New students care about pro-active green initiatives as part of their University experience. Over the next 12 months look for double digit growth in campus adoption of next generation video conferencing tools, including integrated collaboration technologies. One more trend for good measure. Substitute this one if you disagree vehemently with any of the other items above. The campus data center goes under the scope. Most every campus technology leader has been zinged for disaster recovery and business continuity planning.
Add to this that there is exponential demand among the research community for computational research space to support high performance computing. The facilities community is under growing pressure to distribute the costs of power consumption on campus. Data centers consume disproportionate amounts of space, cooling, and power. Finally, growing green is a campus imperative leading to potential operating savings through virtualization, data center optimization, and new greener strategies. Board audit committees and senior management are going to hold technology management accountable for robust data center operations in a highly constrained budget environment.
I don't know about you but my holiday gift wish list includes an extra bottle of Tylenol three, a Teflon flak jacket, and a hope that structured innovation remains part of the campus IT portfolio. Against multiple pressures, focus on structured innovation remains our best hope of remaining central to the University's strategic mission and activity. Larry Lessig is about to embark on yet another big, audacious project.
For those who have followed Lessig's public sharing of his scholarship and activism, his new arc of work on re framing the relationship between corruption, trust, and the financing of government is as exciting as it is a daunting undertaking. Lessig's keynote to the Summit was itself a mashup of previous presentations. First, the theme of dis trust and different types of economies and their deep cultural origins can be gleaned from this talk in New Zealand.
Technology, war and the state: past, present and future | International Affairs | Oxford Academic
Finally, the link to the themes of trust and the future of governance issues in the United States are available here in his proposal for principles for a new Congress. In his presentation Lessig observed that most geeks view all problems as having a technical solution. In the case of re-invention of democracy, machines are not the answer. The corrosive impact of private financing of democracy has eroded the very trust principles which are required in creating legitimacy, the underlying first rule of democracy.
The new administration in Washington faces the unenviable twin challenges of triage and transformation. The same can be said of most governments today. There are m untouchables in India. Another 90 million aboriginal Indians live at the margins of that society. What happens when a person's personal journey takes them from the bottom of the caste system to the top executive of the largest university of India?
One of the most distinguished economists and central bank authorities in India, Narendra Jadhav's parents had no formal education. His presentation at this year's Nobel Week Public Sector Innovation Summit narrates his own story and the challenge of re-energizing a , student University of Pune with some colleges, schools, and educational institutional affiliates. The challenges of education in India are of a scale nearly incomprehensible.
There are million Indians between the ages of Jadhav's new mission in life is to turn a massive university into an agent of inclusivity and a social movement for making education relevant to people what he calls social connectivity , wherever they live and whatever their background. Here are some examples that Jadhav shared.
A two year massive curriculum reform has been enabled through electronic workflow underwritten with incentives. Professional development and technology support for faculty. Everyone in the University can get a computer and pay it out over various periods of time. The University picks up the interest.
Stimulus investment in research activity in non-traditional parts of the University system have also led to growing trust between historically oppositional forces and significant returns through additional sponsored and funded research activity. In addition, Jadhav is rolling out a soft skills curriculum for students on an extra curricular basis with a special focus on youth from marginalized communities to bolster their self esteem and provide them with key skills for their personal and professional development.
Uptake has been tremendous with some now centers for soft skills acquisition across the University. If that weren't impressive enough, Jadhav has catalyzed a multi-tiered community engagement strategy by challenging each of the institutions to adopt a rural community near by. The adoption strategy spans a wide range of possible activities including education, sanitation, water engineering, environmental activities, alternative energy, technology training, engagement on woman's health and education, gis mapping, and writing local history.
Over a million tree saplings have been planted. Hundreds of oral and community histories have been documented. Thousands of mini-courses are being offered by students in villages as 'barefoot professors' teaching those who have very little opportunity for education the very subjects they are studying. Over half a million youths and their faculty and staff colleagues are now directly engaged. Jadhav has unleashed social dynamics that have the makings of a transformational and authentic social movement.
A product of an American PhD program in Indiana, Jadhav also sees the value of community colleges and vocational schools. This tier of education is largely missing in the Indian post-secondary education system. The University is also innovating by creating perhaps the world's first PhD program exclusively tailored to senior citizens over The only qualifications to get in are being age eligible and having a first degree.
In the first week he had over applications. Jadhav and colleagues are embracing information technology to disrupt the market to enable scale and support growth of the market. Pune has more than 15, international students and has become 'the' destination for international students and study abroad experiences in India. The defense of human rights, freedom of religion, and communication has been the bedrock of defenders of democracy since The former Mayor of Lisbon and former President of Portugal celebrated that legacy at today's Public Sector Innovation Summit and opined that the future of universal human rights may well be connected to the emergent broadband revolution underway this past 20 years.
Jorge Sampaio has spent a lifetime defending as one of the most articulate spokesperson on human rights as both a lawyer, politician, and now elder statesman. Democracy, according Sampaio, is about how to live together in our globalizing world is which a problem anywhere is a problem everywhere. This is both the challenge and opportunity of the Internet and the broadband revolution. The broadband forces that enable democratic tendencies can be used and have been used by those who would exploit and deny human rights.
The challenge of democracy is to bind its citizenship to a sense of belonging and engagement. The lack of trust and confidence in many of our forms of political life has bred cynicism and alienation from a generation of citizens who are significantly disconnected from and lack empathy for the institutions of governance and the public sector as a whole.
This is a theme that Lawrence Lessig addressed in his keynote later in the day. According to Sampaio, however, broadband internet connectivity, especially as demonstrated by the American Presidential campaign and election provides a last great hope in the 21st century to re-integrate the public, re-invent the nature and meaning of public service, and revitalize democracy itself.
There has long been a view among technologists and many civic leaders that digital networks can provide a positive contribution to economic and social development. For the first time in the relatively young life of the connected republic's history, it is possible to argue that democratization and connectivity are linked together. Not only has the American election made it clear that future campaigns all over the world will be waged over the Internet. More importantly, the web 2. In his more optimistic view of the future, Sampaio, opined that the new phase of the connected republic makes possible an enabling platform to encourage the population to create its own authentic and meaningful sense of belonging and engagement rather than just being consumers.
The rise of collective intelligence through active engagement of a well informed and curious population that develops empathy for others, and a sense of common purpose, is at heart of the democratic vision of the 21st century. It's a big and exciting vision. The challenge of execution and propagation across the signatures of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights seems to be a significantly worthy 21st century aspiration. The challenge, as always, is to build consensus in driving thought leadership and execute confidence building measures that are meaningful to the man or women on the streets of Cleveland or any other city or rural community in the world.
