What We Are Reading Today: Bit by Bit Social Research in the Digital Age

Updated 11 September 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Bit by Bit Social Research in the Digital Age

  • Bit by Bit is the key to unlocking these powerful methods

Author: Matthew J. Salganik

This book is an innovative and accessible guide to doing social research in the digital age.
In just the past several years, we have witnessed the birth and rapid spread of social media, mobile phones, and numerous other digital marvels.
In addition to changing how we live, these tools enable us to collect and process data about human behavior on a scale never before imaginable, offering entirely new approaches to core questions about social behavior.
Bit by Bit is the key to unlocking these powerful methods— a landmark book that will fundamentally change how the next generation of social scientists and data scientists explores the world around us. Bit by Bit is the essential guide to mastering the key principles of doing social research in this fast-evolving digital age. Matthew Salganik explains how the digital revolution is transforming how social scientists observe behavior, ask questions, run experiments, and engage in mass collaborations.


What We Are Reading Today: Who Owns Antiquity? 

Updated 16 September 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Who Owns Antiquity? 

  • James Cuno calls for measures to broaden rather than restrict international access to antiquities

BOOK AUTHOR: James Cuno

Whether antiquities should be returned to the countries where they were found is one of the most urgent and controversial issues in the art world today, and it has pitted museums, private collectors, and dealers against source countries, archaeologists, and academics.

Maintaining that the acquisition of undocumented antiquities by museums encourages the looting of archaeological sites, countries such as Italy, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, and China have claimed ancient artifacts as state property, called for their return from museums around the world, and passed laws against their future export. 

But in Who Owns Antiquity?, one of the world’s leading museum directors vigorously challenges this nationalistic position, arguing that it is damaging and often disingenuous. “Antiquities,” James Cuno argues, “are the cultural property of all humankind,” “evidence of the world’s ancient past and not that of a particular modern nation. They comprise antiquity, and antiquity knows no borders.”

Cuno argues that nationalistic retention and reclamation policies impede common access to this common heritage and encourage a dubious and dangerous politicization of antiquities — and of culture itself. Antiquities need to be protected from looting but also from nationalistic identity politics. To do this, Cuno calls for measures to broaden rather than restrict international access to antiquities. 

He advocates restoration of the system under which source countries would share newly discovered artifacts in exchange for archaeological help, and he argues that museums should again be allowed reasonable ways to acquire undocumented antiquities. Cuno explains how partage broadened access to our ancient heritage and helped create national museums in Cairo, Baghdad, and Kabul. The first extended defense of the side of museums in the struggle over antiquities, Who Owns Antiquity? is sure to be as important as it is controversial.