Modeling Value in the Anthropocene | Group Update – 3.24.22

Hi folks!

Last week, the Modeling Value in the Anthropocene: Contributions to a metacosmics project at last found itself amidst greener pastures after a series of necessary revisions to the project’s scope and a sequence of invaluable consultations with digital humanists who have helped to shine a light on realistic pathways for reaching our goals along with the resources and workshops needed to guide us along the way.

Through our conversations with members of the Graduate Center Digital Fellows and the University of South Carolina’s resident digital writing and computational analysis expert Micheal Gavin, Brian and I have been collaboratively working through Word Embedding tutorials, such as this practical introduction from Connor Gilroy at the University of Washington, and familiarizing ourselves with the learning algorithm we intend on using in the production of our vector representations, GloVe: Global Vectors for Word Representation. This step forward in the development of an answer to our project’s question comes as a result of our successful cleaning and preparation of the corpus. Though we underestimated the complex nature of this process, as well as the fundamental technical skills needed in order to make the necessary tweaks to our text, we’ve managed to extract that which will operate as a groundwork for all future experimentation and analysis. Over the course of the next week, Brian and I intend on diving into our project’s trial period of exploratory vector analysis through the early development of a locally trained word2vec model. As with all stages of our project thus far, this will come with a heavy dose of Python research and development and we will be continuing our frequent Zoom work sessions in order to collaboratively grow, fine-tune, and troubleshoot our model of value in the Anthropocene.

Also on the agenda for this coming week is the continued buildout of our website and the generation of a “press kit” to expedite our outreach objectives. As it’s currently drafted, our website exists largely as a stand-in awaiting our project’s findings but we intend on gradually developing it aesthetically as we progress through this second half of the semester. As for outreach, we are still deliberating over strategies of communication, especially regarding our method of engagement with the Stieglerian scholarly community, and will be providing updates in the weeks to come.

Lastly, Brian and I continue to work through Bernard Stiegler’s Nanjing Lectures as to develop and strengthen the theoretical framework through which we will be viewing our vector analysis. This research has expanded in scope for each of us, coming to include works such as Bifurcate: ‘There is No Alternative’ edited by Stiegler with the Internation Collective, Psychopolitical Anaphylaxis: Steps Towards a Metacosmics by Daniel Ross, and The Thought of Bernard Stiegler: Capitalism, Technology and the Politics of Spirit. Through continued research and interlocution in the coming weeks, Brian and I aim to perpetuate the Stiegler-centric frame of thought we’ve pathologically maintained thus far and commence developing our final product in conjunction with that which is discoverable and visualized through our word2vec analysis.

That’s all for now – we’re looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been up to!