, the dissertation elucidates how national, scientific and public rights and responsibilities are coproduced in relation to a sociotechnical imaginary of vital conjuring. Underwritten by the imaginary of vital conjuring, visions of a future transformed promise that abundance and order can be called up from a tangle of crisis and decay. The imaginary of vital conjuring marries a vision of the technological potential of biological life and the forms of economy capable of unlocking that potential. This vision of bioeconomy, the dissertation argues, is a vision of governance: of the right relationships between state, citizen and science.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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The soft megamachine: Lewis Mumford's metaphor of technological society and implications for (participatory) technology assessment

Description

This dissertation explores the megamachine, a prominent metaphor in American humanist and philosopher of technology, Lewis Mumford's Myth of the Machine series. The term refers critically to dynamic, regimented human

This dissertation explores the megamachine, a prominent metaphor in American humanist and philosopher of technology, Lewis Mumford's Myth of the Machine series. The term refers critically to dynamic, regimented human capacities that drive scientific and technical innovation in society. Mumford's view of the nature of collectives focuses on qualities and patterns that emerge from the behavior of groups, societies, systems, and ecologies. It is my aim to reenergize key concepts about collective capacities drawn from Lewis Mumford's critique of historical and modern sociotechnical arrangements. I investigate the possibility of accessing those capacities through improved design for Technology Assessment (TA), formal practices that engage experts and lay citizens in the evaluation of complex scientific and technical issues.

I analyze the components of Mumford's megamachine and align key concerns in two pivotal works that characterize the impact of collective capacities on society: Bruno Latour's Pasteurization of France (1988) and Elias Canetti's Crowds and Power (1962). As I create a model of collective capacities in the sociotechnical according to the parameters of Mumford's megamachine, I rehabilitate two established ideas about the behavior of crowds and about the undue influence of technological systems on human behavior. I depart from Mumford's tactics and those of Canetti and Latour and propose a novel focus for STS on "sociotechnical crowds" as a meaningful unit of social measure. I make clear that Mumford's critique of the sociotechnical status quo still informs the conditions for innovation today.

Using mixed mode qualitative methods in two types of empirical field studies, I then investigate how a focus on the characteristics and components of collective human capacities in sociotechnical systems can affect the design and performance of TA. I propose a new model of TA, Emergent Technology Assessment (ETA), which includes greater public participation and recognizes the interrelationship among experience, affect and the material in mediating the innovation process. The resulting model -- the "soft" megamachine --introduces new strategies to build capacity for responsible innovation in society.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Three essays on health and health care in society: public values, genomic policies, and socio-technical futures of our lifespan

Description

Each of the three essays in this dissertation examine an aspect of health or health care in society. Areas explored within this dissertation include health care as a public value,

Each of the three essays in this dissertation examine an aspect of health or health care in society. Areas explored within this dissertation include health care as a public value, proscriptive genomic policies, and socio-technical futures of the human lifespan. The first essay explores different forms of health care systems and attempts to understand who believes access to health care is a public value. Using a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. citizens, this study presents statistically significant empirical evidence regarding values and other attributes that predict the probability of individuals within age-based cohorts identifying access to health care as a public value. In the second essay, a menu of policy recommendations for federal regulators is proposed in order to address the lack of uniformity in current state laws concerning genetic information. The policy recommendations consider genetic information as property, privacy protections for re-identifying de-identified genomic information, the establishment of guidelines for law enforcement agencies to access nonforensic databases in criminal investigations, and anti-piracy protections for individuals and their genetic information. The third and final essay explores the socio-technical artifacts of the current health care system for documenting both life and death to understand the potential for altering the future of insurance, the health care delivery system, and individual health outcomes. Through the development of a complex scenario, this essay explores the long-term socio-technical futures of implementing a technology that continuously collects and stores genetic, environmental, and social information from life to death of individual participants.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Account/ability: Disability and Agency in the Age of Biomedicalization

Description

Over the last half century, global healthcare practices have increasingly relied on technological interventions for the detection, prevention, and treatment of disability and disease. As these technologies become routinized and

Over the last half century, global healthcare practices have increasingly relied on technological interventions for the detection, prevention, and treatment of disability and disease. As these technologies become routinized and normalized into medicine, the social and political dimensions require substantial consideration. Such consideration is particularly critical in the context of ableism, in which bodily and cognitive differences such as disabilities are perceived as deviance and demand intervention. Further, neoliberalism, with its overwhelming tendency to privatize and individualize, creates conditions under which social systems abdicate responsibility for social issues such as ableism, shifting accountability onto individuals to prevent or mitigate difference through individualized means.

