Expectations in Technological Developments: An Example of Prospective Structures to be Filled in by Agency | van Lente, Rip

Harro van Lente, Arie Rip; Expectations in Technological Developments: An Example of Prospective Structures to be Filled in by Agency; 28 pages; ; OAI:oai:doc.utwente.nl:34732; landing, (a photocopy of a paper article) academia.edu, landing as Chapter 7; In Cornelis Disco, Barend vander Meulen, Getting New Technologies Together: Studies in Making Sociotechnical Order; Walter de Gruyter; 1998.

An earlier version of this paper was prepared, submitted, presented at the XXIth (21st?) World Congress of Sociology, ISA, Bielefield, DE, 1994-07-18.


  • Agenda Theory (van Lente 1993)
  • <quote>The study of texts <snip/> in this sense, one can think of technology as a generalized text This is important <snip/> because texts are nothing if not internally coordinated, among other things because of their story-line.</quote>
  • Prospective Structure
  • Structure versus Agency
  • the “script”
  • Expectation (theory)
    <quote>expectations structure activity differently than structures normally do</quote>
  • <quote capitalization=”herein”>Prospective Structure hence has the same power as Forceful Fiction in opening up space for action.</quote>
Branded Theories
  • Functionalism
  • Interactionism
  • van Lente → Agenda Theory (his, theirs)
  • Mead → role-taking
  • Goffman → dramaturgical presentation of self
  • Berger & Luckman → social construction of reality
  • Giddens → structuration theory
  • Burns & Flam → social rule system theory
  • Shibutani → social processes
  • Strauss → social world
  • Boudon → transformation processes


  • Introduction
  • Technology and the Problem of Structure-Agency in Sociology
  • Some Examples of Emerging Patterns in Technology
    • Example 1: Moore’s Law as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
    • Example 2: The Emerging World of Membrane Technology in The Netherlands.
    • Example 3: HDTV, a Self-Justifying Technology.
  • From Promise to Requirement
  • Mechanisms: Mutual Positioning and Agenda-Building
  • In Conclusion


Fighting Fire with Fire | David Brin

David Brin; Fighting Fire with Fire; In The European; 2013-10-16.
Teaser: Surveillance can’t be stopped. But instead of isolating ourselves and trying to seal off our secrets we should expose them, and the snoopers surrounding us. For the illusory fantasy of absolute privacy has come to an end.


  • “A privacy law only makes the spy-bugs smaller.” attributed to Robert Heinlein

Identifiable Images of Bystanders Extracted from Corneal Reflections | Jenkins, Kerr

Rob Jenkins, Christie Kerr; Identifiable Images of Bystanders Extracted from Corneal Reflections; In PLOS ONE; 2013-12-26; 5 pages; pdf; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083325


Criminal investigations often use photographic evidence to identify suspects. Here we combined robust face perception and high-resolution photography to mine face photographs for hidden information. By zooming in on high-resolution face photographs, we were able to recover images of unseen bystanders from reflections in the subjects’ eyes. To establish whether these bystanders could be identified from the reflection images, we presented them as stimuli in a face matching task (Experiment 1). Accuracy in the face matching task was well above chance (50%), despite the unpromising source of the stimuli. Participants who were unfamiliar with the bystanders’ faces (n = 16) performed at 71% accuracy [t(15) = 7.64, p<.0001, d = 1.91], and participants who were familiar with the faces (n = 16) performed at 84% accuracy [t(15) = 11.15, p<.0001, d = 2.79]. In a test of spontaneous recognition (Experiment 2), observers could reliably name a familiar face from an eye reflection image. For crimes in which the victims are photographed (e.g., hostage taking, child sex abuse), reflections in the eyes of the photographic subject could help to identify perpetrators.


The Privacy Challenges of Big Data: A View From The Lifeguard’s Chair | Ramirez, FTC

Edith Ramirez (FTC); The Privacy Challenges of Big Data: A View From The Lifeguard’s Chair; Keynote Address; Technology Policy Institute, Aspen, CO; 2013-08-19; 10 pages.