This week’s reading focuses on the idea of making global data using Paul Edwards’ “A vast machine”.

The idea of Global data is working together with the world as a whole rather than one country alone.

One thing effects another rather than it being effected alone.

Paul Edwards investigates how and what we know about Global warming and calls the efforts it involves “Data friction”.

There is a complex method as to predicting the weather and climate that are built up of networks. Not only that, there are all these different aspects that effect the outcome and what has to be monitored.

“Models we use to project the future of climate are not pure theories, ungrounded in observation. Instead, they are data – data that bind the models to measurable realities.” – trace its past and model it future;

This reminded me of what we learnt previously about memory.

We have all these memories inside of our heads, and we project our past experiences into action.

But the method of monitoring weather is much more complex.

Main ideas within “data and media” are also focused this week.

Transduction; “A transformation of forces” – which lead me to think, can our minds be transducers?

We can see, smell and feel things and transform that into knowledge.

OR, we can regurgitate that knowledge and transform it into something else.

“Inputs and output devices all contain transducers: the keyboard transduces motion into voltage; the screen transforms voltage into light; the hard drive mediates between voltage and electromagnetic fields. A printer takes in patterns of voltage and emits patterns of ink on a page. Strictly transduction only refers to transformations between different energy types; here I want to extend it to talk about all the propagating matter and energy within something like a computer, as well as those between that system and the rest of the world. From this transmaterial  perspective a computer is a cluster of linked mechanisms and substrates; a machine for shifting patterns through time and space.”


[in course reader] Edwards, Paul N. (2010) ‘Introduction’ in A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming Cambridge, MA: MIT Press: xiii-xvii (note that you can download sample chapters at <> and it’s a book worth buying, covering many of the issues on the course)

Rheingold, Howard (2011) ‘A mini-course on infotention’ <> (Howard Rheingold is literally one of the pioneers of the web, one of its more generous people, and a great educator).


About z3253808unsw

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