Author Information: Nathan R. Johnson, Purdue University, email@example.com and Damien Smith Pfister, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, firstname.lastname@example.org
Johnson, Nathan R. and Damien Smith Pfister. 2013. “‘Ecologizing’ Berry’s Computational Ecology.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (4) 7-9.
The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-IA
Please refer to: Berry, David M. 2012. “The Social Epistemologies of Software.” Social Epistemology 26 (3-4): 379-398
David M. Berry’s “The Social Epistemologies of Software” can be profitably read in a number of ways: as a rich explanation of how the hyper-reflexivity of networked software underlines the intense sociality of computational knowledge formation; as a careful account of social software at the cusp of pervasive computing and the internet of things; as an effort to publicize the ironically similar phenomena of “web bugs” and “lifestreaming;” as a first step in theorizing what he calls “compactants,” the “computational actants” that monitor behavior, geolocation, affects, and more; and as a warning about the under-appreciated normative dimensions of screenic representations and the computational care of the self.
It is hard to argue with the premise that software’s influence is increasingly ubiquitous. Similarly, the notion that scholars and citizens ought to turn their critical faculties toward code is similarly unimpeachable. If, indeed, “code and software [have] become the conditions of possibility for human living, crucially becoming computational ecologies,” then we must take them seriously (Berry 2012, 379). Berry’s hope is that more critical attention to code and software will expose how contemporary social epistemologies of software are constituted and thus enable “intervention, contestation, and the unbuilding of code/software” (Berry 2012, 393). Though the “techniques needed [to understand code/software] are still in their infancy,” they will necessarily require a multidisciplinary effort (Berry 2012, 392). Continue Reading…