It is in this context that this dissertation, informed by critical disability studies and feminist science and technology studies, examines the understanding and enactment of disability and responsibility in relation to biomedical technologies. I draw from qualitative empirical data from three distinct case studies, each focused on a different biomedical technology: prenatal genetic screening and diagnosis, deep brain stimulation, and do-it-yourself artificial pancreas systems. Analyzing semi-structured interviews and primary documents through an inductive framework that takes up elements of Grounded Theory and hermeneutic phenomenology, this research demonstrates a series of tensions. As disability becomes increasingly associated with discrete biological characteristics and medical professionals claim a growing authority over disabled bodyminds, users of these technologies are caught in a double bind of personal responsibility and epistemic invalidation. Technologies, however, do not occupy either exclusively oppressive or liberatory roles. Rather, they are used with full acknowledgement of their role in perpetuating medical authority and neoliberal paradigms as well as their individual benefit. Experiential and embodied knowledge, particular when in tension with clinical knowledge, is invalidated as a transgression of expert authority. To reject these invalidations, communities cohering around subaltern knowledges emerge in resistance to the mismatched priorities and expectations of medical authority, creating space for alternative disabled imaginaries.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Green economy governance: transforming states and markets through the global forest carbon trade in California and Chiapas

Description

This dissertation explores the intersection of two major developments in global

environmental governance: the vision for a Green Economy and the growing influence of non-state actors. The work draws on multi-sited

This dissertation explores the intersection of two major developments in global

environmental governance: the vision for a Green Economy and the growing influence of non-state actors. The work draws on multi-sited thick description to analyze how relationships between the state, market, and civil society are being reoriented towards global problems. Its focus is a non-binding agreement between California and Chiapas to create a market in carbon offsets credits for Reducing Emissions for Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD). The study draws on three bodies of scholarship. From the institutionalist study of global environmental politics, it uses the ideas of orchestration, civil regulation, and private entrepreneurial authority to identity emerging alignments of state and non-state actors, premised on an exchange of public authority and private expertise. From concepts borrowed from science and technology studies, it inquires into the production, certification, and contestation of knowledge. From a constitutionalist perspective, it analyzes how new forms of public law and private expertise are reshaping foundational categories such as territory, authority, and rights. The analysis begins with general research questions applied to California and Chiapas, and the international space where groups influential in these sites are also active: 1) Where are new political and legal institutions emerging, and how are they structured? 2) What role does scientific, legal, and administrative expertise play in shaping these institutions, and vice versa? And 3) How are constitutional elements of the political order being reoriented towards these new spaces and away from the exclusive domain of the nation-state? The dissertation offers a number of propositions for combining institutionalist and constructivist approaches for the study of complex global governing arrangements. It argues that this can help identify constitutional reconfigurations that are not readily apparent using either approach alone.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Atrial fibrillation ablation: history, practice, and innovation

Description

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common abnormal heart rhythm, affecting

nearly 2% of the world’s population at a cost of $26 Billion in the United States annually, and incalculable costs

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common abnormal heart rhythm, affecting

nearly 2% of the world’s population at a cost of $26 Billion in the United States annually, and incalculable costs worldwide. AF causes no symptoms for some people. However, others with AF experience uncomfortable symptoms including palpitations, breathlessness, dizziness, and fatigue. AF can severely diminish quality of life for both AF sufferers and their loved ones. Beyond uncomfortable symptoms, AF is also linked to congestive heart failure and stroke, both of which can cause premature death. Medications often fail to control AF, leading patients and healthcare providers to seek other cures, including catheter ablation. To date, catheter ablation has yielded uneven results, but garners much attention in research and innovation in pursuit of a cure for AF. This dissertation examines the historical development and contemporary practices of AF ablation to identify opportunities to improve the innovation system for the disease. First, I trace the history of AF and AF ablation knowledge from the 2nd century B.C.E. through the present. This historical look identifies patterns of knowledge co-development between science, technology, and technique, as well as publication patterns impacting knowledge dissemination. Second, I examine the current practices of AF ablation knowledge translation from the perspective of clinical practitioners to characterize the demand-side of knowledge translation in real-world practice. Demand-side knowledge translation occurs in nested patterns, and requires data, experience, and trust in order to incorporate knowledge into a practice paradigm. Third, I use social network mapping and analysis to represent the full AF ablation knowledge-practice system and identify

opportunities to modify research and innovation practice in AF ablation based on i

measures of centrality and power. Finally, I outline six linked recommendations using raw data capture during ablation procedures and open big data analytics, coupled with multi-stakeholder social networking approaches, to maximize innovation potential in AF ablation research and practice.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Silent Partnership in the Age of Smart Technology

