tsuomela + boundaries   32

When did the Anthropocene begin? A mid-twentieth century boundary level is stratigraphically optimal
"We evaluate the boundary of the Anthropocene geological time interval as an epoch, since it is useful to have a consistent temporal definition for this increasingly used unit, whether the presently informal term is eventually formalized or not. Of the three main levels suggested – an ‘early Anthropocene’ level some thousands of years ago; the beginning of the Industrial Revolution at ∼1800 CE (Common Era); and the ‘Great Acceleration’ of the mid-twentieth century – current evidence suggests that the last of these has the most pronounced and globally synchronous signal. A boundary at this time need not have a Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP or ‘golden spike’) but can be defined by a Global Standard Stratigraphic Age (GSSA), i.e. a point in time of the human calendar. We propose an appropriate boundary level here to be the time of the world's first nuclear bomb explosion, on July 16th 1945 at Alamogordo, New Mexico; additional bombs were detonated at the average rate of one every 9.6 days until 1988 with attendant worldwide fallout easily identifiable in the chemostratigraphic record. Hence, Anthropocene deposits would be those that may include the globally distributed primary artificial radionuclide signal, while also being recognized using a wide range of other stratigraphic criteria. This suggestion for the Holocene–Anthropocene boundary may ultimately be superseded, as the Anthropocene is only in its early phases, but it should remain practical and effective for use by at least the current generation of scientists."
nthropology  history  anthropocene  climate  climate-change  global-warming  climatology  geology  boundaries 
january 2015 by tsuomela
Science and the Public Square
"Perhaps it will help just understanding that the asymmetry between Conservatives and Liberals is real, but that in a democracy, having the research done that discovers impacts (or the lack of impacts) is crucial for our public discourse. It is not a temporary cultural shift nor irrationality nor a current ideology that is driving the distaste for science among Republicans. It is their core conservatism that is at issue."
science  politics  conservatism  liberalism  ideology  change  private  public  boundaries  boundary-policing 
april 2013 by tsuomela
James March on Education, Leadership, and Don Quixote: Introduction and Interview « 茫茫戈壁
"Starting off in political science and then moving through several disciplinary domains such as management theory, psychology, sociology, economics, organization and institutional theory, March’s academic career has been focused on understanding and analyzing human decision making and behavior. The basic thesis that he has pursued is that human action is neither optimal (or unboundedly rational) nor random, but nevertheless reasonably comprehensible (March, 1978, 1994, 1999). The ideas that were developed to understand human behavior in organizations in March’s early work in the analysis of how people deal with an uncertain and ambiguous world included, among other things, the concepts of bounded rationality and satisficing "
organizations  rationality  boundaries  limits  institutions  business  management  decision-making  from delicious
april 2012 by tsuomela
AmericanScience: A Team Blog: Lovecraft, Science, and Epistemic Subcultures
"Thinking about these communities reminded me of Lovecraft’s earlier interactions. In some ways, amateur journalism and epistolary circles of Lovecraft’s day were not unlike the blogs and webpages that Less Wrong and the chemtrailers use. (Yes, I know the dangers of cross-temporal and cross-technological comparisons.) Still, I think there is much to explore about how such groups produce and distribute their knowledge against the background of an epistemic status quo. If scientists have their journals—as Alex Csiszar has been exploring—the laity have their amateur journalism and their blogs. And such spaces give historians of science and technology and STS scholars a chance to examine and probe the practices of epistemic subcultures." Annotated link http://www.diigo.com/bookmark/http://americanscience.blogspot.com/2012/04/lovecraft-science-and-epistemic.html
sts  science  media  amateur  history  technology  insider  outsider  boundaries  expertise  laypeople  journalism  from delicious
april 2012 by tsuomela
UnderstandingSociety: Mapping sociology
Discusses three books: Craig Calhoun's Sociology in America: A History (2007), Jonathan Turner's Handbook of Sociological Theory (2001), and Julia Adams et al's Remaking Modernity: Politics, History, and Sociology(2005)
sociology  discipline  boundaries  definition  theory  empirical  description  themes  mapping  mindmap 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Neurology vs. Psychiatry: The Social Production of Knowledge » Sociological Images
"The divisions between neurology and psychiatry suggested in the image above stir up lots of interesting questions not only about what we consider to be “neurological” or “psychiatric”, but more generally about the social production of knowledge."
