In 1979, Harvard professors Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin identified what they saw as a shortcoming in American and English evolutionary biology. It was, they argued, dominated by an adaptationist program. By this, they meant that it embraced a misguided atomization of an organism’s traits, which then “are explained as structures optimally designed by natural selection for their function.” For example, an exaggerated version of the adaptationist program might look at a contemporary human face, see a nose, and argue that it was adapted and selected for its ability to hold glasses. Such a theory of the nose not only ignores the plural functions the nose serves, but the complex history of its evolution, its shifting usefulness for different kinds of activities, its mutational detours, the different kinds of noses, and the nose’s evolution as part of the larger systems of faces, bodies, and environments. So how should we talk about noses? Or, more importantly, how do we talk about any single feature of a complex system? Continue reading “Beyond bugs and features: A case for indeterminacy”
The 17th annual meeting of the Association of Internet Researchers is being held this week (Oct 5-8) in Berlin, Germany. It is a thrill to see so many past and present SMC members presenting their latest work, especially with Kate Crawford as part of the conference’s plenary panel Thursday evening. Below is a cheat sheet of all the SMC presentations, in case you want to follow along. (If we forgot somebody, please email us and we’ll add you!)
Wednesday, October 5th, 2016
|Nancy Baym||9:00 AM – 5:30 PM||Studying Labor: A Workshop on Theory and Methods|
|Jean Burgess||9:00 AM – 5:30 PM||Digital Methods in Internet Research: A Sampling Menu|
|Kevin Driscoll||9:00 AM – 5:30 PM||404 History Not Found: Challenges in Internet History and Memory Studies|
|Tarleton Gillespie||9:00 AM – 5:30 PM||The Internet Rules, But How? A Science and Technical Studies Take on Doing Internet Governance|
|Mary L. Gray||9:00 AM – 5:30 PM||Studying Labor: A Workshop on Theory and Methods|
Thursday, October 6th, 2016
Friday, October 7th, 2016
Saturday, October 8th, 2016
|Jean Burgess||11:00 AM – 12:30 PM||The Sharing Economy and Its Discontents|
|Stefanie Duguay||11:00 AM – 12:30 PM||The Sharing Economy and Its Discontents|
|Mary L. Gray||11:00 AM – 12:30 PM||The Sharing Economy and Its Discontents|
|Dan Greene||11:00 AM – 12:30 PM||Internet Industry Research Rules! A Roundtable on Methods|
|Germaine Halegoua||11:00 AM – 12:30 PM||Intersections of Technology & Place|
|Jessa Lingel||11:00 AM – 12:30 PM||Session Chair: Tech/Place|
|Nick Seaver||11:00 AM – 12:30 PM||Internet Industry Research Rules! A Roundtable on Methods|
|Lana Swartz||11:00 AM – 12:30 PM||Internet Industry Research Rules! A Roundtable on Methods|
|Kevin Driscoll||2:00 PM – 3:30 PM||Session Chair: Histories|
|Annette Markham||2:00 PM – 3:30 PM||AoIR Institutional Memory Panel|
|Dylan Mulvin||2:00 PM – 3:30 PM||Embedded Dangers: The History of the Year 2000 Problem and the Politics of Technological Repair|
Germaine Halegoua (University of Kansas), Alex Leavitt (Facebook), and Mary L. Gray recently published an article based on research conducted while Germaine was a Ph.D. Intern and Alex was a Research Assistant at MSR.
The article, “Jumping For Fun?: Negotiating Mobility and the Geopolitics of Foursquare” was published in Social Media + Society and is available here: http://sms.sagepub.com/content/2/3/2056305116665859.full.pdf+html.
Abstract: Rather than assume that there is some universal “right way” to engage social media platforms, we interrogate how the location-based social media practice known as “jumping” played out on the popular service Foursquare. We use this case to investigate how a “global” or universal system is constructed with an imagined user in mind, one who enjoys a particular type of mobility and experience of place. We argue that the practices of “Indonesian” Foursquare jumpers and the discourses surrounding their use of Foursquare illustrate that practices understood as transgressive or resistive might best be read as strategies for engaging with a platform as groups contend with marginalizing social, economic, and/or political conditions.
Citation: Halegoua, Germaine R., Alex Leavitt, and Mary L. Gray. “Jumping for Fun? Negotiating Mobility and the Geopolitics of Foursquare.” Social Media + Society 2, no. 3 (July 1, 2016): 2056305116665859. doi:10.1177/2056305116665859.