• The Invaders — Pat Shipman | Harvard University Press

    With their large brains, sturdy physique, sophisticated tools, and hunting skills, Neanderthals are the closest known relatives to humans. Approximately 200,000 years ago, as modern humans began to radiate out from their evolutionary birthplace in Africa, Neanderthals were already thriving in Europe—descendants of a much earlier migration of the African genus Homo. But when modern humans eventually made their way to Europe 45,000 years ago, Neanderthals suddenly vanished. Ever since the first Neanderthal bones were identified in 1856, scientists have been vexed by the question, why did modern humans survive while their evolutionary cousins went extinct?

    The Invaders musters compelling evidence to show that the major factor in the Neanderthals’ demise was direct competition with newly arriving humans. Drawing on insights from the field of invasion biology, which predicts that the species ecologically closest to the invasive predator will face the greatest competition, Pat Shipman traces the devastating impact of a growing human population: reduction of Neanderthals’ geographic range, isolation into small groups, and loss of genetic diversity.

    But modern humans were not the only invaders who competed with Neanderthals for big game. Shipman reveals fascinating confirmation of humans’ partnership with the first domesticated wolf-dogs soon after Neanderthals first began to disappear. This alliance between two predator species, she hypothesizes, made possible an unprecedented degree of success in hunting large Ice Age mammals—a distinct and ultimately decisive advantage for humans over Neanderthals at a time when climate change made both groups vulnerable.

    #livre cité par Scott dans Homo domesticus #chasse #chien #loup #domestication_du_loup (qui remonterait à 36 000 ans) #préhistoire #homo_sapiens

  • Graphesis — Johanna Drucker | Harvard University Press


    C’est notre amie Sandra Rengen qui nous signale sur Twitter cet opus que je ne connaissais pas

    In our current screen-saturated culture, we take in more information through visual means than at any point in history. The computers and smart phones that constantly flood us with images do more than simply convey information. They structure our relationship to information through graphical formats. Learning to interpret how visual forms not only present but produce knowledge, says Johanna Drucker, has become an essential contemporary skill.

    Graphesis provides a descriptive critical language for the analysis of graphical knowledge. In an interdisciplinary study fusing digital humanities with media studies and graphic design history, Drucker outlines the principles by which visual formats organize meaningful content. Among the most significant of these formats is the graphical user interface (GUI)—the dominant feature of the screens of nearly all consumer electronic devices. Because so much of our personal and professional lives is mediated through visual interfaces, it is important to start thinking critically about how they shape knowledge, our behavior, and even our identity.

    Information graphics bear tell-tale signs of the disciplines in which they originated: statistics, business, and the empirical sciences. Drucker makes the case for studying visuality from a humanistic perspective, exploring how graphic languages can serve fields where qualitative judgments take priority over quantitative statements of fact. Graphesis offers a new epistemology of the ways we process information, embracing the full potential of visual forms and formats of knowledge production.

    #cartographie #visualisation #cartoexperiment

    Projet cartographie expérimentale
    Tags généraux : #cartoexperiment #biblioxperiment
    Tags particulier : #visualisation #complexité_visuelle

  • #Book: The Black Box Society
    The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information
    –- Frank Pasquale


    Frank Pasquale exposes how powerful interests abuse secrecy for profit and explains ways to rein them in. Demanding transparency is only the first step. An intelligible society would assure that key decisions of its most important firms are fair, nondiscriminatory, and open to criticism. Silicon Valley and Wall Street need to accept as much accountability as they impose on others.


    – Seenthis:


    – Slate:


    As a lawyer, Pasquale looks at the problem from the outside in, considering the civil structure in which data-collection algorithms are embedded and how we could potentially regulate abusive and harmful uses of the data while still enabling beneficial “big data” studies.

    – Times Higher Education:


    This book’s subtitle could easily have been taken further: it is not just money and information that is at stake. The algorithmic control that law scholar Frank Pasquale eloquently and intelligently details and analyses goes beyond money and information and into almost every aspect of our lives. For this reason, although it might appear merely to be a book about technology and finance, The Black Box Society, ultimately, is a radical and political work that deserves wide attention.

    – New Republic:


    The Black Box Society is a tour of how computational intelligence has come to dominate three important parts of American life: reputation, search, and finance. Pasquale is invoking a couple different concepts with the title. Like a black box on an airplane, these algorithms take information from the noise around them; like a black box in computer science, they are hidden systems, only observable from the outside in terms of their inputs and outputs. But more like black holes, the algorithms are visible in their effects on their surroundings. Our economy—and the many vital life processes it manages—twists and turns based on the say-so of inscrutable mathematical processes.