E-citizenship and e-government has come to be understood as a commitment to transparency by inviting citizens to discover the workings and services of their elected officials online. Welcome to the world of e-Gov 1. While some governments are still struggling to frame their e-gov strategy as outlined above, a new wave of global leaders is emerging and taking the dialog on e-citizenship to a whole different level.
In addition to being more savvy consumers of public information, leading governments are now engaged in new efforts to enable citizens to be co-producers of their own public policies. The technology tools engaged in projects like " Show Us A Better Way " not only provides access to public information. These new initiatives are provocatively re-inventing the nature of democracy and the relationship of citizens to their 19th century government forms by asking citizens how they would use the public information to provide services to themselves and their neighbors.
Welcome to the dialog on government 2. Here are just two examples of such provocative developments. UK Government 2. At its core, web 2. At the same time Web 2. Having mothers and fathers use web 2. Sometimes this kind of wisdom of the crowds can and does run up against the wisdom of experts engaged in important areas like public health. One of the most provocative opportunities enabled by web 2. This form of hyper-localism not only helps to refine the role of government it can also empower citizens and helping to facilitate the democratic process.
Peter Shergold, Former Permanent Secretary of the Australian Dept of the PM and Cabinet also framed his experience as the emergence of new public management moving from a fully hierarchical and centralized management system that is now tending towards decentralization and a devolution of traditional roles.
The old public service model was clearly prescriptive. There is now an opportunity for those in government to use these new web 2. This is in effect the creation of platform technologies for re-inventing the nature of work within government and the layered decision making that traditionally throttles innovation and agility within government. This is not only a case of the third sector being able to access the halls of decision making. Forward thinking and action-oriented Government is now proactively contracting with the third sector to deliver public policy.
There is a line of reasoning that challenges the inherent value of government and the civil service as intermediaries between the citizenship and the distribution of resources. When Democracy 2. There is a real possibility that within the next 25 years civil service reform and the re-invention of the State will once again be on the radar screen. In his Noble lecture yesterday, economist Paul Krugman painted a picture of the emergence of a new phase in the global economy characterized in many ways as a classical system of comparative advantage defining new winners and losers.
Classical theory of international trade, according to Krugman, missed at least 50 percent of the real economic dynamics unfolding in the dynamic globalizing economy. His work in new trade theory helped us better understand geography, the role of the firm, an intra-regional trade patterns. His prognosis for the future, however, appears to be framed in terms of an emerging neo-classical system of comparative advantage resulting from the current disruptions and the financial credit markets. This phase involves production capital and state regulation to help drive adoption. In her view, the emergence of the new IT-enabled technological revolution is now entering the deployment phase of another approximate 25 years following the current financial casino credit crisis.
The emergent new paradigm could shift us from the mass consumption model of the antecedent era. What might emerge is a world based on privileging diversity and respecting differences within the context and at the intersection of IT and Green. Rather than a world of traditional winners and losers, Perez sees the capacity to shift to IT-green consumption not by guilt and fear but by desire and aspiration.
The definition of the good life and our notion of luxury is clearly shifting from the post-war mass consumption society towards a green and boutique solutions scalable through deploying advanced technologies. The language in the United States and the forthcoming stimulus package appears to privilege and tilt the playing field in favor of the technology-enabled green economy. Perez sees the need for supra national regulation of financial markets in order to move us beyond the jolts of casino financial markets.
It's pm and night has fallen in Stockholm. I spent most of the day at the University of Stockholm. Each year, Nobel Laureates are invited to offer a 50 minute lecture about their story and their contribution. More times than not, most of these brilliant people stay focused on the story of their craft rather than their personal story. Osamu Shimomura was the exception. His story opens on the day of the atomic bomb hit. He was a 16 year old high school student. His lecture wove the science of the discovery of isolating the green fluorescent protein, GFP, with stories about his mentors, colleagues, families, and the politics of scientific discovery.
Paul Krugman has spent an academic lifetime enlarging our understanding of classical trade theory into what has become known as new trade theory. He offered a bit of insight on the road he's traveled these past 25 years. As I noted in my Tweets and FB updates live from the lecture, the irony of Krugman's talk was that for 25 years he has been at the forefront of a revisionism in economics to account for trade patterns and economic activity that helped to turn classical Ricardo on its head.
After explicating some of the empirical and theoretical basis of that activity he concluded in the last 3 minutes of his presentation that while he has contributed to a better understanding of foreign trade over the past 50 years of global transactions, the next 50 years appear to be leading towards a 'return of the classical foreign trade economics' based on comparative advantage. At tonight's opening of the City of Stockholm and Cisco Systems Public Sector Innovation Summit, some delegates from around the world gathered to compare notes on the unfolding of the broadband economy and innovations in the health, education, and public services arena.
Interesting enough, a wide cross section of delegates from the OECD as well as Asia, Africa, and the Middle East were talking about their government's economic stimulus plans. Each of the persons I spoke with was convinced that their governments would be offering a significant infrastructure stimulus to catalyze an effort at economic turn around.
However, unlike the conversation in the United States, or certainly in Ohio to date, I heard time and time again about stimulus investments in public broadband efforts, extending broadband enabled services in health care, education, and core government services. It was striking how forward looking the European and Asian stories were in particular. Beyond the headlines, there may never be a more important time then mobilizing our thought leaders and civic leaders in our State capitals, cities, and universities to press the case for economic stimulus for a 21st century broadband future.
For one view on what this might look like in NEOhio take a look at this earlier analysis. Tomorrow, Government Ministers, University Presidents, and other public sector leaders conduct a full day of indepth case studies and architecting of broadband futures in about 50 countries represented at the Summit. After the Obama Stimulation Plan of works, we will have 2.
If they are to be jobs that will position America to compete in the 21st century, we will need to transition from an analog economy and largely fragmented and disconnected education system. The 21st century belongs to those who fully embrace the knowledge economy and one that is informed by a more fully connected and integrated education system. It is all about focus on the transitions. If the stimulus is to work it must have enough dry powder to enable the necessary investments to transition us forward into the 21st century.
We have seen the first wave of legacy interests lining up to extract public largesse to support the 20th century. Catching transitions is the secret to success. Just ask folks in Cleveland. Getting a helping hand to support a graceful fall or serving as a catalyst for new opportunity is the art of politics. We have already seen the captains of finance and the automotive industry attempt to frame the need for a multi-trillion dollar stimulus and bailout as a bridge to tomorrow.
