Pokemon, Privilege, and Other People’s Problems

Visible Futures

if you’re on social media (of course you’re on social media) you have no doubt seen the convergence of the two streams of news the past 72 hours. One, of course, is the week’s long plunge back into the national debate on police violence, Black Lives Matter, and America’s love/hate relationship with violence. The other is Pokemon Go, the mobile game being heralded as a game changer and as the best game ever (one hopes by people who have limited experience with games).

The coming together of these two is not of the peanut butter and chocolate variety, but rather more like toothpaste and pickle juice in that I’ve noticed it leaves a bad taste in a lot of peoples’ mouths. Specifically there are numerous posts floating around to the effect of  (paraphrasing here since I don’t want to call anyone in particular out) « Pokemon Go is awesome and it’s…

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What is Web Science?

Ramblings of a Web Scientist

The World Wide Web has changed the course of human history forever, the Web has empowered individuals, invigorated collaboration and unleashed social creativity. To understand what Web Science is, we need a retrospective glance at how Web Science came to be a recognised interdisciplinary field, covering one of the most important ongoing inventions of the last 25 years.

Back in 2006, a call to arms for a new discipline was offered in the form of an online 130-page monograph by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and collaborators. In this, Web Science is introduced and described as the science of decentralised information systems which needs to be studied, understood, and also need to be engineered. Berners-Lee called for a new approach of analysing the Web through the collaboration of researchers from fields such as mathematics, physics, biology and economics with engineers and computer scientists; with the hope of enriching our understanding of…

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