Diciembre del 2005

#6

Por nettizen - 20 de Diciembre, 2005, 1:04, Categoría: para leer

"Take a look at your bookshelf. What do you see? Bindings, titles, paperbacks ...? No, I said take a look at the shelf. The furniture not the contents. It is not something I'd paid much attention to, but after reading The Book on the Bookshelf by Henry Petroski, I'm looking at the lines of steel and wood with new eyes. [...]

[...] So finally, in the 17th century, we've arrived at the bookshelf as we recognise it. But it isn't, Petroski makes clear, in any way inevitable. It is a wonderful lesson in the ways in which we think practices that are "natural", "obvious" and "the only way to do things" often aren't.

You sometimes feel that Petroski is living in another world - "modern" and "hat box" is not a phrase I'd be likely to form (don't think I've ever seen a hat box), and sometimes he gets bogged down in rambling philosophical debates, such as that about "which came first" of the standing or the sitting lectern. But this is a fascinating book, the product of a truly original mind. If you consider yourself a bibliophile, you should have it on your shelves."


de la reseña de Natalie Bennett al libro de Henry Petroski: The Book on the Bookshelf.

ciao!

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Latour, Bruno

Por nettizen - 11 de Diciembre, 2005, 1:50, Categoría: ANT

* Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory: Bruno Latour (Oxford University Press, 2005).


"Reassembling the Social is a fundamental challenge from one of the world's leading social theorists to how we understand society and the 'social'.

Bruno Latour's contention is that the word 'social' as used by Social Scientists has become laden with assumptions to the point where it has become a misnomer. When the adjective is applied to a phenomenon, it is used to indicate a stabilized state of affairs, a bundle of ties that in due course may be used to account for another phenomenon. Latour also finds the word used as if it described a type of material, in a comparable way to an adjective such as 'wooden' or 'steely'. Rather than simply indicating what is already assembled together, it is now used in a way that makes assumptions about the nature of what is assembled. It has become a word that designates two distinct things: a process of assembling: and a type of material, distinct from others.

Latour shows why 'the social' cannot be thought of as a kind of material or domain, and disputes attempts to provide a 'social explanation' of other states of affairs. While these attempts have been productive (and probably necessary) in the past, the very success of the social sciences mean that they are largely no longer so. At the present stage it is no longer possible to inspect the precise constituents entering the social domain.
Latour returns to the original meaning of 'the social' to redefine the notion and allow it to trace connections again. It will then be possible to resume the traditional goal of the social sciences, but using more refined tools. Drawing on his extensive work examining the 'assemblages' of nature, Latour finds it necessary to scrutinize thoroughly the exact content of what is assembled under the umbrella of Society.

This approach, a 'sociology of associations' has become known as Actor-Network-Theory, and this book is an essential introduction both for those seeking to understand Actor-Network-Theory, or the ideas of one of its most influential proponents."



"Everyone seems to know with what sort of forces and in which sort of materials the social world is made. I have always been struck, on the contrary, by the huge gap between the vast variety of attachments with which people elaborate their different worlds and the limited repertoire we possess in social science to account for them. I found this gap widening even more when I began, thirty years ago, to provide a social explanation of scientific practice. While most people said such an enterprise was clearly non sense; while some of my close colleagues claimed it was, if not easy, at least feasible within the normal limits of the humans sciences, a few friends and I decided to take the enormous difficulties of this task as the occasion to rethink the notions of society and of social explanation. Starting from the new insights of science studies, we have since explored many other domains from technology to health, from market organisations to art, from religion to law, from management to politics. This alternative way of practicing sociology has been called Actor-Network-Theory or ANT. Although it has been widely used, it has also been largely misunderstood — in part because of the ambiguity of the word ‘social’. To clarify those misunderstandings, I thought useful to write an introduction to this small school of thought — or rather to propose my own version of it. In this book I show why sociology may be construed as the science of associations and not only as the science of the social. This reformulation of what is meant by the two terms of ‘science’ and ‘society’ will lead us to revisit several neglected traditions, especially that of Gabriel Tarde. In this book, readers will be offered a different way to fulfil the three duties of sociology: how to deploy the controversies about the social world; how to retrace the means through which they are stabilized; and, finally, how to gain some political relevance."



Introduction: How to Resume the Task of Tracing Associations (accesible en formato html)

Las razones de la hormiga - Una fantasía inspirada por el libro “Reassembling the Social” de Bruno Latour: Doubty (reseña accesible en formato html -muy recomendable-)

ciao!

