Chapter One
NAME READING (author, page#) AGENDA ITEM (questions, comments, ideas, screeds, manifestos, etc.)


p. 10 & p. 14

"Likewise, the belief that the spread of multinational corporations and global media coverage imply cultural homogenization has little basis in ethnographic evidence."


I disagree.  The extension of an economic model automatically imposes certain commercial activities onto local cultures.  The transposition of one culture (and population) into another region will assume certain integrations, even if only economically-related.  I would argue that the explanation on p.14 (easier forms of transportation and communication) can only be said to resist homogenization, not necessarily promote diversity. 








p.242, p.244

"In a sense the productive function of society would be transformed so that it would filled by organizations that more closely resemble progressive small businesses and non-profit organizations."


I think this leans towards decentralization and a form of socialism?  Page 244 states that it would be more realistic than socialism but how?  Certainly the non-profit model can be said to closely approximate a social-like condition?  As a theory I think it is fantastic but not sure how to argue for the complete removal of the competitive aspects of the current system.  Would this require the removal of capitalism as we know it - i.e. financial motivation? 


I honestly hope that what comes out of the current economic 'crisis' is a step to this direction of a civil-society society.  I think the recent governmental regulations on executive bonuses is a step in that direction.  It may force the alienation of american companies by the 'elite' groups of investment bankers, but perhaps this will initiate a shift to different motivations for being at these companies?

Chapter 1

Is David's central quasi-evolutionary metaphor of pathways selected by social structure simply the mangle (resistance and accommodation) writ large or is there more going on?


Do the patterns for the incorporation and transformation of social movements by state or industry show similarities with the process of “exceptions” in scientific community? If so, to which theoretical model of science studies are they more similar?

-From TAing Woodhouse’s Intro to STS class twice, I have heard a lot about the “unintended consequences” of particular technologies…I do not know that I have heard of STS people (other than maybe Ron) talk about the unintended consequences of ideas. When we talk about being “reflexive”, it usually has something to do with power and social positioning, however, perhaps we ought to incorporate the notion of how our ideas could ultimately be used that are not the ways we in fact intended (just like we ask technologists).

-Is David coming in? If so, what are the ways he could imagine the concept of “Alternative Pathways” being used in unintended (negative) ways? He argues that it could be used to produce a more just and sustainable society…there are certainly other ways things could potentially go, however…

-Co-optation is a big theme in the book…in what ways can knowledge, in addition to social movements, be co-opted?

General Questions
* Is there a difference between co-opting knowledge and appropriating knowledge?
* What exactly is material culture?
p. 125
If innovations like wind farms are co-opted by industry and turned into a large business that is not community-driven, are alternative pathways merely new ways of introducing a new paradigm into science and industry that will become part of the mainstream?
to Kevin
I thought that a paradigm insinuated a sudden, dramatic shift - however it seems that there is a considerable amount time leading up to the development and implementation of an "alternative pathways" it doesn't seem like, to me at least, that you could call it a tool for a paradigm shift specifically. This is more a criticism of the use of the term paradigm shift (even though that's what David uses) than of the idea that the alternative pathway is a slowly introducing a shift in thinking/perspective/values.
To Jess
According to Kuhn, paradigm shifts need not be sudden in the sense of occurring within a few years, but can be somewhat more drawn out, as was the case with the Copernican revolution.  I see alternative pathways as creating change slowly over the course of many years until some event occurs that forces the change to go faster.  For example, the sudden rush for alternative energy sources as a result of skyrocketing gas prices.

pg. 23, 70
"...if [the research departments] put together in one place would probably make an interesting and powerful university with new synergies..." This brings up a reflection on the research agenda of CASE, where interdisciplinary research depends on the collaboration with external expertise. This is difficult to achieve for the reasons Hess points out, and lot of time and energy is spent searching for and convincing other experts to join forces in a particular research agenda, especially if it is not-for-profit. 
pg. 67 I wonder how this affects intellectual property: How is I.P. evolving (or threatened?) when interdisciplinary research is the goal and where information is becoming more accessible to the lay person / activist?
pg. 71
"new technology must meet the same goals but with greater speed and/or enhanced capacity..."  What scale of goals/criteria? Who establishes these goals and how do goals/criteria change over time?  The goals of the technology / Researcher need to have a clear set of criteria: The new technology cannot please everyone, but the audience should be clearly stated. The criteria of the new technology needs to be established before we are able to evaluate it against existing technologies.

Kelly Kevin/Keith

Pg. 87  Hess is suggesting that industry is driven by social change from the bottom up through groups like IOMs and other groups with social change agendas, and from the top down by the affect of those groups on elites and government, not that community run organizations should be driving industry on the massive scale of global industry.  The issue is the change in industry culture driven by social groups.   


Pg. 11  Similar to Keith I find Hess’s vague definition of globalization problematic, he seems to confuse “globalization” and “globalized.”  