Two other major industries are now poised to line up in Washington to argue that that they too are too important to fail. Next up will be the airline industry. Not too far behind will be our telecommunications industry. The biggest problem for each of these industries, and one could add steel as well, is catching market transitions. In almost every case, catching a market transition requires vision and risk. More often than not both are in short supply.
The dead weight of unsustainable and recurring short-term demands for investor profits, myopic leadership, and deeply structured organizational culture makes it very difficult to plan and execute these transitions. In each of these industries the rhetoric of the past 25 years has almost always been tinged with the language of the remarkable and sustainable opportunities occasioned by unregulated markets.
Government and regulation were the enemies of the invisible hand of the market. If only the government, regulators, and citizen interest groups would stand down, our banks, automotive, steel, and airlines, and telecommunications industries could be expected to function and deliver wealth and opportunity with the confidence of a Madison Avenue pitchman. We are long overdue for a correction in the language and discourse in the United States and the attended policies that must follow.
Catching transitions is the most important quality of leadership. Knowing that a structural transition in an economy is underway is the easy part. There remains a deep-seeded human need to believe that resurrection is a matter of will, grit, and determination. This is as true of the leadership and the broad masses in our country as it is Greater Cleveland, and for that matter in any of a number of marquee institutions in our region. The march of history continues and the future belongs to those who embrace the transition.
The role of leadership is to enable people to look in the mirror and see in it a person with the personal attributes, skills, and beliefs to meaningfully and directly contribute to the re-making of our future. Knowing that a structural transition in the economy is underway is much easier to internalize than helping to architect and build the scaffolding required to get us from the here and now to the next arc of generative economic, social, education, and creative opportunities.
The too big to fail argument is the story of Cleveland. Today, most people in Cleveland are not so sure anymore. We have been in transition for nearly 50 years. The bedrock of our sense of invisibility through much of the late 19th and 20th century is based on our contribution to inventing, sustaining, and leading five core industries that define Cleveland the American Century.
Today, one by one, the leadership of each of these industries will be sitting in front of benches of elected officials looking for bailouts, bridge loans, and the largesse of economic stimulus packages. The most difficult decision a leader can make is to find the courage and strategy for shifting scarce human, financial, technical and political capital towards transition. This is the stuff of the making and re-making of historical epochs that later historians will render fully intelligible.
Banking and consumer lending and mortgages has much to thank Cleveland. National City Bank may have been among the very first financial institutions in the country to offer a consumer home mortgage service line shortly after it was founded by Misters Sheldon and Severance in Once, Cleveland was a top banking center in the country and too big to fail.
Today, the creative destruction of the home lending industry has contributed to the crippling of the global economy and brought National City Bank to its knees. America will continue to be an important linchpin in global finance as the transition continues to unfold. Former financial capitals like Cleveland are less relevant than ever before. When the steel economy in this country defined our national status as a true global economic superpower, Cleveland was the Silicon Valley of the golden period from to Legendary captains of industry like Eaton and Mather looked down over the bellowing smoke stacks in the Cleveland Flats supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs at the mills and serving as a catalyst for the feverish maritime traffic through the Great Lakes and around the world.
Today, Cleveland has fewer than steel mill jobs and of the global production of over 1. Too big to fail? The transition is almost complete. It has been anything but painless. In Cleveland, the echoes of the steel economy remain with us as a haunted voice from the past representing both strength and weakness at once.
Cleveland had it all. It was home to the origins of the automotive industry. Bell, Nathan M. Collier, James H. Dieleman, Susan. Humanity 2. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, Goldman, Alvin I. Kerr, Eric. Group Knowledge Attributions and Collective Visions. Martini, Carlo. Matheson, Jonathan. Orozco, Mel. Peters Douglas P. Scheler, Max. Problems of a Sociology of Knowledge. Frings, Trans.
In the following I will try to locate the problem of disagreement into the general picture of social epistemology. I will, at the end of this piece, explain how working on the problem of disagreement can help improve a collective vision in social epistemology. The relation between knowledge and society is also a relation between individuals—as active knowledge seekers and sources of knowledge—to other individuals who are also active knowledge seekers and sources of knowledge.
Typical characterizations of knowledge, on both ends of the individualistic epistemology vs. How individuals, as knowers, act in relation to other knowers is, in a nutshell, the problem of how we relate to other epistemic agents while developing our personal world view, while gathering information, and so on. This is the problem of disagreement: what should we do, from an epistemic viewpoint, when we relate to someone, also a knower, whose opinion differs from ours?
And how does that relation affect the way we develop our epistemic worldview. The problem of disagreement becomes all the more pressing if we accept the fact that a large part of our beliefs do not come from direct experience perception, introspection, etc. In other words, most of our beliefs originate from our agreeing or disagreeing with a certain source of knowledge, typically another knower, like us, but possible also an institution, a research team, etc. Hardwig has made the case for the domain of science, in which most of our knowledge is derived from other knowers, rather than from contact with the object of knowledge.
So what should we do, when we encounter someone, whom we think is roughly as intellectually endowed as we are, but who disagrees with us on a given statement. In his contribution Jonathan Matheson March 3, provides a very thorough description of the terms of the debate on disagreement. He highlights the fact that there is a puzzle between two equally defensible stances on disagreement. It seems as if, on the one hand, we should rationally lower our confidence in a certain belief, once we discover our peers disagree with us, but on the other hand, psychology seems to instruct us of the fact that holding on to our beliefs in the face of disagreement is more valuable, epistemically, because it promotes diversity in a group, and hence, epistemic accuracy.
In my contribution for the Collective Vision series, I have to disagree with Matheson on the claim that the Conciliatorist view holds water, and can thus be taken as one horn of the dilemma. Here I can only provide the short version of the argument, while a full analysis is partly published Martini , and partly work-in-progress. Imagine the following situation: You are sitting at a restaurant with your friend Karl after dinner. You both calculated the bill independently but you disagree: you think it amounts to 60 euros, whereas Karl thinks the correct sum is Assuming we are only considering factual disagreements, certainly one of you made a mistake, but who is wrong?
Being both you and Karl well-educated in arithmetics, the chances that both of you made a mistake are lower than the chances that only one of you did. This is just probabilistic reasoning. Yet, Conciliatorists defend the thesis that you and Karl should both believe in the rationality of the belief that the correct amount lies somewhere between 60 and Conciliatorists have not settled the problem, and in fact, as I argued Martini , at least one of the possibile interpretations of the Conciliatorist view is not a rational answer to the problem of disagreement.
