Stories on data archaeology, global medical infrastructures, mushrooms, and open-access futures weekly round out this week’s weekly round-up of cool stuff from around the web. Remember, if you stumble across or create any blog posts, open access publications, or objets d’internet art that you think might fit here, just shoot a link to email@example.com. Help break us out of our habitual media itineraries and parochial corners of the internet!
- Brian Larkin famously defined infrastructure as the “built networks that facilitate the flow of goods, people, or ideas and allow for their exchange over space.” However, an Allegra Laboratory and Medizinethnologie thematic thread on medical technologies and infrastructure shows that it is just as important to pay attention to the role of technology and infrastructure in preventing circulation and mobility.
- In a post that is at once eminently practical, pithy, and delightfully recherché, John Willinsky argues for a serious rethinking of the academic subscription in the era of open access.
- This editor, at least is growing somewhat weary of retreading the same, now old-hat, worries about data and surveillance. The New Inquiry, however, proves that there are still surprising things to say about surveillance algorithms and the people who build them in a subtle and productive conversation between Hito Steyerl and Kate Crawford. Keep an eye out for the second half next month.
- Data archaeology, computational linguistics, and good-old fashioned qualitative insight come together in The Verge’s discussion of ongoing attempts to crack the Indus Valley Civilization’s maybe-script.
- Will the era of Donald Trump kill experimental, post-human ethnography? This seems to be the thrust of Savage Mind’s musings on The Year of the Mushroom, and not just because he’ll be slashing science funding. For our part, we hope that our politically-minded discipline won’t throw the baby of experimentation out with the bathwater of untimeliness.
- Speaking of untimeliness, we are about two months late in sharing Rowan Jaines’ thoughtful post on operationalizing Harman’s Speculative Realism within anthropology. Though not specifically about science and technology, this should be provocative for anyone, like the readers of Platypus, who spends a great deal of time thinking about things.
Hang in there, folks.