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#5

Por nettizen - 10 de Diciembre, 2005, 23:26, Categoría: para leer

Reseña del libro What has Government done to our Money? Murray N. Rothbard (obviamente también sería recomendable su lectura :) Sore Spots to Watch Abound in the US Economy: J.C. Ernharth. ¿Preocupaciones "económicas" para los próximos años en los EE.UU.? O ¿Quién dijo miedo? Según Ernharth el listado actual sería...

"[...]
1. Massive National Debt ($8 Trillion equals $25,000 per citizen, old and young)
2. Off balance-sheet unfunded Federal obligations (Takes the obligation figure above to $100,000 per citizen, according to the Comptroller General of the United States)
3. Politicians that can't say "no" or "budget cut" = massive ongoing budget deficits.
4. Energy Inflation ($60 oil from $13 in 1998-9) will cut disposable income.
5. Real Estate post bubble uncertainty re price valuations (will slow home equity extraction and subsequent spending, and squeeze speculative home investors)
6. Interest-rate-dependent economic expansion: What happens when rates rise above these historic below average lows? (Low rates encourage expansion, tightening rates encourage recessions.)
7. Adjustable and interest only mortgages: what will rising rates do to hit disposable income when the teaser rates end?
8. Global trade imbalance: US accounts for 70% of world's external deficits, requiring massive lending from foreigners - overly dependent on the U.S. consumption miracle.
9. China Boom vs. Slowdown - excess capacity could lead to even more deflationary pressure for U.S. business.
10. American Consumer in a weak state, and likely to back off discretionary spending:
* Lacking income growth support (Stagnant wages -- -wages increasing slower than inflation over past few years).
* Savings short
* Overly-indebted (consumer debt to GDP at record levels)
* Asset growth dependent (the $600 billion "home equity ATM")
11. Rule 101 for wealth: Don't spend more than you earn indefinitely. We've seem to think that no longer applies.
12. Rule 102 for wealth: With debt you have three choices:
* Pay it down (at the expense of consumption/ economic growth);
* Default on it;
* Pay it off with cheaper dollars by printing money / inflation.
13. Money Supply Expansion - While talking tough on inflation via rates, the Fed continues to bloat money supply (13% alone in the three months ending October 2005). Why else are energy, commodity and asset prices rising so much?
14. Major U.S. industries have pre-sold their future, ala automotive industry special discounts and financing...
15. The looming pension default crisis: Many large pensions are underfunded by well over $450 billion dollars. Pensions are insured by the PBGC - already $23 billion in the red, and facing potential defaults from giants like Delphi and GM.
16. The Petro-Dollar Recycling paradigm started in the 1970s could be sharply reduced, causing a decline in the dollar's parity.
17. P/E ratios in the equity markets richly valued on 2004 earnings that may not be sustainable because of an economy heavily dependent on asset inflation and debt.
18. Consumer spending contraction: recessions reverberate more dramatically the worse the consumer's balance sheet is as consumers restore themselves to fiscal health.
19. Dependence on the kindness of strangers: Foreigners finance massive amounts of our debt, and by inference, hold our bond markets in their hands. What happens if they diversify? (Central Bank diversification away from the dollar may explain the most recent run-up in gold!)
20. The Derivatives Market: Warren Buffet refers to derivatives as "Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction" due to their complexity and capacity to shake the foundations of the system in domino fashion, ala Long Term Capital Management in 1999.
21. Global Labor Arbitrage (to quote Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley), where U.S. labor cannot compete with the ultra-cheap infrastructure-enabled emerging markets. This pressure is moving from manufacturing jobs into the once thought impervious service sector jobs.
22. Global Efficiency Arbitrage: Adding to Roaches premise above, the complexity of doing business in the U.S., with our hyper-overregulated environment, gives many steps up to foreign competition at the expense of U.S. business and workers.
23. Gravitation towards trade barriers: Many issues noted above could involve politician-pimped populist quick-fixes that protect a few people's jobs by blaming external factors vs. addressing needed internal reform. This places extra pressures this places on cash-strapped consumers and their ability to sustain our consumption driven economy.
[...]"

No se pierdan los comentarios!

[actualizo: 15-12-2005]

What Lies Ahead for the U.S. Economy in 2006 en Knowledge@Wharton

"The economic growth that the United States enjoyed in 2005 will continue in 2006, as stronger business investment begins to pick up the slack on the part of consumers who will curtail the white-hot spending that has been a key factor in propelling the economy, according to Wharton faculty members and private-sector economists.
In addition, oil prices will remain high in 2006, but not much higher than they are now, the residential real estate boom will cool and American workers will be forced to deal with a volatile employment market, these experts say.
[...]"
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una de libros...

Por nettizen - 9 de Diciembre, 2005, 23:07, Categoría: libros

... mucho más que "recomendables", necesarios!!! su "disponibilidad" lo facilita ;) y el orden no importa...

