Welcome to a K3 seminar with Jakob Svensson, Professor of Media and Communication Studies, K3.
The title of the seminar is Making the world magic again! Critical data studies through the lens of mathemagics and an empirical journey into tech cultures.
This will be an online seminar, carried out through Zoom, and it will take place on Wednesday, May 5 at 10.15-12.00. Please join here: https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/66061409839?pwd=M3VWUWNTUVNOaTFEL0JCQmdiQXI3Zz09.
Below is an abstract for the seminar.
This presentation will depart from my forthcoming book Wizards of the Web: An outsider’s journey into tech culture, programming and mathemagics (Nordicom, 2021). The rationale for this book was grounded in an argument from critical data studies, that we need to understand the people behind digital technology, data, algorithms and automated systems.
Magic was a central theme in my empirical encounters. Trying to understand the role of and specificities of magic in tech culture i outline what may be labelled as modern mathemagics, doing magic with numbers in the quest of progress and a better future for all.
Mathematical magic was discussed already in the 16th century by theologian Giordano Bruno, who will be introduced in the presentation. Bruno’s warning of evil side of mathemagics can be applied to contemporary data societies and be used for a normative argument against rigidity of computers and for re-humanising automation. I will also apply 1961 children’s book the Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, and especially the character the Mathemagian, to forward this argument. What both Bruno and Juster also underline, is that it is possible to make the world magic again thus in a sense shows how tech is both modern and magical at the same time.