Episode 4: Data & Infrastructure

Whose values get embedded into the algorithms that increasingly govern our lives? How are these data infrastructures complicating what it means to be human?

Scholars Laura Forlano and Ranjit Singh join our host, Natalie Kerby, to explore the different infrastructures that data interacts with and flows through. Whose values get embedded into the algorithms that increasingly govern our lives? How are these data infrastructures complicating what it means to be human?

 

 

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View a transcript of the episode here.

 

Our guests

  • Laura Forlano is an associate professor at the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology.
  • Ranjit Singh is a postdoctoral scholar at Data & Society.
  • Natalie Kerby, this season’s host, is a media producer, editor, and researcher who works at the intersection of human rights, digital media, and technology. Currently, she is the digital-content associate at Data & Society, and a volunteer at Interference Archive, an archive of social movements where she coproduces the podcast series Audio Interference.

Further reading

  • Shaowen Bardzell, “Feminist HCI: Taking Stock and Outlining an Agenda for Design. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Atlanta, GA, April 10–15, 2010
  • Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star, Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences (MIT Press, 1999)
  • James W. Carey, Communication as Culture: Essays on Media and Society (Unwin Hyman, 1988)
  • digitalSTS: A Field Guide for Science & Technology Studies, edited by Janet Vertesi and David Ribes (Princeton University Press, 2019)
  • Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein, Data Feminism (MIT Press, 2020)
  • Embodied Computing: Wearables, Implantables, Embeddables, Ingestibles, edited by Isabel Pedersen and Andrew Iliadis (MIT Press, 2020)
  • How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technology, edited by Nelly Oudshoorn and Trevor Pinch (MIT Press, 2003)
  • Colin Koopman, How We Became Our Data: A Genealogy of the Informational Person (University of Chicago Press, 2019)
  • Aryn Martin and Michael Lynch, “Counting Things and People: The Practices and Politics of Counting,” Social Problems, vol 56, no. 2 (2009)
  • Legacy Russell, Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto (Verso, 2020)
  • Tarangini Sriraman, In Pursuit of Proof: A History of Identification Documents in India (Oxford University Press, 2018)
  • Standards and Their Stories: How Quantifying, Classifying, and Formalizing Practices Shape Everyday Life, edited by Martha Lampland and Susan Leigh Star (Cornell University Press, 2009)
  • Susan Leigh Star, “The Ethnography of Infrastructure,” American Behavioral Scientist, vol. 43, no. 3 (1999)
  • Susan Leigh Star and Karen Ruhleder, “Steps Toward an Ecology of Infrastructure: Design and Access for Large Information Spaces,” Information Systems Research, vol. 7, no. 1 (1996)
  • Jackie Wang, Carceral Capitalism (Semiotext(e), 2018)
Featured Image: Yichi Liu