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Class Notes for Day 16, 03/21

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Notes for 3/21
Reviewing videos: Your Woman and the robot opera

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Wednesday: chorale director, using the body as an instrument

Decoding meaning in musical scores…


No new reading for Wednesday


Next week, more paneling

·      Tried to do it in one week, too intensive

·      could structure the panels differently

·      two panels for so many minutes each

·      need to come with questions to ask

·      skits within the panels for each question, needs to be more playful

·      brainstorming characters in class, groups, prepare for what kind of questions are going to be asked

Need to know by Friday who is going to be who:

·      Now to act as anthropologist studying a group, not speaking AS but speaking FOR

o   How to speak for a group who has been influenced by science and gender/information/technology

o   Describe the group, where, when, who, why, and how?

·      Brainstorming:

o   Post-op transsexuals

o   First group of hominids to use tools

o   Cyberpunks

o   Doctors without borders

o   Bryn Mawr students; biology majors, social sciences, humanities

o   Enlightenment figures/thinkers/philosophers

o   Erdman workers, dining hall workers

o   X-Men

o   Men and women who design cars

o   Scientists who worked at Menlo Park/ Los Alamos

o   Pop culture and clothing design

o   Nobel prize recipients: chemistry

o   Scientists studying climate change

o   Aid workers

o   Epidemiologists tracking swine and bird flu

o   “Bug chasers”

o   Nuclear plant workers in Japan

o   Soldiers/military personnel

o   Gynecologist/midwives

o   Facebook inventors/users

o   Video gamers

Also next week, April 1st, next project


Selecting our new texts/films:

·      World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the Internet

·      Source Code

·      “Bloodchild” by Octavia Butler


Posting every week

·      “Women in” and “women and”

o   the ways in which we position women to sciences

·      “truth” from feminist science studies; thinking about feminist science studies, still fledgling, what are the implications of this field? Science seems to be figuring out what is right, the truth, from facts—but what the authors are trying to challenge is that there is one way of finding things

·      absolute truths will never be established again, all gathered in one field of study, a dangerous assumption? Political aspects, they come into conflict… but they can all apply to science; can assess uses better than any one system; what would they eventually decide on? Self-criticism is important for progress

·      Feminist science studies seems to be just from the view of we need more women in science and now there is a whole field about it; for an academic field it seems very narrow

o   tri-college science studies group, maybe feminist science studies is not really large enough to constitute a discipline

·      Barad:

o    There is no objective reality, the past never happened

o   what that means for content and context



·      video from the film “What the ‘BLEEP’ do we know?”

o   would Karen Barad agree?...

Epistemology and ontology: asking what we can know versus what exists

·      Epistemology: what can we know? What do we have the capacity to know? And how does knowledge behave?...

·      Ontology: what exists? Realist, what is happening in the real world? what is the real world really like?

Epistemic vs ontic claims

Uncertainty vs indeterminate-ness

·      Heisenberg vs Bohr

·      Epistemological vs Ontological

·      Are we uncertain of the electron? Our ability to know what they are Vs Electron is BOTH a wave and a particle, they are indeterminate (Barad’s position)

Bohr vs Einstein

·      Bohr: willing to go with indeterminate, properties become determinate with observation; predictability, never get both wave AND particle…

·      Einstein, didn’t buy into quantum being a final, absolute theory; the nature of the predictions as wave functions, unclear how to interpret what it is; “God doesn’t play dice”; statistics vs KNOWING objectivity

Formulisms vs theories

·      Formulism: quantum physics could just be an amazing mathematical system that is successful with making measurments---but it’s just a successful tool/algorithm; EPISTEMIC, not ONTIC

·      Theory of the real physical world, ONTIC, not EPISTEMIC…

·      Quantum theory: (ß SEE ME FOR MORE

·      Different from classical physics

o   Super-positions, distinct from mixtures of properties

§  the double slit experiment

§  mixture is 50/50, left or right

§  super-position, interference of waves

o   entanglement, SUPER-WAVE, super-super-position; correlation between the two

·      complementary properties (position and momentum, energy and time, orthogonal spin directions) and ordinary properties

o   complementary: once can be more precise than the other complement

·      The Measurement Problem: How does one get from indeterminate properties to determinate ones?--the "collapse" of the wavefunction is not part of the quantum theory.  

Objectivity: Separability and Nonseparability

·      Einstein--Objectivity requires separate individual objects of study--a view from above, or elsewhere

·      Bohr--Objectivity is obtained through unambiguous and reproducible measurements--given by a "cut" provided by the details of the experimental arrangement. (Epistemic)

o   They both share a humanism however, i.e., humans are fully determinate and separate from objects of measurement--humans are special.

Barad’s Proposal:

·      Being in an entangled state, the outcome best understood as an interaction between what will be measured and what is doing the measuring; that is the actual phenomena

·      Creating a boundary around the entangled state—that is the fundamental entity

·      Humans are part of nature and therefore part of the entangled arrangements of objects (that which is measured) and agents (that which makes measurements). Different "cuts" determine the state of the world, bring into being the properties and conditions of reality.  "Relational objectivity."  

·      While humans may have agency to choose a cut, i.e, an apparatus, we don't influence the outcome, once chosen, the physical world emerges. As such objectivity (reproducibility and unambiguity) is maintained and further is due to an ontological state of affairs, the way the world is.  She is a realist.  But also, by the variety of possible cuts, imagines and embraces a fully interactive and fundamentally emergent world, with humans embedded in phenomena like all else.

·      Extension from "piddly experiments" to the "material discourses of the world."

·      She contrasts "Knowing as part of being, from being part of nature" vs. "knowing as a human spectator, from outside of nature."

·      "The knower and the known are entangled." 




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