Critics of multiple realizability have recently argued that we should concentrate solely on actual here-and-now realizations that are found in nature. The possibility of alternative, but unactualized, realizations is regarded as uninteresting because it is taken to be a question of pure logic or an unverifiable scenario of science fiction. However, in the biological context only a contingent set of realizations is actualized. Drawing on recent work on the theory of neutral biological spaces, the article shows that we can have ways of assessing the modal dimension of multiple realizability that do not have to rely on mere conceivability.
This article examines algorithmic trading and some key failures and risks associated with it, including so-called algorithmic ‘flash crashes’. Drawing on documentary sources, 189 interviews with market participants, and fieldwork conducted at an algorithmic trading firm, we argue that automated markets are characterized by tight coupling and complex interactions, which render them prone to large-scale technological accidents, according to Perrow’s normal accident theory. We suggest that the implementation of ideas from research into high-reliability organizations offers a way for trading firms to curb some of the technological risk associated with algorithmic trading. Paradoxically, however, certain systemic conditions in markets can allow individual firms’ high-reliability practices to exacerbate market instability, rather than reduce it. We therefore conclude that in order to make automated markets more stable (and curb the impact of failures), it is important to both widely implement reliability-enhancing practices in trading firms and address the systemic risks that follow from the tight coupling and complex interactions of markets.
Interventionism analyses causal influence in terms of correlations of changes under adistribution of interventions. But the correspondence between correlated changes andcausal influence is not obvious. I probe its plausibility with a problem-case involvingvariables related as time derivative (velocity) to integral (position), such that the lattervariable must change given an intervention on the former unless dependencies areintroduced among the testing and controlling interventions. Under the orthodox criteria such interventions will fail to be appropriate for causal analysis. I consider various alternatives, including permitting control interventions to be chancy, restricting the available models and mitigating variation of off-path variables. None of these work. I then present a fourth suggestion which modifies the interventionist criteria in order to permit interventions which can influence other variables than just their own targets. The correspondence between correlated changes and causal influence can thereby saved when dependencies are introduced among such interventions. This modification and the required dependencies, I argue, are perfectly in line with practice and may also assist in a wider class of cases.
AbstractThis article provides a transnational analysis of the campaigns for the organization of expeditions to the central Arctic region by the American explorer Elisha Kent Kane and the Prussian cartographer August Petermann between 1851 and 1853. By adopting a comparative approach, this study focuses on three interventions in the history of Arctic science and exploration: the construction of scientific expertise surrounding the relationship between the ‘armchair’ and the field, the role of transnational networks, and the significance of maps as travelling epistemic objects in the production of knowledge about the Arctic regions. In bringing both campaigns in conversation with each other, this article demonstrates that the histories of Kane's and Petermann's campaigns did not constitute isolated episodes but form part of a transnational nexus of imperial science and Arctic exploration in the nineteenth century. Moreover, based on research in libraries and archives in the United States, Germany and England, this study reconnects otherwise siloed collections and contributes new findings on the interpersonal networks of science and exploration. Finally, this article illustrates the importance of adopting comparative transnational approaches for understanding the fluid and reciprocal nature of Arctic science throughout the transatlantic world.
This study has a two-fold structure, in its first part exploring various models of experimental literature, proposed by researchers such as Gerald Prince and Warren Motte, as well as theoretical attempts to define and analyze experimental literature in Romania. The second part focuses on the quantitative analysis of keywords related to “the experimental” found in literary histories of Romanian literature authored by E. Lovinescu, G. Călinescu, Nicolae Manolescu, and Mihai Iovănel, as well as The General Dictionary of Romanian Literature and The Chronological Dictionary of the Romanian Novel. By simply searching several pointedly chosen terms in the corpus, a cartography of what is considered to be experimental emerges clearly, alongside its relation to the canon, to the dynamics of literary genres, and to the temporal evolution of Romanian literature.
This article pursues a translational approach to the securitization of migration. It argues that sociotechnical processes of identification at the border can be conceived of as translations into legible identities of individuals who are unknown to authorities. The article contributes to the materiality debate on securitization across Critical Security Studies (CSS) and Science and Technology Studies (STS) by answering the call to conduct empirical explorations of security, and by revisiting the potential of the early sociology of translation (i.e. actor-network theory) to account for the identification of border crossers. Data collection was conducted at four identification facilities in the Hellenic Republic. Three sets of implications for the CSS-STS debate on the materiality of securitization are discussed. First, a translational approach can replace a representational understanding of identity with a performative apprehension of identification. Second, adopting a translational approach leads to acknowledge that the identification encounter is mediated by multiple, heterogeneous actors. It thus helps to open technological black boxes and reveal the key role of material qualities, affordances and limitations of artefacts. Third, a translational approach to the securitization of migration can help advance the field of ‘alterity processing’ by appreciating the de facto re-arrangements of institutional orders elicited by techno-political alignments with global security regimes.
Normative, scientific and economic pledges to Electronic Health Record (EHR) data-driven research (for health and wealth) attempt to reconfigure public health data as an asset for realising multiple values across healthcare, research and finance. In this paper, we examine some of the expectations, frictions and uncertainties involved with the assetisation of de-identified NHS patient data by (primary care) research services in UK. We introduce the concept of 'asymmetric assetisation divergence' to study the various practices of configuring and using this data, both as a continuously generated resource to be extracted and as an asset to be circulated in the knowledge economy. As data assetisation and exploitations grow bigger and more diverse, the capitalisation of these datasets may constitute EHR data-driven research in healthcare as an attractive technoscientific activity, but one limited to those actors with specific sociotechnical resources in place to fully exploit them at the required scale.
The start of management education in India in the early 1960s has been dominantly described from the perspective of ‘Americanisation’, characterised by isomorphism and mimicry. Existing scholarship has avoided the question of how management education and knowledge were reconciled and naturalised with India’s specific socio-economic contexts. This article addresses the issue and provides a situated account of this complex history by delving into the establishment of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, one of India’s first and most prominent management schools. Using the concept of sociotechnical imaginary developed by Jasanoff and Kim, the analysis describes how the development of management education and research was aligned with the objective of nation building. The article shows that the project to start management education did not take off before the capitalist connotations, associated with business education, were subtly removed and a narrative was created that put management education in the context of India’s wider development trajectory. Under influence of a changing political atmosphere in the late 1960s, a particular imaginary on the role of management knowledge and education unfolded in the development of the institute, giving the field in India a distinct character in the early 1970s.