The foregoing remarks must be taken with a grain of salt. Of course, in our day-to-day knowledge-seeking there are not only epistemic needs, but practical ones as well. The field of judgment aggregation whose touchstone remains the Condorcet Jury Theorem , contains many examples of cases in which we are epistemically better off averaging our beliefs on a given matter, if, for example, we want to estimate as accurately as possible the weight of an ox by just looking at it see Galton There are areas in which the average knower must certainly aim at efficiency.
In that sense, even the intellectual will most likely not take an intellectual stance for most of the beliefs he entertains. But preserving the ability to exercise the critical ability to look for the causes of disagreement requires throwing away the idea the we should lower our confidence in some beliefs whenever we find an epistemic peer who disagrees on that belief, unless we have important non-epistemic reasons for doing so. Clearly the criteria for deciding when to exercise our critical ability and when to favor efficiency, or other desiderata, should be part of our social epistemology.
Bacon, Francis. The New Organon. Editors Lisa Jardine, and Michael Silverthorne. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, . Hardwig, John. Epistemic Dependence. The Journal of Philosophy 82, no. Kusch, Martin. Oxford: Clarendon Press, Medvecky, Fabien. I n preparing to make this, rather belated, contribution to the Collective Vision series, I took the chance, which I thoroughly enjoyed, to read all the contributions that had been lodged so far.
I learned a lot and hope that some members of the collective will learn something from this contribution. Nevertheless, there was a striking feature of the contributions, taken as a collection, that points towards a difficult challenge for any project that aims to embody in its own processes some of the key teachings of social epistemology. I mean, in particular, that there was, to my eye at least, very little engagement on the part obviously this is time-asymmetrical of the later contributors with what earlier contributors had provided.
Of course, there is an upside to this. This is that the agenda for the whole sequence might be artificially set by early contributors, whose ideas, however worthy, only partly define a space of possible points of discussion. We all end up talking about a few points, of interest to early contributors, and leave other points unacknowledged. I want to try to show, as an illustration of such engagement, how the collection of visions looks to me, now, preoccupied, as I currently am, with issues about how the disciplines work.
I will return to that possibility later. Certainly, there are latent possibilities for engagement, at least on my readings. Reider takes this to provide a basis for some of the fundamental propositions of a form of social epistemology, and quite properly so; criteria of return-on-investment are defined within group or anyway collective settings and distributions of returns according to those criteria are a matter for the community or collective whose criteria they are.
So we need to support each other in our joint and risky venture. Secondly, however, we need to make up as we go precisely the criteria that will enable us to distinguish between good and better and, indeed, not so good work within this emerging landscape of ideas and methods. If we want social epistemology to become more influential in any of the various ways that might be important, then we will have to develop and enforce our own standards of excellence.
They may differ in various particulars from the standards current in some of our original disciplines, but in certain crucial respects they will need to remain recognizable from within those disciplines by those with, anyway, their own forms of courage and risk-taking, their own forms of openness to what is not conventionally pre-approved. What West outlines is an approach to changing ourselves and to risk-taking in aid of changing ourselves, and to mutual sympathy in support of changing ourselves, and nevertheless to demanding standards in relation to self-change that has proven to be successful in the extremely challenging circumstances associated with addiction.
Each of us has to be willing to take the risk of acknowledging the importance to a possible future practice of our openness to the kinds of ideas and methods reported in this Collective Vision statement and elsewhere in the social epistemology literature. Each of us needs to acknowledge that we need the support of others and are able and willing to lend it to others who are also in need. And each of us needs to honor the imperatives associated with this Collective. I said, earlier, that some of the inhibitions or disincentives to the creation of new forms of and approaches to knowledge and its use might be related to our disciplinary situations.
I want, in conclusion, to return to this point. I participated, a while ago, in a septennial review of a School of Tourism Studies. The external reviewers were distinguished international figures in tourism studies. Nevertheless, they were concerned about the so far only partial disciplinarization of tourism studies as such. Each of them had come to tourism as an object of inquiry from an already-established and topically broader field of enquiry—one from geography, one from anthropology, and one from economics.
But they did do this. I think it may have been easier to do this because or to the extent that they were able to achieve a degree of institutional and institutionally-recognized autonomy—e. Perhaps this suggests something about the conditions for the possible success of the social epistemology project, as Hamati-Ataya might put it. Because they refer to a topic that people from various disciplines might already have an interest in and competence to pursue, they recruit these people, alerting them to the possibility of fruitful collaboration around a shared interest.
Unfortunately, I have nothing better to suggest. I will, however, keep thinking about that. To summarize. We have made a start. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, Hamati-Ataya, Inanna. Norrie, Stephen. West, Mark Douglas. I n , the journal Social Epistemology celebrated its 25 th anniversary. The diverse contributions to SERRC have opened possibilities for a different understanding of the future of social epistemology.
Despite many SERRC members coming from programs related to philosophy of science, science studies, and sociology, the vision expressed on this site reflects who we want to become — taking social epistemology as part of our major interest — even if we are academically engaged with other fields that focus on the same topics of knowledge, society and culture. Social epistemology asks us to address these topics normatively either by generating empirical approaches, or by adding new elements to present debates. Expressing concerns related to contemporary science and technology, which have directed us to take a stand on social epistemology, seems easier than making statements about how social epistemology could lend better philosophical positions to contemporary debates regarding knowledge production and distribution.
A common expectation suggests that contributions by SERRC might yield not only visions of how we understand science production, but also how we can combine our visions by different means e. Something new seems to be happening in the way social epistemology is being read, interpreted and discussed.
In dealing with how we can approach this program, the idea of visioneering the future Cabrera has proved to be a launch pad from which we can advance what we see currently in our different projects. Visioneering also shows how these projects are connected to the social epistemology literature over the last 25 years and makes it easier to take the first steps in this developing field.
Furthermore, in comparison with the initial moments of SERRC, I would dare say that this idea represents an important framework in which we can pose the question of how the pursuit of knowledge should be organized in different locations. From my perspective, the increasing number of members in SERRC generates additional urgency regarding the questions: What is social epistemology? Even if those questions have yet to be addressed directly as part of our vision statements, we can see social epistemology going beyond its initial frontiers from what was, a few years ago, a rather abstract philosophical approach to knowledge in just a few circles, to a more encompassing discussion attracting people from different disciplines.
This occurrence does not mean that SERRC has only grown in the sheer number of people with varied backgrounds. The most important result has been, in addition to SERRC contributions, seeing how this subtle experiment, at the base level, is an exercise in exploring the kinds of goals we set forth when doing actually social epistemology. Departing from vague notions of what social epistemology is, or just taking for granted that social epistemology defines correctly the social basis of knowledge regardless of your position , the most critical question remains: What do we want to do as future social epistemologists?
