195. Configuring the (w)hole: Algorithmic Systems, Endangered Ecologies, and Human Interconnectedness

Hamed Yaghoobian, Muhlenberg College;

Terrance Deacon's concept of the "(w)hole" posits that complex systems cannot be fully comprehended by analyzing their individual components in isolation, but rather as an integrated whole. The idea of the (w)hole suggests that complex systems are more than just the sum of their parts. This concept can be extended to explore the configuration of endangered ecologies, humans, and algorithmic systems, which are often opaque in behavior and difficult to understand. This panel aims to investigate the intersections between the (w)hole, data-driven algorithmic systems, and their emergent properties and self-organizing processes in endangered ecologies. We welcome empirical and theoretical contributions that employ Science and Technology Studies (STS) methodologies to examine the discursive and material relationships that underlie these configurations. By foregrounding the interdependence of algorithms, people, and ecologies, we aim to explore the ways in which endangered ecologies are shaped by discourses of sustainability and the environment, and how much these configurations can be adapted to prioritize integrity and adaptability. Our ultimate goal is to develop a more nuanced understanding of algorithmic and ecological systems, as well as their interconnectedness with humans. By exploring the ways in which these systems are configured, we hope to bring about a more holistic and sustainable approach to ecological management.

Contact: hamedyaghoobian@muhlenberg.edu

Keywords: Information, Computing and Media Technology, Big Data, AI, and Machine Learning, Data and Quantification

Published: 04/07/2023