home cooked theory

productivity outside the enterprise

Civic hacking postscript

Audio from the Civic Hacking panel at the Digital Labor conference last weekend is now here. Thanks to everyone who attended and followed the discussion online. We ran this as a series of position statements on key terms that interest us in the study of civic hacking. This is the result of ongoing research across […]

ISTC-Social @ The Atlantic

As part of the ISTC-Social All Hands celebrations in May, Ian Bogost was kind enough to put together a sample of the center’s work to feature in the Technology section of The Atlantic. The fab articles below are just a taste of some of the topics and perspectives coming out of our research on campus […]

Social computing – year two

Last month we held the second annual meeting for the ISTC for Social Computing at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The 3 day event brought ~80 faculty and students together with Intel researchers and leaders to discuss plans and findings to date. We were also joined by the Board of Advisors, including Bill Gaver (Goldsmiths), Judy […]

Obfuscation: Exploiting data entropy

Thanks to Seda Gürses for her efforts in organizing such a wonderful day. I am still wearing my camo souvenir! Saturday’s ISTC for Social Computing Obfuscation Symposium at NYU brought together experts in law, policy, arts, activism, engineering, computer science, design and anthropology to discuss case studies and demos exploring obfuscation – strategies whereby ‘individuals, […]

The hackathon’s civic work

This week The New Inquiry published The Trouble with White Hats, a piece I wrote with Carl DiSalvo. It is an edited version of the keynote I gave at the Apps and Affect conference last month. The article gives a brief overview of some larger conversations we’ve been having in and around Intel and the […]


This week I’m heading to Georgia Tech to host a ‘metahack’ – an event where we learn about hackathons by adopting many of their features and practices. Over the past year a number of ISTC-Social researchers have been studying hackathons as unique socio-technical encounters. Fieldwork across different US cities and internationally is showing that these […]

Making a return

When I think of the maker movement, I can’t help but think of three things that the current wave of interest doesn’t refer to: • Making do (an antipodean sensibility; if you don’t have access to something in the first place, you improvise around that absence. That’s why women were so good at sewing where […]

Speculations on Airbnb

These notes arise from discussions at the recent ‘Privacy and Accountability’ workshop at Intel and from excellent conversations with Maria Bezaitis. 1. Who do we live with now? Airbnb allows a new scale of possibility for long-term and short-term intimacy. People share their house with strangers, every day of the week. The desire for proximity […]

Anti-social computing – some keywords on subjectivity

In the next few posts I will be sharing some notes from the zillions of workshops and brainstorming meetings I’ve been in lately. Most of them won’t make sense, but in the interests of transmitting entanglement, I want to record how much amazing thinking is happening around me, if not necessarily by me! fudge torque […]

On the fallacy of the zoom

Notes from Bruno Latour’s closing keynote at Paris CHI. I Latour’s opening provocation set the agenda: ‘There are no collective phenomena’. Rather, collectives contain the work of collecting (as we will see, contain can have several senses here: to hold, to include, to limit). There are many collecting devices which generate collected data. There is […]

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