Often, when writing about social epistemology, we elude this question by focusing on the challenges that interfere with our vision, or by emphasizing the ways social epistemology already presents itself. I think these eluding strategies are normal since we are still in the beginning stages of this field. But they are also difficult because social epistemology, at present, is being developed in programs that are not friendly to it. We take for granted that we are not learning how the field is organized, and where it goes, by taking courses, or by participating in research with other colleagues that have dedicated their efforts particularly to understanding how the pursuit of knowledge needs to be organized so that its social character remains expansive.
This state of affairs makes it difficult to answer what we want to accomplish by getting into social epistemology. The most frustrating part of this question is that as the field takes its deserved place in universities one must deal regularly with people who have heard about social epistemology, and who express interest in the discussions, but who think that the only the version of social epistemology comes only out of the analytic tradition. However, we need to keep in mind that the emergence of this new interdisciplinary project, in any existing version, was not friendly to existing approaches to knowledge.
- Das ganze gleich nochmal (Baccara 1227) (German Edition).
- A Crystal Ball Visioning: Unfolding the 21st Century;
- Reconceptualizing war: the rise of post-modern war, 1945–1989.
- Il terzo viaggio (Italian Edition).
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- Read A Crystal Ball Visioning: Unfolding the 21st Century PDF, azw (Kindle), ePub, doc, mobi!
- Reconceptualizing war: the rise of post-modern war, 1945–1989.
Rather, the idea of filling the gaps between philosophy and sociology requires that we take a different stand from what we find recently in both disciplines. When initially presenting his approach to social epistemology, Fuller offered a vision of a social epistemologist as a policymaker who could articulate the fieldwork of a social scientist with that of a philosopher.
Later, in The Intellectual , Fuller combined this idea with his four theses on intellectuals. From there, two options opened up and were reinforced elsewhere Fuller : 1 That those who could address audiences and speak truth to power needed protection, such as tenured position, in which, although there are few incentives to address diverse publics, fits within the activities in academia; 2 That in these neo-liberal times the functions of research and teaching have split installing a dynamic that threatens the future of everyone — that of tenured professors who are condemned to publishing and patenting, that of students whose expectations of getting a diploma are related to their eligibility for future employment, and that of society, at large, ending up captive to visions that, in most of the cases, are indifferent to the needs of its members.
However, we still need to learn how to increase our interactions to make our vision plausible and inspiring to others. Even though Fuller has written for specific audiences, in a recent interview , he underlined that although social epistemology is a philosophical program, it should not be constricted to the domain of philosophy. On the contrary, social epistemology looks forward to reaching academics and non-academics that share a concern for the normative disposition of humanity Fuller , This position suggests the possibility of practicing social epistemology as engaged with the particular context we are creating and its success depends, in large measure, on what we add to our vision.
We are visioneering our own future. The uncertainties arising with visioneering should be easier to overcome in this exercise of asking and answering where we want to take social epistemology. Cabrera, Laura.
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The Sociology of Intellectual Life. The Career of the Mind in and Around the Academy. London: SAGE, Orozco, Melissa. Whitaker, Emilie. It is also a concept attended in recent decades by vigorous debate, including but not restricted to the contributions of scientists and philosophers. That objectivity should have become the troubling and controversial concept that it is today was probably inevitable given the ferociousness of certain debates among academics since the breakdown of the positivist paradigm.
Attitudes towards the value of the concept of objectivity in its primary, epistemic sense, have differed. But while developing this moderate historicist account of the concept of objectivity, they also make the philosophical argument the epistemic norms that have informed scientific practice can be historicized without leading to relativism. We are used to saying that theories change, and we allow that scientific methodology also changes for a number of reasons. But that the goals and aims of science should not remain steady, but also change in relationship to theories and methods is more troubling to many philosophers of science.
Perhaps this is because we tend to think of truth as an inherently epistemic goal, and epistemic norms as logical connections between evidence and inference. Moderate historicism about epistemic norms such as those embedded in scientific aims and methods, is a thesis I accept, and that is difficult to deny on any view that recognizes the importance of the history of science to philosophy of science.
In Rethinking Objectivity Megill outlines four competing senses of objectivity: the absolute, the disciplinary, the dialectical, and the procedural:. A striking feature of both absolute and disciplinary conceptions of objectivity is their negative relation to subjectivity. Absolute objectivity seeks to exclude subjectivity; disciplinary objectivity seeks to contain it…. In contrast, dialectical objectivity involves a positive attitude toward subjectivity.
The defining feature of dialectical objectivity is the claim that subjectivity is indispensable to constitute the objects. The special emphasis of a dialectical approach as how something is constituted asan object for inquiry through interplay between researchers and that which they study. Objectivity, proponents of a dialectical model hold, is not a property of a right method or a steady state, but rather describes a process carried out actively through communicative interaction and comparison.
In my paper and draft monograph on objectivity, I pay special attention to how the content and value of the ideal of objectivity differs across scientific disciplines. One thesis I develop is that the question of how to parse the relevance of the distinction between theory virtues and personal traits of researchers —what Pierre Duhem would call bon sens — depends crucially upon differences between disciplines or fields of inquiry, and the relative normality of inquiry operating in contexts of underdetermination.
How characteristic it is for a discipline to operate under conditions of deep underdetermination determines much about the balance of theory-virtues and personal virtues as criteria of adequacy in that field. Another thesis is the potential synergies between moderate historicism about epistemic norms and virtue-theoretic approaches in epistemology. Authors who develop relations of mutual support between their historicist assumptions and virtue theory all assert that disciplinary objectivity entails a condition of character of some weaker or stronger sort.
Historicism and virtue theory are mutually supportive in ways that should make attempts to combine them especially appealing or advantageous. Considerations stemming from underdetermination problems motivate the claim that historicism requires agent-focused rather than merely belief-focused epistemology; embracing this point helps historicists avoid the charge of relativism.
Considerations stemming from the genealogy of epistemic virtue concepts motivate the claim that character epistemologies are strengthened by moderate historicism about the epistemic virtues and values at work in communities of inquiry; embracing this point helps character epistemologists avoid the charge of objectivism.
Axtell, Guy. Longino, Helen. Boulder: Westview Press, T hat science remains free from bias and epistemological contamination is a claim that must be examined thoroughly — especially in terms of context. It does so by analyzing the social, political, and ideological contexts comprising science. This analysis critiques the institution of science and brings forth questions on the nature, and achievability, of objectivity. The Other were rarely neither the agents of science, nor the subjects of it. Instead, they were the invisible consumers of what science produced.
