Beautiful Data: A History of Vision and Reason since 1945 by Orit Halpern

By Orit Halpern

Beautiful Data is either a background of massive info and interactivity, and a cosmopolitan meditation on principles approximately imaginative and prescient and cognition within the moment 1/2 the 20 th century. Contending that our kinds of realization, commentary, and fact are contingent and contested, Orit Halpern historicizes the ways in which we're proficient, and educate ourselves, to watch and learn the area. Tracing the postwar influence of cybernetics and the communique sciences at the social and human sciences, layout, arts, and concrete making plans, she reveals a thorough shift in attitudes towards recording and showing info. those replaced attitudes produced what she calls communicative objectivity: new different types of remark, rationality, and economic system in line with the administration and research of knowledge. Halpern complicates assumptions in regards to the worth of knowledge and visualization, arguing that adjustments in how we deal with and educate belief, and outline cause and intelligence, also are variations in governmentality. She additionally demanding situations the paradoxical trust that we're experiencing a difficulty of cognizance brought on by electronic media, a challenge that may be resolved purely via intensified media intake.

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49 For Foucault, the particular form of political reason that emerges throughout the second half of the twentieth century comes under the rubric of biopolitics and is intimately tied to data, calculation, and economy, particularly neoliberal economics. ”50 In our present, this calculative rationality is certainly evident in the new smart cities, where ubiquitous computing is imagined as necessary to supplant, and displace, the role of democratic government. More critically, these technical systems serve a discourse of security and defense—­of life, futurity, and value.

3). For the most part, these systems run themselves. This intelligence is not always (in fact usually not) humanly controlled. And often it is stupid. ”61 One might even ask why, under such conditions, build so many interfaces and visualize at all? 62 It is precisely the older memory of surveillance and knowledge that drives an unremitting desire to increase the penetration of sensors, recording instrumentation, and analytic techniques in these territories of ubiquitous computing. Digital infrastructures, therefore, like the colonial archives depicted by the anthropologist Ann Stoler, are produced through “grids of intelligibility .

I trace the networks of interchange between cybernetic ideas of mind and the work of political scientists, such as the aforementioned Harvard and Yale professor Karl Deutsch, the organizational management, finance, and artificial intelligence pioneer Herbert Simon, and a number of other human and social scientists. In turning to the reformulation of cognition, I also expand the discussion of vision to the territory of new methods for making data and populations visible as objects for study, surveillance, and management.

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