Movement-space: The changing domain of thinking resulting from the development of new kinds of spacial awareness

Abstract This paper is an attempt to describe the nature of a new calculative background that is currently coming into existence, a background that will both guide and constitute what counts as ‘thinking’. It begins by providing a capsule history of how this background has become a more and more pervasive quality of Euro-American cultures as a result of [...]

On the Theory of Scales of Measurement

Abstract …Paraphrasing N.R. Campbell…we may say that measurement, in the broadest sense, is defined as the assignment of numerals to objects or events according to rules. The fact that numerals can be assigned under different rules leads to different kinds of scales and different kinds of measurement. Comments An early social scientific theory of measurement [...]

The eruption of tradition? On ordinality and calculation

Abstract Numerical ordinal rankings (or ratings) are proliferating in the current social and economic world. Many are used to derive and justify relative monetary valuation, by modes of equation and calculation. The article shows how these composite manipulations of order and value tend to produce a parabolic curve: very few at very high value at the top, descending in [...]

False numbers as formalizing practices

Abstract It will be argued that false numbers in working documents, formulae, and business plans are used as temporary or conditional devices to enable rationalization. The social processes of creating formalized practices depend upon activities that are themselves conditional and ephemeral. That is, rather than subvert the ostensible purpose of fixed representation, false numbers make [...]

Street Science Community Knowledge and Environmental Health Justice

Abstract Street Science engages several issues that remain largely unaddressed in the environmental-policy and public-health literatures. First, increasing evidence suggests that local knowledge has contributed positively to the formulation of more sustainable resource-management practices and development decisions…Second, a growing body of literature suggests that inequalities in environmental health, morbidity, and mortality result from a combination [...]

Sousveillance: Inventing and Using Wearable Computing Devices for Data Collection in Surveillance Environments

Abstract This paper describes using wearable computing devices to perform “sousveillance” (inverse surveillance) as a counter to organizational surveillance. A variety of wearable computing devices generated different kinds of responses, and allowed for the collection of data in different situations. Visible sousveillance often evoked counter-performances by front-line surveillance workers. The juxtaposition of sousveillance with surveillance [...]

Risk society: towards a new modernity

Abstract This panoramic analysis of the condition of Western societies has been hailed as a classic. This first English edition has taken its place as a core text of contemporary sociology alongside earlier typifications of society as postindustrial and current debates about the social dimensions of the postmodern. Underpinning the analysis is the notion of [...]

Assessing socially disruptive technological change

Abstract The co-evolution of society and potentially disruptive technologies makes decision guidance on such technologies difficult. Four basic principles are proposed for such decision guidance. None of the currently available methods satisfies these principles, but some of them contain useful methodological elements that should be integrated in a more satisfactory methodology. The outlines of such [...]

Assessment of social implications of nanotechnologies in Japan: Application of problem structuring method based on interview surveys and cognitive maps

Abstract This paper aims at developing a problem structuring method based on interview surveys of key stakeholders and a well-known visualizing technique, called a “cognitive map.” We found that this new method, based on an interactive process with key stakeholders, was able to draw broader and more detailed issues than was previously anticipated. We also [...]