[xmca] Data mining, toolsforthought, agency, etc

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at gmail.com>
Date: Wed Jun 27 2007 - 09:05:25 PDT

Hi Emily and Naeem and other interested xmc-ites

Naeem's notes have concerned data mining, advertisement, business practices,
and cultural differences in psychological
process that could turn a handy profit for those in the know. I would like
to link that discussion, much of which is pretty far from the
expertise or interests of xmca members how ever much it affects us, to the
toolsforthought discussion because I believe they are

Data mining techniques are linked historically to the growth of computers
and various kinds of parallel processing "connectionists"
models that early on in life played a big role in research here at UCSD, and
still do in some quarters, albeit not in advertising. They have sure come a
long way since then, and in various computational enviroments are ubiquitous
parts of our everyday interactions,
even if we are not aware of it. For example, I use gmail and get lots of
free space while busy will alorigthym driven bots go around
data minining all the connections created in gmail. Those of you who use
gmail and have not customized to make the ads disappear
can easily see yourself being target in ways Naeem is referring to.

Moreover, many social instituitons are using such techologies more in a more
and more ubiquitous way. , suggesting an additional
meaning to the term, ubiquitous computing.

I believe that David and Katherine and Jay and whoever posted on the work of
Ian Bogost were pointing toward the consequences
in terms of human relations to each other and the "natural" environment,
that the balance between silicon technologies and
biological humans is shifting, with implications for what kind of hybrids
were are going to be come, should we survive long
enough as a species.

Below I attach a pretty through provoking piece on where the "googlization"
of the world is like to lead in the not too distant
future. It may read like science fiction/futurology, as Emily notes, but the
increasing spread of these practices needs to be
a part of what cultural historical psychologists think about, in principle.

So, check out this brief film and see what you think.



PS-- Re Flat Worlds. Last night on PBS there was a newhour segment on cotton
farming in India. Having adopted various
tech-modified cotton practices, that carry with them the need for
irrigation, huge numbers of farmers are being driven
to suicide and extinction because they adopted the practices without
understanding the consequences. A major factor
in the decimation of this large population is the subsidizing of cotton in
the US. California is a big culprit. We subsidize
cotton grown in our central valley hugely. It does great with regular
irrigigation That irrigation comes from our mountains
and is desperately needed in other parts of the state and it flows around a
huge forest fitre that is eating up those
mountains as I type.

Flat world? Ask the Indian cotton farmers. Ask the people of Baha California
wher water is being diverted to mega-agricultural enter-
prises north of the border, also nicely subsidized.
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Received on Wed Jun 27 09:06 PDT 2007

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