Facebook as Public Sphere: The Black Pete Debate
In 2013 UN investigator Verene Shepherd provided that the ‘Black Pete’ character, the blackface companions of Saint Nicholas tradition in the Dutch folklore (commonly depicted with curly black hair
The data is recorded as missing
In this digital age, data have taken a stronger position than ever before. Whereas the social sciences and natural sciences have embraced data for decades, the humanities are slow to catch on. It’s time for a change.
The United Nations and its 'PDF Ghetto's': supposedly 'open data' and the lack of transparency
Taking a closer look at what this ‘open data’ really is, we see quite a different picture: only certain information is made available about specific issues, in particular formats. A case in point of this ‘open data paradox’ is the United Nations’ provision of PDF files as part of their ‘Open Data’.
Let data speak - but not for itself!
Data never just speaks for itself. If data speaks at all, it does with a strange voice, translating certain aspects of reality into a particularly standardised form – just like a piano translates certain activities into sounds. It is this formally shaped strangeness that makes up the particular value of data (and music). At the same time, that is what makes data problematic: These translations are only helpful if they lose information and reshape it in such a way that they are adding new information.
Who really benefits from Big Data
Advances in real-time data acquisition, processing, and display technologies means that it is possible to design a toll-road that can continually change prices to control how many cars are on the road and how fast they are going.
H5N1: the controversy and critical issues
Over the past few months, two scientific articles pending publication in the journals Science and Nature have aroused tensions between biologists and biosecurity experts.
The eye of the NBIC-storm
On Wednesday 10 November 2010, STOA and the Rathenau Institute held the conference Making perfect life: Bio-engineering (in) the 21st century in the European Parliament in Brussels.
Education and choice
We often hear of traditional cultural knowledge being lost at an alarming rate, but with blanket standardised free access to all primary education, do we not also run the risk of creating a situation where the autodidact is no longer employable? Blogpost James Dawson.
Iranian students no longer banned: a victory for science?
On February 3rd 2010, it was decided by the Dutch court that the sanctions restricting Iranian students from studying nuclear science and engineering were discriminatory and should thus be overturned.
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