Description

Smart technology is now pervasive in society and has partnered with people on every level, yet its social and cultural implications are easily overlooked by the majority. In this thesis,

Smart technology is now pervasive in society and has partnered with people on every level, yet its social and cultural implications are easily overlooked by the majority. In this thesis, I work on building a silent partnership between humans and smart technology and creating smart devices/systems as silent partners by revealing the complexity of smart technology and tackling the current issues of unilateral transparency, a lack of negotiation, and the dynamic of the sense of control. This work draws on varied fields such as critical cultural studies, science and technology studies (STS), media studies, information studies, sociology, psychology, and design and consists of three main themes: materiality, politics, and affect. In addition, I utilize theoretical frameworks such as posthumanism, actor-network theory (ANT), assemblage, materialism, and affect theory to analyze the underlying factors and relationships among human and nonhuman actors such as technology companies, governments, engineers, designers, users, as well as infrastructure, algorithms, and smart devices/systems. Finally, I offer four roles to rethink smart technology (an actor, a fluid, a peer, and a silent partner) and propose 15 design principles to redesign smart devices/systems as silent partners.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Morals in transition: imaginaries and American national identity through three energy transitions

Description

This dissertation explores the functional purpose of imagination as it is enacted in the context of shaping large transitions in sociotechnical systems. Large sociotechnical systems undergoing profound transitions embody instantiations

This dissertation explores the functional purpose of imagination as it is enacted in the context of shaping large transitions in sociotechnical systems. Large sociotechnical systems undergoing profound transitions embody instantiations where societies experience profound changes in the ‘rules of the game’ that underpin the conduct of daily life. The forms of imagination that guide these transformations, known in the political theory literature as ‘imaginaries,’ play a profound yet undertheorized role in transition of sociotechnical systems from one configuration to another. Expanding on this relationship, the study draws on three case studies of energy systems change in the United States during 20th and 21st century. Each case study explores unique element of how actors at a variety of levels – transnational governance, regional electrification, and in-home energy marketing – define and the possibilities for ideal human and technological action and interaction through a transition. These actors defining the parameters of a new form of systems operation and configuration are as equally focused on defining how these new configurations shape fundamental ideas that underpin American democratic sensibility. Moreover, in the process of articulating a new configuration of energy and society – be that in terms of managing global resource flows or the automation of energy use in a residential home – questions of what makes an ideal member of a society are interlinked with new contractual relationships between energy producers and energy users. Transitions research could and should pay greater attention to the normative commitments emergent systems actors – as it is in these commitments we can chart pathways to redefine the parameters that underpin emergent transitions.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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The resilience engine: generating personhood, place and power in virtual worlds, 2008-2010

Description

This document builds a model, the Resilience Engine, of how a given sociotechnical innovation contributes to the resilience of its society, where the failure points of that process might be,

This document builds a model, the Resilience Engine, of how a given sociotechnical innovation contributes to the resilience of its society, where the failure points of that process might be, and what outcomes, resilient or entropic, can be generated by the uptake of a particular innovation. Closed systems, which tend towards stagnation and collapse, are distinguished from open systems, which through ongoing encounters with external novelty, tend towards enduring resilience. Heterotopia, a space bounded from the dominant order in which novelty is generated and defended, is put forth as the locus of innovation for systemic resilience, defined as the capacity to adapt to environmental changes. The generative aspect of the Resilience Engine lies in a dialectic between a heterotopia and the dominant system across a membrane which permits interaction while maintaining the autonomy of the new space. With a model of how innovation, taken up by agents seeking power outside the dominant order, leads to resilience, and of what generates failures of the Resilience Engine as well as successes, the model is tested against cases drawn from two key virtual worlds of the mid-2000s. The cases presented largely validate the model, but generate a crucial surprise. Within those worlds, 2008-2010 saw an abrupt cultural transformation as the dialectic stage of the Resilience Engine's operation generated victories for the dominant order over promising emergent attributes of virtual heterotopia. At least one emergent practice has been assimilated, generating systemic resilience, that of the conference backchannel. A surprise, however, comes from extensive evidence that one element never problematized in thinking about innovation, the discontent agent, was largely absent from virtual worlds. Rather, what users sought was not greater agency but the comfort of submission over the burdens of self-governance. Thus, aside from minor cases, the outcome of the operation of the Resilience Engine within the virtual worlds studied was the colonization of the heterotopic space for the metropolis along with attempts by agents both external and internal to generate maximum order. Pursuant to the Resilience Engine model, this outcome is a recipe for entropic collapse and for preventing new heterotopias from arising under the current dominant means of production.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013