Matching Items (16)

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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 of relating to socio-technical change, instability, and uncertainty. Pen-and-paper roleplaying

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.

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Created

Date Created
2018-05

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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 thick description to analyze how relationships between the state, market,

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.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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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, and what outcomes, resilient or entropic, can be generated by

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

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Visions for sustainable energy transformations: integrating power and politics in the Mediterranean Region

Description

This dissertation examines the nexus of three trends in electricity systems transformations underway worldwide—the scale-up of renewable energy, regionalization, and liberalization. Interdependent electricity systems are being envisioned that require partnership and integration across power disparities. This research explores how actors

This dissertation examines the nexus of three trends in electricity systems transformations underway worldwide—the scale-up of renewable energy, regionalization, and liberalization. Interdependent electricity systems are being envisioned that require partnership and integration across power disparities. This research explores how actors in the Mediterranean region envisioned a massive scale-up of renewable energy within a single electricity system and market across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. It asks: How are regional sociotechnical systems envisioned? What are the anticipated consequences of a system for a region with broad disparities and deep sociopolitical differences? What can be learned about energy justice by examining this vision at multiple scales? A sociotechnical systems framework is used to analyze energy transformations, interweaving the technical aspects with politics, societal effects, and political development issues. This research utilized mixed qualitative methods to analyze Mediterranean electricity transformations at multiple scales, including fieldwork in Morocco and Germany, document analysis, and event ethnography. Each scale—from a global history of concentrating solar power technologies to a small village in Morocco—provides a different lens on the sociotechnical system and its implications for justice. This study updates Thomas Hughes’ Networks of Power, the canonical history of the sociotechnical development of electricity systems, by adding new aspects to sociotechnical electricity systems theory. First, a visioning process now plays a crucial role in guiding innovation and has a lasting influence on the justice outcomes. Second, rather than simply providing people with heat and light, electrical power systems in the 21st century are called upon to address complex integrated solutions. Furthermore, building a sustainable energy system is now a retrofitting agenda, as system builders must graft new infrastructure on top of old systems. Third, the spatial and temporal aspects of sociotechnical energy systems should be amended to account for constructed geography and temporal complexity. Fourth, transnational electricity systems pose new challenges for politics and political development. Finally, this dissertation presents a normative framework for conceptualizing and evaluating energy justice. Multi-scalar, systems-level justice requires collating diverse ideas about energy justice, expanding upon them based on the empirical material, and evaluating them with this framework.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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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 capacities that drive scientific and technical innovation in society. Mumford's

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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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 worldwide. AF causes no symptoms for some people. However, others

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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The Technology Triad: Reimagining the Relationship Between Technology and Military Innovation

Description

Existing models of military innovation assume general resistance to change within militaries that necessitates an outside influence to induce military innovation. Within these approaches, the complex relationship between technology and innovation is normally addressed by either minimizing the importance of

Existing models of military innovation assume general resistance to change within militaries that necessitates an outside influence to induce military innovation. Within these approaches, the complex relationship between technology and innovation is normally addressed by either minimizing the importance of technology or separating it from the social process of innovation. Yet these approaches struggle to reflect emerging dynamics between technology and military innovation, and as a result, potentially contribute to wasted national resources and unnecessarily bloody wars. Reframing the relationship between technology and military innovation can provide novel insights into the apparent inability of militaries to align technology with strategic goals and inform more effective future alignment. This dissertation leverages the insights of constructivist science and technology studies concepts to develop a novel model of military innovation: referred to here as the technology triad. The technology triad describes military sociotechnical systems in a way that highlights change and innovation within militaries. The model describes how doctrine, materiel, and “martial knowledge,” a new concept that relates to socially constructed truths about the conduct of war, interact to produce change and innovation within militaries. After constructing the model and exploring an in-depth application to the development of armored warfare in the United States Army prior to World War II, the case from which the model was developed, the dissertation explores the logical extension of the technology triad to establish a deductive framework against which to test the generalizability of the model. Nuclear weapons innovation in the United States military through the end of the Vietnam War provides a test of the model at the strategic level, and the development and employment of armed drones in the United States, Russia, Israel, and Azerbaijan provide a test of a contemporary innovation for the technology triad. Together, these three cases demonstrate that framing the relationship between technology and military innovation in terms of the technology triad can inform concrete actions that military leaders can take related to the types of technologies that are most likely to be useful in future conflicts and ways to manage military innovations to increase opportunities to achieve strategic objectives.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2021

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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, proscriptive genomic policies, and socio-technical futures of the human lifespan.

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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Sustained Relevance Through Elegance: Redesigning Higher Education from Within

Description

Universities and colleges in the United States (U.S.) are in a period of rapid transformation. Driven by the need for an educated workforce, higher education institutions are responding to rapid innovation, globalization, economic realities, and sociodemographic shifts. Simultaneously, extensive educational

Universities and colleges in the United States (U.S.) are in a period of rapid transformation. Driven by the need for an educated workforce, higher education institutions are responding to rapid innovation, globalization, economic realities, and sociodemographic shifts. Simultaneously, extensive educational online networks connect millions of people worldwide enable learning and knowledge sharing beyond what society has experienced to date. In light of technological advancements, the preservation and presentation of certain ideals that undergird academia and the communication and application of knowledge are undergoing dramatic change. Within higher education, this is both a challenge and an opportunity to re-envision the commitment to educate the public. This research discusses potential forms of this redesign and how it can build upon and depart from previous iterations of higher education. How colleges and universities will adapt to become more relevant, engaging, and accessible is a pressing question that must be addressed.

Using case studies focused on creating sustainability education materials, this dissertation develops knowledge related to three interconnected areas of study that will contribute to redesigning higher education through participatory action research methodology. First, higher education has a civic responsibility to provide new ways of thinking, being, and doing globally and providing more access to education to broader society, especially through public research institutions. Second, with a vast array of available learning materials, higher education should invest in elegantly-designed experiences consisting of well-reasoned, meticulously-curated, and high-quality content that is aesthetically appealing, engaging, and accessible to a broad audience. Third, as universities transition from the gatekeepers of knowledge to the connectors of knowledge, they also need to ensure that a coherent mission is articulated and invested in by stakeholders to create an intentionally beneficial transformational effort. The transformation of higher education toward a more inclusive learning environment through new ways of thinking and elegantly-designed learning experiences will serve to improve our learning institutions. As part of the necessary core for an educated democracy, higher education institutions must strive to create a more equitable, inclusive, and diverse society.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2020

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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 normalized into medicine, the social and political dimensions require substantial

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