Objectivism erased all social values from the process of science and instead imagined building a neutral realm in which empirical data was waiting to be snatched. By making this value-free claim, science asserted its value-loaded framework as a doubtless default. The white, male, able-bodied, and western-centric science establishes a hegemony over knowledge production and, in turn, hegemony over body politics, economics, and international relations.
The conception of value-free, impartial, dispassionate research is supposed to direct the identification of all social values and their elimination from the results of research, yet it has been operationalized to identify and eliminate only those social values and interests that differ among the researchers and critics who are regarded by the scientific community as competent to make such judgments Harding , Colonialism allowed a power structure — perpetuated by capitalism — to emerge.
If science is deemed as a hegemonic power of the androcentric west, and its objectivity is refuted, does that entail an entire rejection of the notion of objectivity as it relates to science? Embracing a skeptical view and denying the existence of a uniform external world enables one to easily accept relativism, which itself holds many dangers. Relativism allows scientists to admit their faulty and centric ways and just carry on with it. Relativism permits opting out of discussions where worlds, struggles, and oppressions are different.
Cultural relativists dangerously tread on the boundaries of separation between the respect for human rights and respect for cultural diversity. Therefore, awareness of a different context is not enough given that the western androcentric science operates in the world and affects it respectively — leaving the Other to operate her own science is not a valid alternative since the production of science already exists in an institutionalized power structure. Instead, one should accept the limitations of awareness, just as the fish does not know what water is, and aim towards a more holistic, inclusive, intersectional science based on a probability conscious of the context and power structure in which it exists.
Feminist epistemology operates within this spectrum and questions the essentialist claims made in the west. It facilitated the perpetuation of existing racist claims in the west, and in turn, science occupied that same position. Marxist feminism is a form of epistemology that acknowledges the power structure set up by capitalism and patriarchy and aims to deconstruct the ideological manifestations in terms of that structure. Feminist standpoint theorists make three principal claims: 1 Knowledge is socially situated. Feminist standpoint theory begins with a descriptive project and ends with a normative one.
Its intersectional approach appeals to the pragmatic nature of science. Capitalism uses science to establish new means of exploitation in order to increase profit. The monopoly of science, in the hands of the capitalists, allows the production of new sciences for the aims of profit. Instead of relieving the workers from intense physical labour, it just establishes a more monotonous and strenuous type of work. Since feminist standpoint theory already exists in an androcentric western structure, it could be described as having a close resemblance to an Othering project — one with a relativist sense.
Acknowledging different agendas and claiming to truly understand the Other — only to then prefer the already established elitist project — is just another form of hegemony. It aims to integrate the Other into the power structure by pretending to address the oppressions and differences found, rather than completely deconstructing the structure. The Other is given a footnote, an imaginary agency which complies to the hegemonic and pre-existing scientific institution. The Other is still the subject of study, the deviation from the hegemonic norm. The production of knowledge carries on with the assumption of objectivity, and the default nature of the elite is never subject to explanation and questioning.
Nonetheless, the feminist standpoint theory project should continue. Due to its duality of description and normativity, feminist standpoint theory appeals to the necessity of changing the androcentric western structure. Standpoint theory understands how science, as a pragmatic practice, can be molded to benefit those it has long wronged.
The theory situates the agents of knowledge production in their respective context and allows a meta-analysis of this knowledge; it does not treat it as an unquestionable absolute truth.
Ideally it allows agency to be granted to the Other in order to produce knowledge, supposedly set to be as equal to that of the hegemony. Even though at instances in academia it can be claimed by the hegemony, the theory should not be given up on for the importance of its intersectional approach. If it is, then its value would be questionable by having its pragmatic nature compromised.
If it cannot be related to a real context, the experience generating it and its application would be futile. Feminist standpoint theory aims to further push knowledge production along the spectrum of objectivity via its intersectional approach. Bowell, Tracy. Harding, Sandra. Cuomo, Boston: McGraw-Hill, T pursue empirical study of social epistemology is an ambitious task. My overall goal in this Collective Vision post is to underline the importance of empirical social epistemology. Such a view is socio-psychological and keeps asking the question: How social groups define and influence knowledge in the empirically observable world?
The question is broad and a lot of ground would need to be covered to really pinpoint all the essential social influences on knowledge. To lower the bar a little, let me tell you a brief story from my real life concerning ordinary, yet real, people. The following exchange took place just a little while ago:.
But yeah, something like that too. More about how people come to believe something is scientifically reliable. In groups, you know. Possibly a proper academic answer would have been to toss back the question in Socratic manner. What do you mean when you talk about knowledge? In real-life situations friends asking for help with their homework, a coach explaining what needs to be know about the rules of soccer and even in specialized academic efforts scholars in physics studying quarks, say that revolve around knowledge we typically already have some sort of intuitive or at least satisfactory and in-no-need questionable theory of knowledge in general.
Mostly, I think, knowledge is dealt with as life and situations go on and knowledge just as an inherent part of a situation — that is, knowledge is understood as inhering in a situation. For most people, and most situations, this is sufficient. But for those with an interest in the conceptual world that surrounds and informs the empirical world and enables us to make sense of the empirical world, these generic and abstract questions remain.
Yet, no matter what approach we take towards epistemic questions we run into social issues surrounding knowledge. Think of Plato and how he understood boundaries of knowledge roughly BC: knowledge is justified true belief. This idea has since well-penetrated the Western world arguably the whole world so thoroughly that it is undoubtedly meaningful, if only for the vast edifice of thought built upon that idea. I believe that social groups are the crucial media in the relation between knowledge and society. Thus, a socio-psychological approach is warranted in order to tap into empirical social epistemology.
It is necessary since logic is too limited a discipline for empiricism, and since social groups have already been excessively examined in socio-psychological literature. Because of symbolic language we are naturally bound to logic. For instance, we categorize things as being of this and that kind, we attempt to avoid contradicting ourselves, and, most of all, we need to tell apart nonsense from syntactically-sensible text Hamill, Language, thus, with its hidden but inherent logic, gives the framework for knowledge to rise and a medium in which knowledge can be expressed and preserved.
Yet, the logic inherent in linguistic structures is more of a tool in the processing of meaning and in the social formation of knowledge than a core property of knowledge itself. These core properties, I argue, are studied by social epistemology as it focuses on knowledge in the social reality of life that touches most human beings. That said, I have no intention to downplay the achievements of formal logic and its powers.
