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Documenting Sea Change

Ocean Data Technologies, Sciences, and Governance

Kathleen M. Sullivan

, and sometimes transformative sea of big data and big data infrastructures. In this article, I first survey pertinent histories and government documents pertaining to the relationship between ocean sciences (and proto-sciences), ocean governance, and

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Deleuze's Postscript on the Societies of Control

Updated for Big Data and Predictive Analytics

James Brusseau

of the original essay section, and then recontextualises the ideas within the big data reality. Historical Deleuze began by drawing historical distinctions between disciplinary and control societies. Corresponding with the Western industrial

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The Anthropocene Trading Zone

The New Conservation, Big Data Ecology, and the Valuation of Nature

Lizzy Hare

The Anthropocene has been a generative concept in recent years and its influence can be felt across a wide range of fields. New Conservation and big data ecology are interrelated trends in ecology and conservation science that have been influenced by the technological developments and social concerns of the yet-to-be ratified Anthropocene epoch. Advocates of these ideas claim that they will revolutionize conservation science and practice, however they share many of the same underlying economic metaphors as the frameworks they seek to replace. The use of economic concepts, such as value, allows ecological science to be made legible outside of scientific communities, but that legibility places limitations on the possibilities for thinking about conservation outside of a market-based framework. If there is to be a threshold moment for new ecological thought, it will need to overcome the ideological limitations of valuation.

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Arturo Hernández-Huerta, Octavio Pérez-Maqueo, and Miguel Equihua Zamora

*Full article is in Spanish

English abstract: At the RISC 2017 International Congress, we reflected on the possibility of achieving a “sustainable, integral and coherent development.” We primarily report here on the panel of Mexican experts who shared their experiences on issues such as the impact of the international agenda on the local policy priorities, the relevance of the participation of local stakeholders and the occurrence of inconsistencies throughout the process of design and implementation of development policies. In addition, other experiences were presented on these issues, some of which are included in this special issue. The general conclusion was that not only is it possible to articulate a sustainable, integral and coherent development but also that approaches and tools are already emerging that favor it through an evidence-based policy management and the use of the growing “environmental big data” that already exists.

Spanish abstract: En el Congreso internacional RISC 2017 se reflexionó sobre la posibilidad de lograr un “desarrollo sostenible, integral y coherente”. En este artículo nos referimos principalmente al panel de expertos mexicanos que compartieron sus experiencias con nosotros sobre asuntos como el impacto de la agenda internacional sobre la local, la relevancia de la participación de los actores locales y la ocurrencia de incoherencias a lo largo del proceso de diseño y aplicación de las políticas para el desarrollo. Además, se expusieron otras experiencias sobre estos asuntos, que han sido recogidas en este número especial. La conclusión general es que se estima que no sólo es posible articular un desarrollo sostenible, integral y coherente, sino que están emergiendo enfoques y herramientas que favorecen propiciarlo a través de la gestión basada en evidencia y el aprovechamiento del creciente “big data ambiental” que ya está existe.

French abstract: Lors du congrès international Consortium pour la Recherche comparative sur l’intégration régionale et la cohésion sociale (RISC) 2017, organisé en coopération avec le programme d’innovation pour l’intégrité dans la gestion de l’environnement pour le développement et soutenu par des données massives (big data) et un apprentissage automatisé (i-Gamma), nous avons réfléchi à la possibilité de parvenir à un “développement durable, intégral et cohérent”. L’événement a ouvert de multiples opportunités de discussions sur le sujet, mais cette introduction est basée sur le panel d’experts mexicains qui ont partagé leurs expériences avec nous sur des questions telles que l’impact de l’agenda international à l’échelle locale, la pertinence de la participation des acteurs locaux et le surgissement d’incohérences tout au long du processus de conception et de mise en oeuvre des politiques de développement. Nous ferons également référence à d’autres expériences présentées autour de ces questions, en mettant l’accent sur les contributions de ce numéro spécial. En conclusion générale, nous pensons qu’il n’est pas seulement possible d’articuler un développement de manière durable, intégrale et cohérente, mais que des approches et des outils sont déjà en train d’émerger et favorisent une gestion fondée sur des données probantes et l’utilisation des « données environnementales à grande échelle » déjà existantes.

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2,234 Descriptions of Democracy

An Update to Democracy’s Ontological Pluralism

Jean-Paul Gagnon

In 2010 Milja Kurki explained that although scholars recognize that democracy is described in a variety of ways, they do not typically engage with its many and diverse descriptions. My aim in this agenda-setting research note is to tackle this quandary by first providing a minimum empirical account of democracy’s descriptions (i.e., a catalogue of 2,234 adjectives that have been used to describe democracy) and secondly by suggesting what democracy studies may gain by compiling this information. I argue that the catalogue of descriptors be applied in four ways: (1) drilling down into the meaning of each description, (2) making taxonomies, (3) rethinking the phenomenology of democracy, and (4) visualizing democracy’s big data. Each of the four applications and their significance is explained in turn. This research note ends by looking back on the catalogue and its four applications.

Open access

Joost Beuving and Geert de Vries

management (NPM) on universities, and we look at the rapidly spreading belief in ‘big data’ – developments that are detrimental to teaching qualitative research. We illustrate these developments with the fate of Alice Goffman's 2014 book On the Run

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Ira J. Allen

Surveillance now is ubiquitous—each of us is decomposed along multiple axes into discrete data points, and then recomposed on screens and in combinatory algorithms that organize our life chances. Such surveillance is directly screened in popular culture, however, quite rarely. It is hard to see ubiquitous surveillance, and the harder something powerful is to see, the more powerful it tends to be. The essays of this Screen Shot offer perspective on various concrete instances of contemporary surveillance, both ubiquitous and granular, and in so doing offer tools for negotiating its suffusive presence in and organization of our lives.

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Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel

The world is urbanizing at an unprecedented rate, and its cities are transformed by technology and distributed computing. With every photograph, Twitter post, public transit ride, and credit card swipe, we leave digital traces in physical space. The enormous quantity of information, or Urban Big Data, that humanity generates each day is beginning to off er new possibilities for research, design, and systems optimization on the city scale, but the first step toward our urban future is finding new ways of understanding and visualizing Big Data—revealing invisible dimensions of the city.

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Algorithmic Art: Shuffling Space and Time

Art-Science Dialogues and a Techno-Saga

Linda Chiu-han Lai

Why are art-science dialogues important, and how should they take place? How do our everyday culture and institutional constructs define and delimit such possibilities? Why do contemporary art lovers still presume they are immune to and from scientific knowledge? How should a visitor of a media art event make sense of the machine work? Algorithmic Art: Shuffling Space & Time (AA) directed these questions to technical experts, artists, art lovers, and the public through a series of themed discussions and a six-hundred-square-meter indoor playground of machines and computational installations. AA also sought to key in on the question of survival. What mark has the struggling existence of the twenty-year-old School of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong left to Hong Kong’s (media) art history? The school remains the only pedagogic research center in Hong Kong where conceptual issues of new media art creation and how to “live” in an age of big data are interrogated through scholarship and practice.

Open access

Penny Welch and Susan Wright

public management, academic culture wars and the rise of big data on the practice and teaching of qualitative research. After a brief history of the rise and decline of qualitative research and its teaching in universities, they explain how the