Where does cultural innovation come from? Histories often simplify the complex, shared work of creation into tales of Great Men and their visionary genius — but ideas have precedents, and moments, and it takes two different kinds of person to have and to hype them. The popularity of “influencers” past and present obscures the collaborative social processes by which ideas are born and spread. What can new tools for the study of historical literature tell us about how languages evolve…and what might a formal understanding of innovation change about the ways we work together?
Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.
This week we talk conclude our two-part conversation with Emory University researcher Lauren Klein, co-author (with Catherine D'Ignazio) of the MIT Press volume Data Feminism. We talk tracing change in language use with topic modeling, the role of randomness in Data Feminism, and what this work ultimately does and does not say about the hidden seams of power in society…
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Related Reading & Listening:
Data Feminism by Catherine D'Ignazio & Lauren Klein
“Dimensions of Scale: Invisible Labor, Editorial Work, and the Future of Quantitative Literary Studies” by Lauren Klein
“Abolitionist Networks: Modeling Language Change in Nineteenth-Century Activist Newspapers” by Sandeep Soni, Lauren Klein, Jacob Eisenstein
Our Twitter thread on Lauren’s SFI Seminar (with video link)
“Disentangling ecological and taphonomic signals in ancient food webs” by Jack O Shaw, Emily Coco, Kate Wootton, Dries Daems, Andrew Gillreath-Brown, Anshuman Swain, Jennifer A Dunne
More resources in the show notes for Part 1: Surfacing Invisible Labor.