We can easily agree, I believe, that formal propositional logic has its time and place, and it is a swift hand of delivering mathematical deduction when needed. Due to its practical and proven applicability in improving our lives via technical and medical advances, we can see how formal logic has correspondence with the world, and that correspondence enables us to observe and deal with important parts of our natural physical environment.
Fallis , It must be added, though, that as a scientific group effort, formal mathematical logic is very social in its own way. Put briefly, there is a large-scale social epistemology surrounding the camp of formal logic, too. For instance, socialization takes place among logicians and in a classroom where logic is taught.
Logicians teach and encourage each other to learn to solve formal logical tasks and find trustworthy mentors to do such teaching. No matter where we look, it seems, the social bearings of knowledge cannot be ignored when studying epistemology in the empirical social reality. Meanings most dear to humans are typically social, and as such, propositional logic and philosophical analysis is not the ordinary route to knowledge in our social lives. But where formulations of sheer logic may lack emotional and social significance, people we know and care for, however, carry both of these attributes.
Two very different kind of social groups feel very differently about the right way to deal with Biblical stories, as well as the correct way to advertise consumer products ethically. The liberal interpretation of the story of Noah annoys the business elite of religious conservatives a great deal, as argued by their think-tank Faith Driven Consumer. Simultaneously, the fact that conservatives disapprove of the film annoys the liberals.
The basis of the argument, perversely, is about the correct interpretation of the Biblical saga. Those who align with a more liberal view disagree. This is an interesting anecdote, especially if you have seen the movie. But the example of the film Noah brings us to the frontier of groups acting as epistemic communities. While feelings and cognitions circulated in one group are well understood by the in-group, the out-group feels and thinks very differently about the exact same subject matter.
No resolution with dialogue is possible because the two groups build up their knowledge with very different fundaments: One group assigns significant epistemic authority to the Bible and particular interpretations of it. We want to have a sense of ability to choose what we think and to have a sense of being rational. We want to have a sense of being accepted group members. We want have a sense of personal affective stability or a sense that we are on the track of being or becoming happy. The importance of knowing the needs of others and the importance of knowing the needs of ourselves is a fact very hard to deny.
Overall, we need groups in order to survive and fulfill our various social and biological needs. Abundant literature and research is readily available on these needs and on the behaviors related to our various needs, both biological and social for instance see biological reviews Maslow , ; Bugental ; for social needs review Turner ; Sherif, Harvey, White, Hood and Sherif ; Tajfel and Turner ; Postmes and Branscombe In essence, comprehensible communication is like that and a scientific effort is like that as well — only taken to extreme measures.
It takes significant learning and effort to achieve the social rules embedded in science and its communication. No matter what the media is different sets of social , not objective, true or otherwise official, rules apply in the domain of social talk and interaction. Abundant socio-psychological literature exists that dissects these epistemic social rules, roles and their meaning Bugental ; Turner ; Sherif et al. Often and interestingly, even without clearly expressing it, scholars in social psychology essentially focus on the epistemic function of the language in social groups.
It appears that groups are not only a medium for knowledge but actually a necessity to the formation of knowledge; humans do not form knowledge outside of social structures. But conversely, groups, in order to exist, must themselves have an epistemic structure. Following this train of thought, I go on to argue that in order for any social group to exist there needs to be some sort of group epistemology right at the very genesis of a group. To fully understand the importance of empirical social epistemology and its socio-psychological bearings we should take seriously the claims made by social psychologists regarding human beings as inescapably social beings that developed to be fundamentally social.
From this viewpoint, social epistemology is largely based in elementary social needs and their fulfillments. So, in order to achieve any social ends or goals one needs to have knowledge and, hence, a social epistemology. To imagine how such an elementary level of epistemic praxis may evolve, we could think of two human beings meeting each other for the first time in order to achieve some shared meanings, to communicate, and to thereby make sense of one another to achieve some joint end.
As biological history has it, people have throughout time formed groups and sought out other people to meet individual needs through collective action. One cannot have one without the other. They would thus be likely to develop mutual trust and a felt sense of belonging together. The Ur-sprache would, in its most primitive form, have to be social, since it would have to be a joint effort; the Ur-sprache would be a social epistemology as well as a shared discourse. As far-fetched as such an imaginary exercise may sound, it is actually a modified version of another well-known Western folkloric tale of the genesis a social epistemology.
Who knows? The important point, regardless of the historical development of early social epistemologies, persists. Groups arise to form meanings, and in the process, they form social epistemologies. If the above contentions are correct, it should be possible to conduct empirical socio-psychological research that describes, in a straight-forward manner, statistically significant differences between group epistemologies on attitudinal and cognitive variables as dependent variables, using group membership as independent variable.
If that hypothesis really is to hold it should be testable via social science methods. Studies in which I have participated so far have corroborated the view of observable empirical function of social epistemologies. Bugental, Daphne B.
2007 Unfolding: Mastering the Future
Fallis, Don. Hamill, James F. Ethno-logic: The Anthropology of Human Reasoning. Maslow, Abraham H. Niskakangas, Tuomas. Postmes, Tom and Nyla R. Psychology Press, Sherif, Muzafer, O. Harvey, B. Jack White, William R. Hood and Carolyn W. Tajfel, Henri and John C. Austin, 7— Chicago: Nelson-Hall, Turner, John C. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Broadly construed, they are a group of individuals whose primary focus is the relation between knowledge and society.
I similarly differentiate social epistemologists according to the manner in which they choose to study this relation and the content they believe to be most relevant to it. I take a two-pronged approach to social epistemology, which I argue stems from mutually entailing concepts: 1 an operational, moral, and political meta -assessment of knowledge and 2 the social influences that enable one to be an epistemic agent.
In this entry, I will outline my interest in the former. Knowledge is largely directed by the questions we, not merely as individuals, ask, but far more importantly, the questions a given society is willing to invest its resources to discover. Whether someone is involved in material science or philosophy, one typically needs a monetary supplement, provided by a willing individual or group, to engage in her craft.
It matters not if someone requires an education, laboratory, or library, as in each case, significant time, labor, and money are allocated to their productive management and maintenance. Such goals coordinate many participants and direct the consumption of a wide-range of resources e. Such wide-ranging investments of resources and participation ensure that there are disparate collections of individuals with distinct interests and backgrounds, who all hope to wrangle some perceived good from their involvement in knowledge production. If it is the case that the questions being asked and the supporting allotment of resources that enable their resolution are managed i.
Put differently, people tend to refrain from investing significant resources into projects with no accepted criterion of return: if I do X, I can expect certain benefits or privileges for others or myself. When knowledge production and acquisition have no clear sense of benefit material, spiritual, physical, ethical, etc. This implies that, without some notion as to what others will require as evidence of epistemic success, one is unlikely to invest time or money in its acquisition and production.
