Situating Methods in the Magic of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence | Elish, Boyd

M. C. Elish (Columbia); danah boyd (Microsoft); Situating Methods in the Magic of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence; In Communication Monographs, Forthcoming; 2017-09-21; 30 pages; ssrn:3040201

tl;dr → they’re doing it wrong; an explainer.
and → <quote>we problematize the myths that animate the supposed “magic” of these systems</quote>


“Big Data” and “artificial intelligence” have captured the public imagination and are profoundly shaping social, economic, and political spheres. Through an interrogation of the histories, perceptions, and practices that shape these technologies, we problematize the myths that animate the supposed “magic” of these systems. In the face of an increasingly widespread blind faith in data-driven technologies, we argue for grounding machine learning-based practices and untethering them from hype and fear cycles. One path forward is to develop a rich methodological framework for addressing the strengths and weaknesses of doing data analysis. Through provocatively reimagining machine learning as computational ethnography, we invite practitioners to prioritize methodological reflection and recognize that all knowledge work is situated practice.


The Suitcase Words

Indeed.  Let’s see if the ‘bot can pick ‘em out.. The vein is deep and wide here.

Positive Truth

interrogation, problematize, myth, data-driven (empirical), grounding, practices, untethering, methodological framework, analysis, reimaginatively, provocatively reimagining, ethnography, computational ethnography, practitioners, reflection, methodological reflection, practice, situated practice, methods, situated methods.

Negative Truth (Stop Words)

and, have, the, an, of, that, these, we, in, an, for, from, one, is, to, a, through, as, we, all.

How “Demo-or-Die” Helped My Career | Danah Boyd

Danah Boyd “danah boyd”; How “Demo-or-Die” Helped My Career; In Her Blog hosted on Medium; 2017-08-01

tl;dr → Dr. Boyd doesdid not like busking; it is unbecoming. She has better patrons now. She is first among equal of the peers she cites. But she learned something by that experience.


Molly Steenson; Architectural Intelligence: How Designers and Architects Created the Digital Landscap, MIT Press; 2017-10-27; 320 pages; Amazon:0262037068: Kindle: no, paper: $35+SHT.


<quote> Everything about what I do as a researcher is rooted in the goal of using empirical work to help challenge people’s assumptions and generate new frames that people can work with. <snip/>And that requires being able to explain your thinking to anyone at any moment. And that’s the skill that I learned from the “demo-or-die” culture.</quote>



  • “handwaving,” attributed to Stewart Brand.
  • “deploy-or-die,” attributed to Joi Ito.
  • “publish-or-perish,” in academia, attributed to Nicholas Negroponte as “dismissal.”


  • Stewart Brand
  • Judith Donath
  • Joi Ito
  • Nicholas Negroponte


  • Stewart Brand; The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at M.I.T.; Penguin Books; 1989-09-03; some pages; Amazon:B017YC9V3I: kindle: no, paper: $11+SHT.
  • Molly Steenson; Architectural Intelligence: How Designers and Architects Created the Digital Landscap, MIT Press; 2017-10-27; 320 pages; Amazon:0262037068: Kindle: no, paper: $35+SHT.
  • Joi Ito opines “Deploy-Or-Die”; Some Cub Reporter; In O’Reilly Media; 2014-04.

The Great Silicon Valley Bubble Machine | The Atlantic

The Great Silicon Valley Bubble Machine; Adrienne LaFrance; In The Atlantic; 2015-09-20.

tl;dr → Are we in a bubble? Self-attestation survey says yes; some lesser fools are quoted (saying no, hoping to entrain more greater fools).



For color, background & verisimilitude … activists & startup boosters.

  • Danah Boyd, principal researcher, Microsoft Research; Data & Society Research Institute; an activist.
  • Kevin Kelly, co-founder, Wired; a pundit.
  • Katrina Lake, the founder & CEO, Stitch Fix, a startup.
  • Todd McKinnon, CEO, Okta.
  • Andrew Thompson, CEO, Proteus Digital Health.
  • Marco Zappacosta, CEO, Thumbtack.

The Future of Privacy : Digital Life in 2025 | Pew Research Center

The Future of Privacy : Digital Life in 2025; Pew Research Center; 2014-12-18; 72 pages; landing.


  • Lee Rainie, Director, Internet, Science, and Technology Research, Pew Research
  • Janna Anderson, Director, Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center


  • Miguel Alcaine, International Telecommunication Union area representative for Central America;
  • Jari Arkko, chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force;
  • Francois-Dominique Armingaud, formerly a computer engineer for IBM now teaching security;
  • danah boyd, research scientist at Microsoft;
  • Stowe Boyd, lead at GigaOM Research;
  • David Brin, author of The Transparent Society;
  • Bob Briscoe, chief researcher for British Telecom;
  • Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google;
  • David Clark, senior scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory;
  • Glenn Edens, research scientist at PARC and IETF area chair;
  • Jeremy Epstein, lead director for the US National Science Foundation’s Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace program;
  • Seth Finkelstein, a programmer, consultant and EFF Pioneer of the Electronic Frontier Award winner;
  • Bob Frankston, Internet pioneer and innovator;
  • Dan Gordon of Valhalla Partners;
  • Jonathan Grudin, principal researcher for Microsoft;
  • Joel Halpern a distinguished engineer at Ericsson;
  • Jim Hendler, Semantic Web scientist and professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute;
  • Francis Heylighen, a Belgian cyberneticist investigating the evolution of intelligent organizations;
  • Christian Huitema, distinguished engineer with Microsoft;
  • Jeff Jarvis, director of the Tow-Knight Center at the City University of New York;
  • Mike Leibhold, senior researcher at the Institute for the Future;
  • Herb Lin, chief scientist for the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board at the US National Academies of Science;
  • Clifford Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information;
  • Alice Marwick, author of Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age;
  • Peter McCann, a senior staff engineer in the telecommunications industry;
  • Jerry Michalski, founder of REX, the Relationship Economy eXpedition;
  • Craig Newmark, founder of Craig’s List;
  • Ian Peter, pioneer Internet activist and Internet rights advocate;
  • Raymond Plzak, former CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers, now a member of the board of ICANN;
  • Jason Pontin, editor in chief and publisher of MIT Technology Review;
  • Howard Rheingold, pioneering Internet sociologist;
  • Mike Roberts, Internet Hall of Famer and longtime leader with ICANN;
  • Mark Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center;
  • Paul Saffo, managing director of Discern Analytics and consulting associate professor at Stanford;
  • Henning Schulzrinne, Internet Hall of Fame member;
  • Tiffany Shlain, founder of the Webby Awards and host of The Future Starts Here;
  • Barbara Simons, former president of ACM and board chair for Verified Voting;
  • Doc Searls, director of ProjectVRM at Harvard’s Berkman Center;
  • Hal Varian, chief economist for Google.



Why big data evangelists should be sent to re-education camps | ZDNet

Why big data evangelists should be sent to re-education camps; In ZDNet; 2014-09-19.
Summary: Big data is a dangerous, faith-based ideology. It’s fuelled by hubris, it’s ignorant of history, and it’s trashing decades of progress in social justice.


In Defense of Twitter Feminism | Park, Leonard

Suey Park, David J. Leonard; In Defense of Twitter Feminism; In Some Blog entitled Model View Culture; 2014-02-03.
Teaser: Call-out culture, gentrification on social media and the politics of feminist discourse online.

Lots of:

  • name recitation
  • pointers to Studies. That. Show.
  • pointers to opinements of others
  • cool-ethno, street-anthro language around race, class, etc. handled as slurs and charges; and <halo>The Internet</halo>.