What We Are Reading Today: Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms

What We Are Reading Today: Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms
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Updated 26 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms

What We Are Reading Today: Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms

Author: Angele Christin

When the news moved online, journalists suddenly learned what their audiences actually liked, through algorithmic technologies that scrutinize web traffic and activity.

Has this advent of audience metrics changed journalists’ work practices and professional identities? In Metrics at Work, Angele Christin documents the ways that journalists grapple with audience data in the form of clicks, and analyzes how new forms of clickbait journalism travel across national borders.

Drawing on four years of fieldwork in web newsrooms in the US and France, including more than 100 interviews with journalists, Christin reveals many similarities among the media groups examined—their editorial goals, technological tools, and even office furniture.

Yet she uncovers crucial and paradoxical differences in how American and French journalists understand audience analytics and how these affect the news produced in each country.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Novel Relations by Alicia Mireles Christoff

What We Are Reading Today: Novel Relations by Alicia Mireles Christoff
Updated 19 May 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Novel Relations by Alicia Mireles Christoff

What We Are Reading Today: Novel Relations by Alicia Mireles Christoff

Novel Relations engages 20th-century post-Freudian British psychoanalysis in an unprecedented way: As literary theory. Placing the writing of figures like D. W. Winnicott, W. R. Bion, Michael and Enid Balint, Joan Riviere, Paula Heimann, and Betty Joseph in conversation with canonical Victorian fiction, Alicia Christoff reveals just how much object relations can teach us about how and why we read.

These thinkers illustrate the ever-shifting impact our relations with others have on the psyche, and help us see how literary figures—characters, narrators, authors, and other readers—shape and structure us too. For Christoff, novels are charged relational fields.


What We Are Reading Today: The Tower and the Bridge

What We Are Reading Today: The Tower and the Bridge
Updated 19 May 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Tower and the Bridge

What We Are Reading Today: The Tower and the Bridge

Author: David P. Billington

What do structures such as the Eiffel Tower, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the concrete roofs of Pier Luigi Nervi have in common? According to The Tower and the Bridge, all are striking examples of structural art, an exciting area distinct from either architecture or machine design.

Aided by stunning photographs, David Billington discusses the technical concerns and artistic principles underpinning the well-known projects of leading structural engineer-artists, including Othmar Ammann, Félix Candela, Gustave Eiffel, Fazlur Khan, Robert Maillart, John Roebling, and many others.

A classic work, The Tower and the Bridge introduces readers to the fundamental aesthetics of engineering.
 


What We Are Reading Today: Restoring the Global Judiciary

What We Are Reading Today: Restoring the Global Judiciary
Updated 17 May 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Restoring the Global Judiciary

What We Are Reading Today: Restoring the Global Judiciary

Author: Martin S. Flaherty

In the past several decades, there has been a growing chorus of voices contending that the Supreme Court and federal judiciary should stay out of foreign affairs and leave the field to Congress and the president.

Challenging this idea, Restoring the Global Judiciary argues instead for a robust judicial role in the conduct of US foreign policy.

With an innovative combination of constitutional history, international relations theory, and legal doctrine, Martin Flaherty demonstrates that the Supreme Court and federal judiciary have the power and duty to apply the law without deference to the other branches.


What We Are Reading Today: The Wordhord: Daily Life in Old English

What We Are Reading Today: The Wordhord:  Daily Life in Old English
Updated 16 May 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Wordhord: Daily Life in Old English

What We Are Reading Today: The Wordhord:  Daily Life in Old English

Author: Hana Videen

Old English is the language you think you know until you actually hear or see it. Unlike Shakespearean English or even Chaucer’s Middle English, Old English—the language of Beowulf—defies comprehension by untrained modern readers.

Used throughout much of Britain more than a thousand years ago, it is rich with words that haven’t changed (like word), others that are unrecognizable (such as neorxnawang, or paradise), and some that are mystifying even in translation (gafol-fisc, or tax-fish).

In this delightful book, Hana Videen gathers a glorious trove of these gems and uses them to illuminate the lives of the earliest English speakers.

We discover a world where choking on a bit of bread might prove your guilt, where fiend-ship was as likely as friendship, and where you might grow up to be a laughter-smith.

The Wordhord takes readers on a journey through Old English words and customs related to practical daily activities. Each chapter ends with its own “wordhord”—a list of its Old English terms, with definitions and pronunciations.


What We Are Reading Today: Politics and Governance in Bangladesh by

What We Are Reading Today: Politics and Governance in Bangladesh by
Updated 15 May 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Politics and Governance in Bangladesh by

What We Are Reading Today: Politics and Governance in Bangladesh by

Editors: Ipshita Basu, Joe Devine, Geoff Wood

“Politics and Governance in Bangladesh” explores the central issue of Bangladeshi politics: The weakness of governance.

The coexistence of a poor governance track record and a relatively strong socioeconomic performance make Bangladesh an intriguing case which throws up exciting and relevant conceptual and policy challenges.

Structured in four sections — Political settlement, elites and deep structures; democracy, citizenship and values; civil society, local context and political change; informality and accountability — the book identifies and engages with these challenges.

Chapters by experts in the field share a number of conceptual and epistemological principles and offer a combination of theoretical and empirical insights, and cover a good range of contemporary issues and debate, according to a review on goodreads.com.

Employing a structurally determinist perspective, this book explains politics and society in Bangladesh from a novel perspective.