neurology  psychiatry  knowledge  social  sociology  psychology  discipline  boundaries  from delicious
october 2011 by tsuomela
“One of the easiest ways to differentiate an economist from almost anyone else in society” « Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
I’m not saying that arguments based on rationality are necessarily wrong in particular cases. (I can’t very well say that, given that I wrote an article on why it can be rational to vote.) I’m just trying to understand how pop-economics can so rapidly swing back and forth between opposing positions. And I think it’s coming from the comforting presence of rationality and efficiency in both formulations. It’s ok to distinguish economists from ordinary people (economists are rational and think the unthinkable, ordinary people don’t) and it’s also ok to distinguish economists from other social scientists (economists think ordinary people are rational, other social scientists believe in “culture”). You just have to be careful not to make both arguments in the same paragraph.
economics  rationality  academic  boundaries  boundary-policing  argument  form  genre 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Anthros
"Still, I wonder why there isn’t more of a conversation between anthropologists and economists. Especially considering our overlapping interests. So why is there such a chasm between the two disciplines? Is it because our ways of thinking about and analyzing human nature are soooooo different that there is no room for dialog, or what?"
anthropology  economics  boundaries  boundary-policing 
july 2011 by tsuomela
Everybody's a Critic | varnelis.net
"What interests me about all of the above blogs is that they situate architecture within a broader context. Disciplinarity is dying at a rapid clip. I suspect the lament is partly a reaction to the end of disciplinarity. We are losing our ability to talk about architecture on its own terms."
architecture  design  criticism  boundaries  discipline  interdisciplinary  weblog-recommendations 
april 2011 by tsuomela
Why Do We Keep Indulging the Fiction That Banks Are Private Enterprises? « naked capitalism
Ambrose Bierce, in The Devil’s Dictionary, described a partnership as “When two thieves have their hands so deeply plunged into each other’s pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third party.” Pointing out that banks are de facto partners of the state, enjoying substantial privileges (that unlimited checkwriting on official coffers when things go bad, the ongoing subsidies, the lavish private sector pay) without commensurate duties opens a huge can of worms. It goes beyond the usual, relatively anodyne “privatized gains and socialized losses” and opens up the terrain of “What do we mean by private enterprise?” Part of the American ideology is that there is a hard line between government and business. But entire industries suck off the state with far too few strings attached. The black/white distinction is illusory; what we instead have is a gradient.
banking  private  enterprise  business  government  regulation  boundaries  double-standards  power 
september 2010 by tsuomela
Stumbling and Mumbling: Keynes & irrationality
You can’t open a newspaper these days without seeing some article about how people behave irrationally. What much of this writing misses, however, is that - for many practical purposes - it’s just impossible to behave rationally. The distinction between actually-existing irrational people and the desiccated calculating machine of economic theory is a false one - because the latter cannot exist.
economics  rationality  decision-making  limits  boundaries  about(JohnMaynardKeynes) 
september 2009 by tsuomela
Postmodern Economists, Empiricist Sociologists? The Problem of Unobservables « A (Budding) Sociologist’s Commonplace Book
In an excellent paper in a similar vein, Espeland and Hirsch (1990) give numerous examples of the kinds of manipulations possible of accounting profits that, they argue, made possible the conglomerates of the 1960s. Especially popular tricks allowed firms to count the earnings of acquired firms retroactively, thus increasing the apparent profitability of the firm post-merger
economics  sociology  profit  accounting  observation  definition  boundaries  unobservables 
july 2009 by tsuomela
Public Reason · The Fight for Science (and Justice)
So my central point so far is this- if philosophers really “love wisdom”, then we ought to recognize the unprecedented bounty of knowledge that science now provides us with. Rather than viewing moral and political philosophy as a dialogue that occurred among the greats of the past, we should strive to connect the new empirical insights to these debates. While we may not have intellectual giants like Aristotle, Mill or Marx living among us today, what we do have is a wealth of empirical knowledge that ought to be an integral part of moral and political philosophy.
science  philosophy  boundaries  academic  interdisciplinary  ethics  biology  experiments 
december 2008 by tsuomela
They Bellow ‘Til We’re Deaf — Crooked Timber
The argument of the piece (discounting some broader sociological claims) goes something like this. We are seeing a hybridization of Genre (i.e. SF, or as Kunkel calls it, ‘sci fi’) and Literature around a small set of shared tropes, which is a Very Bad Thing, because it vitiates Literature’s fascination with the complexity of the individual, and turns Literary Fiction into a higher class of potboiler.
fiction  literature  sf  criticism  definition  character  boundaries  genre  boundary-policing 
december 2008 by tsuomela

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