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Developing Data-Based Information Policy Strategies
After broadband access, what next? What role do metrics play in understanding “information societies”? And, more importantly, in shaping their policies? Beyond counting people with broadband access, how can economic and social metrics inform broadband policies, help evaluate their outcomes, and create useful models for achieving national goals? Broadly described, this book addresses those questions. Information metrics are important, and often political. For example, what does it mean that one economy is ranked higher than another on a list of some e-measure? Any deeper understanding of a complex, multi-dimensional set of variables based on extensive data is lost in an international game of “we’re better than you are” or asking “how can we catch up?” While there is broad international consensus that policy decisions are improved if they are informed by empirical data, there is no accepted standard as to which data matters. Many possible information indicators have been measured. But standing alone, what do they tell us? Which ones are important? Does their selection predetermine certain outcomes? Can they be transformed into truly useful policy tools? How do we know which data to collect, unless there are identified goals? This book is divided into two parts – the first deals with theoretical aspects of measuring information and the issues that should be taken into consideration when designing broadband-focused information policy; while the second demonstrates how data has been both used and abused for argumentation purposes with regards to choices among different policy paths.
Andrew Feenberg's Critical Theory of Technology
Largely because of the Internet and the new economy, technology has become the buzzword of our culture. But what is it, and how does it affect our lives? More importantly, can we control and shape it, or does it control us? In short, can we make technology more democratic? Using the work of Andrew Feenberg, one of the most important and original figures in the field of philosophy of technology, as a foundation, the contributors to this volume explore these important questions and Feenberg responds. In the 1990s, Feenberg authored three books that established him as one of the leading scholars in a rapidly developing field, and he is one of the few to delineate a theory for democratizing technological design. He has demonstrated the shortcomings of traditional theories of technology and argued for what he calls “democratic rationalization” where actors intervene in the technological design process to shape it toward their own ends. In this book, the contributors analyze foundational issues in Feenberg’s work, including questions of human nature, biotechnology, gender, and his readings of Heidegger, and they also examine practical issues, including democratizing technology, moral evaluation, and environmentalism.
Vol. 1 (2007) through current issue
Sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal (EASTS) aims to bring together East Asian and Western scholars from the fields of science, technology, and society (STS). Examining issues such as human embryonic stem-cell research, family and reproductive technologies, and the globalization of Chinese medicine, the journal publishes research on how society and culture in East Asia interact with science, technology, and medicine. EASTS serves as a gathering place to facilitate the growing efforts of STS networks from Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, North America, and Europe to foster an internationally open and inclusive community.
In the University and Beyond
An increasing number of researchers and educators in the field of engineering wish to integrate considerations of social justice into their work and practice. In this volume, an international team of authors, from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, invite scholars to think and teach in new ways that acknowledge the social, as well as technical, impact engineering can have on our world and that open possibilities for social justice movements to help shape engineering/technology. The book examines three areas of an engineering academic’s professional role: teaching, research, and community engagement. Some of the authors have created classes to help students think through their roles as engineering practitioners in a changing society, and present case studies here. They also explore questions of access to engineering education. Others contributors are focusing their research on improving the lives of the marginalized and powerless. Yet others are engaging local groups and exploring ways in which universities might serve their communities and in which academic institutions can themselves be more socially just. The contributors take a broad social and ecological justice perspective to critique existing practices and explore alternatives. The result is a handbook for all scholars of engineering who think beyond the technical elements of their field, and an essential reader for anyone who believes in the transformative power of the discipline.
