Matrix Algebra: how to be human in a digital economy

By Sara C. Kingsley and Dr. Mary L. Gray (cross-posted to CultureDigitally and The Center for Popular Economics)   Ray and Charles Working on a Conceptual Model for the Exhibition Mathematica, 1960, photograph. Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress (A-22a) “Certainly the cost of living has increased, but the cost of everything else has …

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Show-and-Tell: Algorithmic Culture

Last week I tried to get a group of random sophomores to care about algorithmic culture. I argued that software algorithms are transforming communication and knowledge. The jury is still out on my success at that, but in this post I'll continue the theme by reviewing the interactive examples I used to make my point. I'm sharing them …

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A “pay it back tax” on data brokers: a modest (and also politically untenable and impossibly naïve) policy proposal

I've just returned from the "Social, Cultural, and Ethical Dimensions of Big Data" event, held by the Data & Society Initiative (led by danah boyd), and spurred by the efforts of the White House Office of Technology and Policy to develop a comprehensive report on issues of privacy, discrimination, and rights around big data. And …

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Welcoming the SMC interns for 2014!

This was an incredible, overwhelming year for internship applications. We had well over 200 PhD students apply, and we were deeply impressed by the quality of suggested projects. Thanks to everyone for your submissions. Here are the four people who will be joining us over the summer – congratulations to you all. We’re looking forward …

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Facebook “Courage” Page versus the Knights Templar’s Cartel

Organized as self-defense forces, some residents of the Mexican state of Michoácan have been attempting to regain control of their towns from powerful organized criminals. Although these Mexican militias have received a fair amount of media coverage, its fascinating social media presence has not been examined. Saiph Savage, a grad student at UNAM/UCSB, and I have started …

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