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Gordon Hull
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A week ago, two people were killed in a mass shooting at UNC Charlotte that was only one of several shootings in Charlotte that week. Yesterday, one student was killed and several injured in a mass shooting at a high school in the Denver suburbs. As of now (5/8), there... Continue reading
On April 30, a man shot and killed two students in a classroom at my university, UNC Charlotte. He injured four others. On May 1, the day after the mass shooting at UNC Charlotte, a man was shot and killed in an apartment complex near the university. On April 30,... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull In the New York Times last week, Woodrow Hartzog and Evan Selinger underscore the importance of obscurity to privacy. They begin with an easy example: most of us do not remember the faces or names of those who stood in line with us the last time we... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Surely one of the more striking features of the rise of data science is how readily it can be incorporated into processes of capitalist valuation, to the point that data may not just be a commodity - it may also be capital. At one level, this sounds... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull In a new paper in Big Data and Society, Jathan Sadowski argues for a shift in how we conceive data. Typically, it’s viewed as a commodity. Better, Sadowski argues, to view it as capital. Following Marx (who offers a basic formula for capital) and Bourdieu (who extends... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull As is well-known, Foucault pretty-much detested orthodox Marxism and the PCF. At the same time, his relation to Marx’s own thought, and that of Marx’s better commentators, is more complex. One way to approach this topic is via primitive accumulation (recall here). Another is by way of... Continue reading
If you're raising kids now, this won't surprise you. But it's still depressing. Basically, the more income inequality a country has, the more intensive parenting is - the more kids are taught that "hard work" is important, and the less that they are taught that "imagination" is. This holds true... Continue reading
Let’s say the state passes a law that says that restaurants may not put worms in hamburgers, and that customers can sue those that do. Your kids eat at the local Annelids franchise on the way home from school, and you later discover that the burgers contain worms. You sue... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull The Supreme Court just granted cert in an important trademark case, in re Brunetti. The case concerns whether Eric Brunetti can get federal trademark registration for his FUCT line of clothing. Although Brunetti can of course market the clothing in any case, and can claim common law... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull I pass along the following with minimal additional comment, as it fills in a historical detail that I’d not known. It’s from Peter Goodrich, a very prominent critical legal theorist at Cardozo Law School, on “the role that Derrida played at Cardozo, and less expectedly the part... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull The Washington Post has a disturbing story about how “lies become truth in online America.” It narrates the story of two individuals. One spends his time in Maine, dishing out deliberately fake news stories designed to troll those on the right by saying completely absurd things and... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull In what seems like a distant, more innocent time in surveillance (viz. 2003), Andy Clark was able to use as an example in his Natural Born Cyborgs an implanted tracking chip for pets. Does your cat tend to wander off? Now you can know where Whiskers is... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull In Sleights of Reason, Mary Beth Mader makes the point that there is an ontological distinction between the members of a normalized “population” and the individuals they represent. Mader is talking about statistics and bell curves; as she summarizes the part of her argument that’s relevant here,... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull I'm happy to announce (shamelessly!) that my article, "The Banality of Cynicism: Foucault and Limits of Authentic Parrhesia" is now out in Foucault Studies (open access). The abstract is: Foucault’s discussion of parrhēsia – frank speech – in his last two Collège de France lecture courses has... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull It’s not news that Facebook generates a lot of privacy concerns. But it’s nonetheless worth keeping up a little, just to indicate how seriously we need to be concerned about the connection between Facebook and data analytics. We’ve known for a while that automated analysis of Facebook... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull I mean the title of this post literally. A recent study that surveyed global neurological disease incidence concluded that neurological disorders now are the leading global cause of disability, and that their rates are rapidly rising. A substantial portion of this is due to increasing rates of... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Foucault’s use of Nietzsche to make the distinction between history and genealogy in “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” is well-known. What is less well-known, I think (perhaps I am projecting again, but I had forgotten this passage until I saw a note I’d made to it the other day),... Continue reading
Thanks for the link! I was hoping that this would prompt someone who had done more work on it than me to chime in...
By Gordon Hull I’m teaching a Foucault seminar this term, and one of the things I’m trying to do is get better on the doxography of his essays. That led me to a discovery about “What is an Author” that I’m going to share on the (hopefully not hubristic) assumption... Continue reading
Thanks, and I wholeheartedly recommend her book for those who don't know it (it's called Automating Inequality. It's an easy read, and a depressing one. Rebecca Tushnet does a great summary here: https://cyber.jotwell.com/the-difference-engine-perpetuating-poverty-through-algorithms/
Big data can - and very often is - used to discriminate. It was only a matter of time before health insurers started using it to predict who might be more likely to get sick, and to charge them more (yes, they've figured out how to circumvent the ACA). ProPublica... Continue reading
Yeah, I don't think Hayek is right about much, but he's hugely important and should be taken seriously, even if it's only as an application of the dictum to "read your enemies."
By Gordon Hull As Foucault emphasizes in Birth of Biopolitics, one of the signal moves in American neoliberalism is the extension of economic analysis into all aspects of life. As he puts it, the American neoliberals “try to use the market economy and the typical analyses of the market economy... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull The current issue of Foucault Studies contains the first English translation of a lecture Foucault gave in Japan in 1978. This “Analytic Philosophy of Politics” is essential reading if you have an interest in the transition between Foucault’s “power” and “ethics” work and/or his later understanding of... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Santa Claus knows when you’ve been sleeping, knows when you’re awake, and knows if you’ve been bad or good. Your phone knows all of that too, because it knows exactly where you are. It then sends all that information to your carrier, which keeps it in its... Continue reading