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Recent startling successes in machine intelligence using a technique called ‘deep learning’ seem to blur the line between human and machine as never before. Are computers on the cusp of becoming so intelligent that they will render humans obsolete? Harry Collins argues we are getting ahead of ourselves, caught up in images of a fantastical future dreamt up in fictional portrayals. The greater present danger is that we lose sight of the very real limitations of artificial intelligence and readily enslave ourselves to stupid computers: the ‘Surrender’. By dissecting the intricacies of language use and meaning, Collins shows how far we have to go before we cannot distinguish between the social understanding of humans and computers. When the stakes are so high, we need to set the bar higher: to rethink ‘intelligence’ and recognize its inherent social basis. Only if machine learning succeeds on this count can we congratulate ourselves on having produced artificial intelligence.
The election of an unabashedly patriarchal man as US President was a shock for many—despite decades of activism on gender inequalities and equal rights, how could it come to this? What is it about patriarchy that seems to make it so resilient and resistant to change? Undoubtedly it endures in part because some people benefit from the unequal advantages it confers. But is that enough to explain its stubborn persistence? In this highly original and persuasively argued book, Carol Gilligan and Naomi Snider put forward a different view: they argue that patriarchy persists because it serves a psychological function. By requiring us to sacrifice love for the sake of hierarchy, patriarchy protects us from the vulnerability of loving and becomes a defense against loss. Uncovering the powerful psychological mechanisms that underpin patriarchy, the authors show how forces beyond our awareness may be driving a politics that otherwise seems inexplicable.
This book provides a critical overview of the myriad literatures on “work,” viewed not only as a product of the marketplace but also as a social and political construct. Drawing on theoretical and empirical contributions from sociology, history, economics, and organizational studies, the book brings together perspectives that too often remain balkanized, using each to explore the nature of work today. Outlining the fundamental principles that unite social science thinking about work, Vallas offers an original discussion of the major theoretical perspectives that inform workplace analysis, including Marxist, interactionist, feminist, and institutionalist schools of thought. Chapters are devoted to the labor process, to workplace flexibility, to gender and racial inequalities at work, and to the link between globalization and the structure of work and authority today. Major topics include the relation between work and identity; the relation between workplace culture and managerial control; and the performance of emotional labor within service occupations. This concise book will be invaluable to students at all levels as it explores a range of insights to make sense of pressing issues that drive the social scientific study of work today.
Self-help gurus, life coaches and business consultants love to tell us that we must strive for constant self-improvement to realize our full potential and become truly happy. But it doesn’t seem to work – for many of us, life still seems hollow and meaningless. So focused are we on personal development and material possessions that we’ve overlooked the things that make life truly fulfilling and worthwhile. So how do we figure out what’s really worth striving for? In this compelling follow-up to his bestselling book Stand Firm, Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann shows us that the important things in life are those with intrinsic value, like goodness, freedom, truth and love. We should stop asking ‘what’s in it for me?’, and turn our attention outwards to our friends, families and communities. By putting others first and embracing these unconditional principles, or standpoints, he argues, we can find a more meaningful and sustainable way of living.
Chocolate has long been a favorite indulgence. But behind every chocolate bar we unwrap, there is a world of power struggles and political maneuvering over its most important ingredient: cocoa. In this incisive book, Kristy Leissle reveals how cocoa, which brings pleasure and wealth to relatively few, depends upon an extensive global trade system that exploits the labor of five million growers, as well as countless other workers and vulnerable groups. The reality of this dramatic inequity, she explains, is often masked by the social, cultural, emotional, and economic values humans have placed upon cocoa from its earliest cultivation in Mesoamerica to the present day. Tracing the cocoa value chain from farms in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, through to chocolate factories in Europe and North America, Leissle shows how cocoa has been used as a political tool to wield power over others. Cocoa’s politicization is not, however, limitless: it happens within botanical parameters set by the crop itself, and the material reality of its transport, storage, and manufacture into chocolate. As calls for justice in the industry have grown louder, Leissle reveals the possibilities for and constraints upon realizing a truly sustainable and fulfilling livelihood for cocoa growers, and for keeping the world full of chocolate.
Twitter is a household name, discussed for its role in prominent national elections, natural disasters, and political movements, as well as for what some malign as narcissistic ‘chatter’. The first edition of Dhiraj Murthy’s balanced and incisive book pioneered the study of this medium as a serious platform worthy of scholarly attention. Much has changed since Twitter’s infancy, although it is more relevant than ever to our social, political, and economic lives. In this timely second edition, Murthy provides a unique perspective on how Twitter has evolved in recent years, and how it is used today. The book introduces readers to some of the historical context that gave birth to the social media platform, while providing fully up-to-date examples of the role of Twitter in elections, social movements, celebrity culture, and journalism and media industries. Discussions include the #blacklivesmatter movement, as well as Donald Trump’s use of Twitter in the 2016 US presidential election. The chapters on journalism and social movements have been thoroughly updated, and completely new to this edition is a chapter on celebrities, brands, and live watching. Seeking to answer challenging questions around the popular medium, the second edition of Twitter is essential reading for students and scholars of digital media.
This is the first book to offer a systematic account of feminist philosophy as a distinctive field of philosophy. The book introduces key issues and debates in feminist philosophy including: the nature of sex, gender, and the body; the relation between gender, sexuality, and sexual difference; whether there is anything that all women have in common; and the nature of birth and its centrality to human existence. An Introduction to Feminist Philosophy shows how feminist thinking on these and related topics has developed since the 1960s. The book also explains how feminist philosophy relates to the many forms of feminist politics. The book provides clear, succinct and readable accounts of key feminist thinkers including de Beauvoir, Butler, Gilligan, Irigaray, and MacKinnon. The book also introduces other thinkers who have influenced feminist philosophy including Arendt, Foucault, Freud, and Lacan. Accessible in approach, this book is ideal for students and researchers interested in feminist philosophy, feminist theory, women’s studies, and political theory. It will also appeal to the general reader.