* Internet Governance: A Primer Akash Kapur, UNDP-APDIP, Elsevier, 2005, 47 pages (descargable en formato pdf)

"This primer, with a foreword by Vinton G. Cerf, offers an overview of Internet governance, discussing its history, the issues at stake and the various actors involved. It shows how governance decisions can have social and economic ramifications, and it suggests steps that can be taken to enhance developing country participation in Internet governance." (más info: A Primer on Internet Governance)

* DiY SURVIVAL (There is no subculture only subversion) (descargable en formato pdf).

"Do it yourself survival is a collection of essays, tips and case studies collated from an online call for participation by C6. The eclectic mix presented within these pages shows the breadth and current diversity of art/activism practice today from around the world. Whether that is creating wireless networks, pissing on national monuments or building cardboard friends, it is certain that these submissions show that practitioners are taking their work to new spaces and audiences, redefining, through the engagement with the community, what we have considered to be "art"." (más info: DiY SURVIVAL) (vía B-BLOC)

* Copyrights and copywrongs: The rise of intellectual property and how it threatens creativity  Siva Vaidhyanathan, New York: New York University Press, 2001 (descargable en formato pdf por capítulos independientes).

"In Copyrights and Copywrongs, Siva Vaidhyanathan tracks the history of American copyright law through the 20th century, from Mark Twain's vehement exhortations for "thick" copyright protection, to recent lawsuits regarding sampling in rap music and the "digital moment," exemplified by the rise of Napster and MP3 technology. He argues persuasively that in its current punitive, highly restrictive form, American copyright law hinders cultural production, thereby contributing to the poverty of civic culture."

*
The Agrippa Files (no es exactamente un libro, es mucho más que eso, es William Gibson...).

"ANNOUNCING: ~ THE AGRIPPA FILES SITE ~
Launch Date: Dec. 9, 2005
http://agrippa.english.ucsb.edu

AGRIPPA (A BOOK OF THE DEAD) appeared in 1992 as a collaboration between artist Dennis Ashbaugh, author William Gibson, and publisher Kevin Begos, Jr.

THE AGRIPPA FILES is a scholarly site that presents selected pages from the original art book (with the permission of the publisher); a unique archive of materials dating from the book's creation and early reception; a simulation of what the book's intended "fading images" might have looked
like; a video of the 1992 "transmission" of the work; a "virtual lightbox" for comparing and studying pages from the book; commentary by the book's publisher and scholars; an annotated bibliography of scholarship, press coverage, interviews, and other material; a detailed bibliographic
description of the book; and a discussion forum.

BACKGROUND: Originally published in 1992, AGRIPPA (A BOOK OF THE DEAD) was a limited edition art book that contained double-column pages of DNA code laid out to allude to the Gutenberg Bible, copperplate aquatint etchings by Dennis Ashbaugh alluding to DNA gel patterns (some overprinted with antique newspaper advertisements of technological artifacts), and a "disappearing" poem about memory, family, youth, and mechanisms by William Gibson (on a read-once-only, self-encrypting diskette).  During the rise of the Internet and Web in the early 1990s, the poem and book were read as marking a symbolic transition from the codex book to digital media.  But in all this time, the physical book itself has rarely been seen.

THE AGRIPPA FILES was developed for the Transcriptions Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara, by a team from the English and Comparative Literature departments: Alan Liu, Paxton Heymeyer, James Hodge, Kimberly Knight, David Roh, and Lisa Swanstrom.

The launch of THE AGRIPPA FILES coincides with the anniversary of the Dec. 9, 1992, simulcast ("The Transmission") of images and readings from the original work at The Kitchen in New York City and other locations.

ciao!

[Actualizo 11-12-2005]:

* Into the Blogosphere [Rhetoric, Community, and, Culture of Weblogs] VV.AA. (accesible por capítulos en formato html).

"This online, edited collection explores discursive, visual, social, and other communicative features of weblogs. Essays analyze and critique situated cases and examples drawn from weblogs and weblog communities. Such a project requires a multidisciplinary approach, and contributions represent perspectives from Rhetoric, Communication, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Linguistics, and Education, among others. We encourage you to post your responses to the essays; [...]"

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@

Por nettizen - 4 de Diciembre, 2005, 12:13, Categoría: General

 ... On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog ... o ... cualquiera puede decir lo que tú eres (*) ...

>}:(  ... tengo un blog, sí! qué pasa!!! Pero la inmensa mayoría de los blogs me "tocan las narices".

ciao!

[actualizo: 05-12-2005]: sobre el asunto de la Wikipedia (*):


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