    – A very good interview in which Frank Pasquale talks about how his book came to be (it took 10 years to write it):


    As Google grew in the early 2000s, the primary policy question seemed to be: “how do we get law out of the way of this company so it can keep organizing the internet?”

    #book #livre



  • N’aidez pas vos enfants à faire leur devoir - The Atlantic

    L’implication des parents dans les études de leur enfant n’a pas d’incidence sur leur réussite, au contraire, révèle une méta-étude américaine menée par les professeurs de sociologie Keith Robinson et Angel Harris et qu’ils ont publié dans un livre, « La boussole cassée » : http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674725102 . La plupart des formes mesurables de la participation des parents (aider les enfants à faire leur devoir, parler avec eux, faire du bénévolat à l’école...) ne semble pas apporter les résultats escomptés. Pire, à partir du collège, l’aide apporter aux enfants semble tirer les résultats scolaires des enfants vers le bas, et ce quel que soit la classe sociale, l’origine ethnique ou le niveau d’éducation des parents. Les ingérences des parents ont surtout pour résultat de rendre les (...)

    #éducation #jeunes

  • The Collaboration — Ben Urwand | Harvard University Press


    To continue doing business in Germany after Hitler’s ascent to power, Hollywood studios agreed not to make films that attacked the Nazis or condemned Germany’s persecution of Jews. Ben Urwand reveals this bargain for the first time—a “collaboration” (Zusammenarbeit) that drew in a cast of characters ranging from notorious German political leaders such as Goebbels to Hollywood icons such as Louis B. Mayer.

    At the center of Urwand’s story is Hitler himself, who was obsessed with movies and recognized their power to shape public opinion. In December 1930, his Party rioted against the Berlin screening of All Quiet on the Western Front, which led to a chain of unfortunate events and decisions. Fearful of losing access to the German market, all of the Hollywood studios started making concessions to the German government, and when Hitler came to power in January 1933, the studios—many of which were headed by Jews—began dealing with his representatives directly.

    Urwand shows that the arrangement remained in place through the 1930s, as Hollywood studios met regularly with the German consul in Los Angeles and changed or canceled movies according to his wishes. Paramount and Fox invested profits made from the German market in German newsreels, while MGM financed the production of German armaments. Painstakingly marshaling previously unexamined archival evidence, The Collaboration raises the curtain on a hidden episode in Hollywood—and American—history.

    • Le magazine Tablet publie une longue présentation des découvertes de Ben Urwand : New Evidence of Jewish Movie Moguls’ Collaboration with 1930s Nazis

      Urwand has titled his riveting book The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact With Hitler, and as you turn its pages you realize with dismay that collaboration is the only fitting word for the relationship between Hitler and Hollywood in the 1930s. Using new archival discoveries, Urwand alleges that some of the Hollywood studio heads, nearly all of whom were Jewish, cast their lot with Hitler almost from the moment he took power, and that they did so eagerly—not reluctantly. What they wanted was access to German audiences. What Hitler wanted was the ability to shape the content of Hollywood movies—and he got it. During the ’30s, Georg Gyssling, Hitler’s consul in Los Angeles, was invited to preview films before they were released. If Gyssling objected to any part of a movie—and he frequently did—the offending scenes were cut. As a result, the Nazis had total veto power over the content of Hollywood movies.

      What is shocking and new about Urwand’s account is its blow-by-blow description of Hollywood executives tailoring their product to meet the demands of the Nazi regime. While Hollywood’s relations with the Nazis is not a new subject, the inclination of previous historians like Thomas Doherty, author of Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939, who did not have access to the documents that Urwand has uncovered, has been to let the studio executives off the hook. Like most historians before Urwand, Doherty seconds Jack Warner’s self-portrait as an ardent foe of the Nazis, who stopped doing business in Germany because he was appalled by the Nazis’ treatment of Jews. But as Urwand alleges here, it wasn’t Warner who rejected the Nazis; they rejected him: Hitler dumped Warner Bros. because the studio failed to make the substantial cuts demanded by his consul Gyssling to a movie called Captured!, set in a German-run camp for foreign POWs during World War I. By July 1934, Warner Bros. had been kicked out of Berlin, and the rest of the studios were running scared. Urwand details Hollywood distribution companies faced with having to fire half of their Jewish staff members in Germany and negotiating with the Nazis so that they could hang on to other half. In 1936, all Jews associated with the American film industry in Germany were forced to leave the country. Yet even after this, the studios eagerly kept up their profitable dealings with Hitler’s regime.