Foreign Reporting and the Challenge of New Technology
Ever since the invention of the telegraph, journalists have sought to remove the barriers of time and space. Today, we readily accept that reporters can jet quickly to a distant location and broadcast instantly from a satellite-connected, video-enabled cell phone hanging from their belts. But now that live news coverage is possible from virtually anywhere, is foreign correspondence better? And what are the implications of recent changes in journalistic technology for policy makers and their constituents? In From Pigeons to News Portals, edited by David D. Perlmutter and John Maxwell Hamilton, scholars and journalists survey, probe, and demystify the new foreign correspondence that has emerged from rapidly changing media technology. These distinguished authors challenge long-held beliefs about foreign news coverage, not the least of which is whether, in our interconnected world, such a thing as "foreign news" even exists anymore. Essays explore the ways people have used new media technology--from satellites and cell phones to the Internet--to affect content, delivery modes, and amount and style of coverage. They examine the ways in which speedy reporting conflicts with in-depth reporting, the pros and cons of "parachute" journalism, the declining dominance of mainstream media as a source of foreign news, and the implications of this new foreign correspondence for foreign policy. Entertainment media such as film, television, and video gaming form worldwide opinions about America, often in negative ways. Meanwhile, live reporting abroad is both a blessing and curse for foreign policy makers. Because foreign news is so vital to effective policy making and citizenship, we imperil our future by failing to understand the changes technology brings and how we can wrest the best practice out of those changes. This provocative volume offers valuable insights and analyses to help us better understand the evolving state of foreign news.
Recursive Partnerships and Infrastructures
The Future of Consumer Payment
Once we paid for things with bills, coins, or checks. Today we pay with zeroes and ones digital entries on credit and debit cards, or electronic messages sent over the Internet. In Moving Money, distinguished analysts explore this trend, its development and likely future, and the ramifications of this transformation.
This is a book about money as a medium of exchange in the past, in the present, but particularly in the future. What forms has money taken over the years? Moreover, how have those means of payment changed in recent years, and how will they develop in the future? And what (if anything) should policymakers do to facilitate those changes, or at least allow them to develop and mature? Brookings economists Robert E. Litan and Martin Neil Baily and a distinguished group of experts dissect these issues and peer into the future of consumer payments.
The landscape of the consumer payments industry will be shaped at least in part by public policies. Historically, governments have had monopolies on the manufacture of money. Any form of payment clearly requires trust on the part of both the seller and the buyer, and the government must establish and enforce laws to secure this relationship. More controversial is the issue of whether, and to what extent, government is also needed to protect the market in private sector payments systems.
Why do these issues matter? The payments industry is a large and important sector of developed economies. In the United States, private-sector payments providers generate approximately $280 billion a year in revenue, while the government invests substantial resources into making money (minting coins and printing bills) or moving it (via checks and various electronic transfers). And the way we pay for things influences our purchases what we spend money on, how much we spend, and where we spend it. Thus the future of consumer payments is intertwined with the health of national economies.
Contributors: Martin Neil Baily (Brookings), Thomas P. Brown (O'Melveny & Myers), Kenneth Chenault (American Express Company), Vijay D'Silva (McKinsey and Company), Nicholas Economides (New York University), David S. Evans (Market Platform Dynamics), Robert E. Litan (Brookings and Kaufmann Foundation), Drazen Prelec (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Richard Schmalensee (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Internet Prophets, Private Profits, and the Costs to Community
How has the Internet been changing our lives, and how did these changes come about? Nathan Newman seeks the answers to these questions by studying the emergence of the Internet economy in Silicon Valley and the transformation of power relations it has brought about in our new information age. Net Loss is his effort to understand why technological innovation and growth have been accompanied by increasing economic inequality and a sense of political powerlessness among large sectors of the population. Newman first tells the story of the federal government’s crucial role in the early development of the Internet, with the promotion of open computer standards and collaborative business practices that became the driving force of the Silicon Valley model. He then examines the complex dynamic of the process whereby regional economies have been changing as business alliances built around industries like the Internet replace the broader public investments that fueled regional growth in the past. A radical restructuring of once regionally focused industries like banking, electric utilities, and telephone companies is under way, with changes in federal regulation helping to undermine regional planning and the power of local community actors. The rise of global Internet commerce itself contributes to weakening the tax base of local governments, even as these governments increasingly use networked technology to market themselves and their citizens to global business, usually at the expense of all but their most elite residents. More optimistically, Newman sees an emerging countertrend of global use of the Internet by grassroots organizations, such as those in the antiglobalization movements, that may help to transcend this local powerlessness.