On these grounds, one can make a case that knowledge production and acquisition undergo the same social-economic forces as supply and demand of material goods. If the above is true, the perceived good of knowledge acquisition and production cannot be a pure expression of a solitary individual but, to varying extent, reflects diverse individuals with cooperating values. Even if I am a purely selfish being, my pursuit of knowledge acquisition and production will likely benefit me, as it concerns opportunities or privileges others are willing to confer on me for my participation in the epistemic process.
The management of resources that make knowledge acquisition possible as it concerns the material acts that enable it is also directed by a similar telos i. The concrete roles individuals and collectives play in shaping the questions asked in a country, along with the allotment of the resources required to enable their resolution, ought to be clarified and studied, because knowledge acquisition and production are public commodities and community based recourses.
Here, the persistent struggle between individualists and egalitarians spills over into the various modes of knowledge production. Should private individuals, corporations, representatives of the people, or populist opinions shape and direct the course of knowledge production? These are issues that ought to equally concern the libertarian and socialist, the capitalist and anti-capitalist.
Though it is true that they can be independently pursued, at their best, they converge. In this prelude to my contribution to A Collective Vision for Social Epistemology , I sought to quickly sketch the material factors of knowledge acquisition as embodied practices that must be facilitated and organized by the activities of a given community.
This is not to say that epistemic claims are whimsical expressions of a particular culture or that all objects of knowledge are subjective fabrications. I am, however, neither a Fullerian nor a Marxist. Similarly, my interest in Popper concerns his conception of an open society. I do not adhere to the specifics of his political or scientific views. I will therefore simply present my views as they naturally occur to me, without taking credit for their creation or ascribing them to others as their official views. V isioneering has imbued these pages of late be it the important role played in fuelling the creative and visionary spirit through the crafting of an image, or the political necessity of such work for breaking binaries and embarking on a creative destruction of sense in order to produce new canvases, ideas and actions befitting the 21 st century see Cabrera and Peake.
Furthermore, a less discussed aspect of latent potency for visioneering lies in its methodological approach, merging the hybridisation of knowledge with polyvocality and a commitment to difference. Currently, what I am most curious to explore is how do others, particularly young people, conceive of and understand the future? More specifically, in undertaking the act of visioneering — confronting oneself with a range of future potentialities reconstituted from an interwoven cloth of ideas, experiences and senses, what do people draw upon? What ideas, imagery, texts, talk?
How are accounts constructed? What do such accounts tell us about the present as much as the future? These are questions of an ethnographic bent, imbued with a rich phenomenological history ideally suited for exploring those facets of social life that resist naming and delight in uncertainty, much like the telling of the future.
I am not the first to be interested in the tales young people tell about their potential futures and worlds. The left-wing literati in the UK have bestowed upon our current cohort of year olds a kind of dystopian soothsayer role. They associate the popularity of the Hunger Games Trilogy and the rise of films like Divergent with a quiet sense of doom stemming from the gloomy societal position many young people find themselves in. Such an argument has potency when confronting the abysmal stats of youth unemployment, soaring tuition fees and the tearing away of the welfarist ladder by those who most benefited from it.
They are right to be empathetic and interested in how young people conceive of their futures and to pay heed to what may emerge as quiet Cassandra moments. Yet as well meaning and as potent as such arguments no doubt are, we are still performing ventriloquism, our words, their mouths.
Do young people really ascribe to visions of near-future apocalypses? To tentatively explore some of these matters, and to test our reasoning around the mechanics and poetics of visioneering, Steve Fuller and I attended the national Schools Science Conference. Whilst Steve delivered the event keynote and relished answering the direct and contentious questions from students check the keynote — number 75 here , I set up our stall. We have accumulated over 6 hours of group data from the event, so all that can be presented here are the very initial themes that punctuated the day.
Both discussions focused on the kinds of existential threats that form the backbone of dystopian futures — one on the impacts of environmental disaster wrought by climate change, the other on the potential impacts of a range of common transhuman proclivities — augmentation, genetic engineering, and AI. In contrast, upwingers receive much more favourable treatment as the bringers of Humanity 2.
Yet in the visioneering work undertaken by young people on the day, such concerns about climate change, environmental crisis and poverty were not marked by a technological resistance. They were not afraid to make a political case for living differently; this was a rarity on the day where young people rarely mentioned the role of the state in these future dystopias:. We need scientists to get into politics, they have the knowledge, if they go into politics they can spread that knowledge.
They need to stop thinking of themselves and think about all the people that would benefit. People are too selfish to think about the bigger problems. Those young people who were passionately concerned about climate change described a human-centred rather than geo-centred world; there was no mention of animal sentience and the bestowing of rights to non-human creatures. In the group discussion where downwinging played a central role, the young women making the case for climate-interventionism seemed to be making it on a vitalistic rather than Darwinian premise.
Such a vitalism may form a better entry point into the cartography being mapped by these young people, as their lives are complexly mediated by the blurring of the body with technology, the ecological with the manufactured. Fortunately for me at least , the column marchers of the Dark Enlightenment like Nick Land and his foot soldiers were absent in accounts. This was not to say the darker corners of visioneering were not considered.
Very dark really, things going down. Underdeveloped countries, pollution, resource crises…. Yeah I think there are a lot of big problems. Such dystopian visions emerged most readily in references to gaming which emerged as a dominant theme this group. Notable mention went to the cyberpunk-styled game Deus Ex: Human Revolution set in a near-dystopian future.
It societal setting is cataclysmic, corporations have greater power than states, corruption is rife and rebellion put down with brutal violence. I play a game set in the future, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. People are getting synthetic arms, nano technology all kind of augmentation. That is a realistic possibility. So only rich people benefit. Another game mentioned was the post-apocalyptic game Fall Out :. I think a possible future is like Fall Out because of wars and resource shortages. SF: Do you really think nuclear war is a possibility?
Like Russia invaded Georgia and no one cared, militias are growing in Crimea. In the future these little skirmishes become more important as resources shrink. These young men spoke of the gaming experience as a tool to furnish their visioneering activity alongside their interest in the practice of formal scientific enquiry and their own personal hopes and ambitions.
It was as though the practice of gaming enabled a relationship with risk and the ethics of risk to be contemplated and explored. It offered a visceral window into visioneering practice as gaming was described as something experienced and embodied not merely thought or seen.
It seems to me that the rise of gaming as a new epistemological field and its ability to permeate multiple discursive realms is deserving of a post in these pages in its own right.