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Beyond the Big Ditch

Politics, Ecology, and Infrastructure at the Panama Canal

Ashley Carse

In this innovative book, Ashley Carse traces the water that flows into and out from the Panama Canal to explain how global shipping is entangled with Panama's cultural and physical landscapes. By following container ships as they travel downstream along maritime routes and tracing rivers upstream across the populated watershed that feeds the canal, he explores the politics of environmental management around a waterway that links faraway ports and markets to nearby farms, forests, cities, and rural communities. Carse draws on a wide range of ethnographic and archival material to show the social and ecological implications of transportation across Panama. The Canal moves ships over an aquatic staircase of locks that demand an enormous amount of fresh water from the surrounding region. Each passing ship drains 52 million gallons out to sea -- a volume comparable to the daily water use of half a million Panamanians. Infrastructures like the Panama Canal, Carse argues, do not simply conquer nature; they rework ecologies in ways that serve specific political and economic priorities. Interweaving histories that range from the depopulation of the U.S. Canal Zone a century ago to road construction conflicts and water hyacinth invasions in canal waters, the book illuminates the human and nonhuman actors that have come together at the margins of the famous trade route. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal. Beyond the Big Ditch calls us to consider how infrastructures are materially embedded in place, producing environments with winners and losers.

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Beyond the Tragedy in Global Fisheries

D. G. Webster

An analysis of how responsive governance has shaped the evolution of global fisheries in cyclical patterns of depletion and rebuilding dubbed the “management treadmill.”

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Beyond Versus

The Struggle to Understand the Interaction of Nature and Nurture

James Tabery

If everyone now agrees that human traits arise not from nature or nurture but from the interaction of nature and nurture, why does the "nature versus nurture" debate persist? In <I>Beyond Versus</I>, James Tabery argues that the persistence stems from a century-long struggle to understand the interaction of nature and nurture -- a struggle to define what the interaction of nature and nurture is, how it should be investigated, and what counts as evidence for it. Tabery examines past episodes in the nature versus nurture debates, offers a contemporary philosophical perspective on them, and considers the future of research on the interaction of nature and nurture. From the eugenics controversy of the 1930s and the race and IQ controversy of the 1970s to the twenty-first-century debate over the causes of depression, Tabery argues, the polarization in these discussions can be attributed to what he calls an "explanatory divide" -- a disagreement over how explanation works in science, which in turn has created two very different concepts of interaction. Drawing on recent developments in the philosophy of science, Tabery offers a way to bridge this explanatory divide and these different concepts integratively. Looking to the future, Tabery evaluates the ethical issues that surround genetic testing for genes implicated in interactions of nature and nurture, pointing to what the future does (and does not) hold for a science that continues to make headlines and raise controversy.

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Big Data Is Not a Monolith

edited by Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Hamid R. Ekbia, and Michael Mattioli

Big data is ubiquitous but heterogeneous. Big data can be used to tally clicks and traffic on web pages, find patterns in stock trades, track consumer preferences, identify linguistic correlations in large corpuses of texts. This book examines big data not as an undifferentiated whole but contextually, investigating the varied challenges posed by big data for health, science, law, commerce, and politics. Taken together, the chapters reveal a complex set of problems, practices, and policies. The advent of big data methodologies has challenged the theory-driven approach to scientific knowledge in favor of a data-driven one. Social media platforms and self-tracking tools change the way we see ourselves and others. The collection of data by corporations and government threatens privacy while promoting transparency. Meanwhile, politicians, policy makers, and ethicists are ill-prepared to deal with big data’s ramifications. The contributors look at big data’s effect on individuals as it exerts social control through monitoring, mining, and manipulation; big data and society, examining both its empowering and its constraining effects; big data and science, considering issues of data governance, provenance, reuse, and trust; and big data and organizations, discussing data responsibility, “data harm,” and decision making. Contributors Ryan Abbott, Cristina Alaimo, Kent R. Anderson, Mark Andrejevic, Diane E. Bailey, Mike Bailey, Mark Burdon, Fred H. Cate, Jorge L. Contreras, Simon DeDeo, Hamid R. Ekbia, Allison Goodwell, Jannis Kallinikos, Inna Kouper, M. Lynne Markus, Michael Mattioli, Paul Ohm, Scott Peppet, Beth Plale, Jason Portenoy, Julie Rennecker, Katie Shilton, Dan Sholler, Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Isuru Suriarachchi, Jevin D. West

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Big Hunger

The Unholy Alliance between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups

Andrew Fisher

Food banks and food pantries have proliferated in response to an economic emergency. The loss of manufacturing jobs combined with the recession of the early 1980s and Reagan administration cutbacks in federal programs led to an explosion in the growth of food charity. This was meant to be a stopgap measure, but the jobs never came back, and the "emergency food system" became an industry. In Big Hunger, Andrew Fisher takes a critical look at the business of hunger and offers a new vision for the anti-hunger movement. From one perspective, anti-hunger leaders have been extraordinarily effective. Food charity is embedded in American civil society, and federal food programs have remained intact while other anti-poverty programs have been eliminated or slashed. But anti-hunger advocates are missing an essential element of the problem: economic inequality driven by low wages. Reliant on corporate donations of food and money, anti-hunger organizations have failed to hold business accountable for offshoring jobs, cutting benefits, exploiting workers and rural communities, and resisting wage increases. They have become part of a "hunger industrial complex" that seems as self-perpetuating as the more famous military-industrial complex. Fisher lays out a vision that encompasses a broader definition of hunger characterized by a focus on public health, economic justice, and economic democracy. He points to the work of numerous grassroots organizations that are leading the way in these fields as models for the rest of the anti-hunger sector. It is only through approaches like these that we can hope to end hunger, not just manage it.

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Bilingual Competence and Bilingual Proficiency in Child Development

Norbert Francis

A study of first and second language development in an indigenous community with implications for broader linguistic and cognitive issues.

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Biomedical Signal Analysis

Contemporary Methods and Applications

Fabian J. Theis and Anke Meyer-Bäse

A comprehensive introduction to innovative methods in the field of biomedical signal analysis, covering both theory and practice.

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Blowout in the Gulf

The BP Oil Spill Disaster and the Future of Energy in America

William R. Freudenburg and Robert Gramling

The story of how a chain of failures, missteps, and bad decisions led to America’s biggest environmental disaster.

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The Bodhisattva's Brain

Buddhism Naturalized

Owen Flanagan

Can there be a Buddhism without karma, nirvana, and reincarnation that is compatible with the rest of knowledge?

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The Boundaries of Babel

The Brain and the Enigma of Impossible Languages

Andrea Moro foreword by Noam Chomsky

The new edition of a pioneering book that examines research at the intersection of contemporary theoretical linguistics and the cognitive neurosciences.

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