natematias's blog

Measuring What They Preach: Comparing Religious Sermons Across Cultures

What would we learn by comparing the texts and teachings of an entire religion across culture and language?

What They Preach

A few weeks ago, I posed the idea of global prayer metrics. I compared the function of prayer notices to journalism and reflected on the theology of quantifying prayer. Today's post is a thought experiment and dataviz on measuring religious activity across cultures.

The Politics behind Babycastles

 Babycastles curates, hosts, and install independent games made by small groups of people or individuals around New York City and around the world, creating an arcade setting for people of all ages and identities to experience games.

 
Babycastles

Speaking to us about Babycastles is Syed Salahuddin, an adjunct professor at the NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and NYU Polytechnic and instructor at the Institute of Play. He has also taught at the MoMA Teens Program and the Museum of the Moving Image. Syed joins us for the MIT Media Lab's diversity speakers series.

Mexico's Networked Social Movements: #YoSoy132

How are networks and technologies being used to organise social movements in Mexico? Andrés Monroy Hernandez organised a panel to look at this question in the case of the Mexican #YoSoy132 movement. Andrés is a social computing researcher at Microsoft Research and an affiliate at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. (I have previously blogged his research on designing for remix and creative learning). The panel was hosted by Microsoft Research New England, in collaboration with the Center for Civic Media.

Panelists:

Data Science for Gender Equality: Monitoring Women's Voices in the News

Can high resolution data and innovative technology help us create better representation of women in the news?

I believe so. Over the next year, my thesis project is to design for gender equity with a series of articles, artistic pieces, and technologies. I'm going beyond mudslinging and hand wringing to apply technology in constructive ways that can make a difference. And I need your help.

Today in the Guardian Datablog, Lisa Evans shared some initial results from software I created to track gender in the news. This post explains my vision for the larger project, describes our research methods, and points to other resources on gender in the media.

Introducing TICKLE: The Toy Interface Construction Kit Learning Environment

What do you call a cross between Tinkertoys, K'Nex, Gears, wooden blocks and a plastic boat?

TICKLE parts

My friend Eric Rosenbaum and I are trying to find out. We're inspired by Golan Levin and Shawn Sims's Free Universal Construction Kit, which allows anyone with a 3D printer to connect previously-incompatible construction toys. We love that Golan and Shawn released his designs with a Creative Commons license, but 3D printers remain far too expensive for most poeple.

Tracking Global Prayer Metrics: Ten Questions

Would it matter if we could track the total sum of global prayer and compare hourly analytics on the spiritual attention of religious people around the world?

Last month, I spent a day discussing this and other questions with Andy Moore and James Docherty at the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, which facilitates connections across student Christian movements in over 150 countries.

Media Representation in the Arab Uprisings: Egypt and Libya

Citizen journalism and social media have become major sources for the news, especially after the Arab uprisings of early 2011. From Al Jazeera Stream and the NPR's Andy Carvin to the Guardian's Three Pigs advert, news organisations recognise that journalism is just one part of a broader ecosystem of online conversation. At the most basic level, journalists are following social media for breaking news and citizen perspectives. As a result, designers are rushing to build systems like Ushahidi's SwiftRiver, to filter and verify citizen media.

Choose Your Own Advocacy: Reviewing Give Girls Power

One reason I make things on the Internet is a strong belief in the original powerful idea behind the web itself: that links can radically transform the way we tell stories and experience the world. Today, I saw an amazing example of this, via Sarah Espiner, my former colleague at the Ministry of Stories.

Story And Algorithm: A Comprehensive #CivicMedia Conference Summary

If anything sums up this year's Knight MIT Conference on Civic Media, it was Joi Ito's argument for creativity and risk, encouraging us to pursue visions that we do not yet know how to describe. The Civic Media Conference is a new breed of gathering for networked thinking and doing: action research woven with creative diversity and energised by funding model innovation.

Part SXSW, part Barcamp, the conference combined hackdays, funding announcements, panel discussions, and stand-up storytelling. As a flagship demonstration of Ethan Zuckerman's vision for the emerging field of Civic Media, the conference was spectacular. But for Civic Media to flourish while bridging so many communities, this new ecosystem needs to foster stronger, more diverse ties.

This is a summary post. Each session gets one or two paragraphs, with the video embedded. Each section also has a link to amazingly comprehensive and detailed posts by our liveblog team. If any of these ideas interests you, the liveblog is the best place to find in-depth discussion.

Knight News Challenge Winners: Signalnoi.se, Behavio, PeepolTV, Recovers.org, TOR

Today, the Knight Foundation announced winners of the latest Knight News Challenge, which was focused on on Networks.

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