scholarship Archive

Using the science of group conflict to understand Trump's campaign

In Five Beliefs That Propel Groups Toward Conflict, published in American Psychologist, a pair of researchers lay out the five beliefs that, when transmitted by leaders to their followers, creates a “group conflict” that propels the group forward. The five beliefs are: 1. Confidence in one’s superiority 2. Claims of unjust treatment 3. Fears of vulnerability 4. Distrust …

How to: Criticize technology

Sara writes, “This new report from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University explores the current state of technology criticism and argues to recognize a wider range of contributors and approaches to the popular critical discourse about technology. The report also advocates for a more constructive approach to technology criticism that fosters conversation and poses alternative visions for a more inclusive technological …

Everything Change: free anthology of prizewinning climate fiction

Arizona State University’s Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative held a short story contest to write “climate fiction,” judged by Kim Stanley Robinson and others; now the best stories have been collected in a free downloadable ebook that includes a forward by Robinson, and an interview with Paolo Bacigalupi. * Kim Stanley Robinson, Foreword * Manjana Milkoreit, Meredith Martinez, and Joey Eschrich, Editors’ Introduction  …

Black voter registration is inversely correlated with black death at police hands

Correlation is not causation, and the data-set is awfully small (39 incidents), but computational epidemiologist Maimuna Majumder is working with what’s available, because the federal government won’t fund research into gun fatalities, and does not require states to gather data on police use of force. Majumder says that multivariate linear regression showed that a black person’s likelihood of being shot by the …

Machine-learning photo-editor predicts what should be under your brush

In Neural Photo Editing With Introspective Adversarial Networks, a group of University of Edinburgh engineers and a private research colleague describe a method for using “introspective adversarial networks” to edit images in realtime, which they demonstrate in an open project called “Neural Photo Editor” that “enhances” photos by predicting what should be under your brush. We present an interface,shown in Figure 1, …

Design fiction, the Internet of Women's things, and futurism

Jasmina Tesanovic (previously) and Bruce Sterling did a residency at The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UCSD, working with the students on design fiction and futurism. The residency culminated in a joint lecture (Sterling is always best when tempered by Tesanovic, who rules him with a no-nonsense, Balkan fist!), about their “Internet of Women’s Things”-based house of the future, Casa …

Listen: Hacker Anthropologist Biella Coleman on the free software movement and big business

Gabriella Coleman, the anthropologist whose first book, Coding Freedom, explained hacking culture better than any book before or since; and whose second book, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, told the inside story of Anonymous with technical and social brilliance, appeared on the Theory of Everything podcast (MP3) to discuss the ways that free software hackers and the more business-friendly open source world have fought, reconciled …

Machine learning system can descramble pixelated/blurred redactions 83% of the time

A joint UT Austin/Cornell team has taught a machine learning system based on the free/open Torch library to correctly guess the content of pixellated or blurred redactions with high accuracy: for masked faces that humans correctly guess 0.19% of the time, the system can make a correct guess 83% of the time, when given five tries. Redaction errors have plagued data-releases since the …

UC Davis Chancellor spent $400K+ to scrub her online reputation after pepper-spray incident

Back in April, we learned that UC David Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi had hired a sleazy “reputation-management” company to scrub her reputation and that of the university after the 2011 incident in which university police lieutenant John Pike hosed down peaceful protesters with pepper spray, jetting chemical irritant directly into their open mouths and eyes. The bill for that “scrubbing” was over $175,000. …

UK/EU security researchers: tax-free stipend to study privacy and authentication

UC London’s offering a tax-free stipend for UK/EU students to work on designing and evaluating new approaches for continuous authentication, based on a solid theoretical underpinning so as to give a high degree of confidence that the resulting decisions match expectations and requirements” as well as “ways to preserve user privacy by processing behavioural measurements on the user’s computer such that sensitive information is …