CH 3
eco-innovation.  Is it an example of sustainability/environmental greening being co-opted by industry, or is it an example of a successful alternative pathway?
just a comment
a comment on undone science in other countries
I think besides money and power, religion and tradition have also main roles on doing scientific researches.

 in religious countries , besides people with money and power, people with religious ideas have the main role in shaping the process of "doing" some areas of science,not only religious leaders, but also religious activists, and religious interest groups have the main role in "doing"science, as many areas of feminist studies and science have been banned just because of the interests of these religious forces,
another case is the imprisonment of some Iranian feminist environmentalist web loggers.

 or Mr.Mehrnahad , he was a 28 year old weblogger who was imprisoned and sentensed to death! as he was trying to make a social group by Balouch youth population to do some social movements.

Should we post some comments/questions down here about Masons Tricksters and Cartographers?

So is this just a combination of SSK and Actor Network Theory? In that “knowledge” springs from the local conditions and is then legitimated based on “assembling” a powerful network?


How is the “third space” he advocates on the last page of the book any different from Galison’s trading zones? A place where different “rationalities” can speak…that sounds like a trading zone to me


I can understand why he calls this book a “motley” because for the most part…it is completely unclear and equivocal to me....and when I say "unclear" I don't mean the words I mean the meaning behind the words. I mean the main thing I get from the book is that all knowledge springs from local conditions and flows that all I'm supposed to be getting? Am I missing something?

Also, what the hell is transmodern, I didn't get a clear definition..."Trans" of course literally means "between" so is that what it means: "between" modern and post-modern?

I just read the wikipedia entry on "transmodernism" says it is a critique of relativism...ummm, doesn't he advocate for us as STSers to embrace our relativism...more of Turnbull's equivocation I suppose.
General / To Ross
This book was historically interesting and an important step in the genesis of modern science and architecture.  The motley seemed to be a framework that was applicable to analyzing how societies in specific circumstances accumulate and store knowledge culturally, which is certainly usable in some of our research, but seems more limited than other theories (SSK, mangle, ANT, etc).  Perhaps this is a good thing - the universal applicability of theories like the mangle make them less useful because they explain everything and nothing at the same time.
Chapter 1?
What is the difference between "knowledge space" and a Bourdieuian field?

Just finished reading "The Dream of a Global Knowledge
Network—A New Approach" in which the authors posit a method of cross-repository interoperability based on the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM).

From the CIDOC site: "The CIDOC CRM is intended to promote a shared understanding of cultural heritage information by providing a common and extensible semantic framework that any cultural heritage information can be mapped to. It is intended to be a common language for domain experts and implementers to formulate requirements for information systems and to serve as a guide for good practice of conceptual modelling. In this way, it can provide the "semantic glue" needed to mediate between different sources of cultural heritage information, such as that published by museums, libraries and archives."

They suggest "a generic global ontological model based on relations and co-reference rather than objects" effectively translating between knowledge worlds (in this case cultural heritage information).


Isn't Turnbull, by casting science as local, more or less redefining the polyhedron?



Did anyone see the article on Freeman Dyson in the Times this weekend regarding climate change?  Thought it a good parallel to the discussion of HIV previously.



1) Old fashioned positivists

2) Biased science

3) Strong program, eg social construction


  Assemblage =

Bourdieu's Field

Foucault's episteme

Latour's network

Knor-Cetina Epistemic cultures

Kuhn's paradigms

Lakatos "research programme"

Pickering's mangle


  Easy dualisms to watch for:







(Ch. 2  General Comment)
Architects still rely on 2D, sometimes 3D, visualizations (plans, sections, maps, models) for the construction of buildings.  Despite the use of computing technology in the design process, we are still using the same method of representation that was used right after the cathedral era, more than 700 years ago.  Some critics of the contemporary architecture believe this is what is holding back the profession from advancing to a new level of building techniques, materials and processes.  Perhaps if the lines of communication ("Talk") between architect and builder were increased, and the process of erecting buildings was more design-build and on-site, then new visualization techniques could be explored and communicated in order to transform the construction site back to the experimental laboratory.





p. 76 Tacoma Narrows Bridge reference:  Design for the local and the global is extremely important.  We have lost this in architecture through modernism and I found it interesting to see how Turnbull described the parallel position of science and technology.  The International Style of architecture was the equivalent of universal truths in science.


Page 66- “This exposure to new sites and the work of others was a constant spur to innovation. Secondly, the construction site was an experimental laboratory in which the masons were able to see whether an innovation as successful. Talk, tradition, and template provided for a distributed, heterogeneous, design process strongly analogous to the scientific theory building….”


It seems as though compartmentalizing through having institutions of science is disadvantageous, though we’re aware that open “talk” and exchange is critical toward building knowledge. Where might institutions in the future be headed with this knowledge without having a collapse of infrastructure?