Walking as a way of thinking. Part one

There are two different strategies I use to apply for developing epistemic devices and multimodal artifacts: the first one is going to walk with the concepts and ideas I am currently working with. The second one is taking a nap with them. Today, I will talk about the first one. 

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Talking with myself

This post is the last one of the year and the first one in many time. I am writing it, precisely, the last day of 2019 using a new device. Despite this entry is hosted under the same domain I had for more than twelve months, the hosting service is different, the template has new components as well, and the project behind it, my doctoral research, is also a different new thing compared to the one that was published on this site, as its main roadmap, one year ago.

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What is an urban lab?

To think about the city as a laboratory is not the only way of using this metaphor in an urban scenario; we also have urban labs. An urban laboratory is either a temporal or a permanent “constructed site of knowledge production” (Karvonen & van Heur, 2014). The nature of the laboratory is not relevant at this point. It could be either a profit-oriented start-up, and academic research group, a governmental program, or an urban living lab (ULL) (Bergvall-Kåreborn & Ståhlbröst 2009Bulkeley et al. 2018).

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Blending journalism and ethnography. Part I: The slow and the new

There is a small but also an interesting study field about the relationship between journalism and ethnography (Cramer & McDevitt, 2014Hermann, 2014) where some scholars have contributed, to a greater extent, to discuss the possibilities and advantages of including ethnography in journalistic work. It is mainly in this way: ethnography—>journalism. The aim of this growing line of knowledge is, thus, how to improve journalism through the implementation of an ethnographical ethos into the daily practice of journalism.

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Looking for a free table. Some thoughts about territory and territorialization (II)

In the first part of this post, I described a territory being decomposed by the action of different groups that were acting there, creating temporal relationships among them and the space they were affected. In other words, I presented how some elements were territorializing (dominating and transforming) a specific place. 

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What is an urban experiment? Presenting the “Green Light for Midtown” program

In general terms, an experiment is something that you do for either validate or reject a hypothesis. That something is an organized and controlled procedure that should be able to be replicated in a similar scenario following a specific set of instructions. But experiment is not an easy concept. When we talk about doing an experiment we have to put generalizations away and going to to the specific. There are different magnitudes, levels, and logics involved in an experimental process, some of them are even challenging the general definition of this particular notion.

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Baklavas in Mauerpark

Every time I am reading something, I cannot stop comparing my way of writing with other people’s work. But how I do that is paying special attention to the way how they are knitting their set of concepts. I always find interesting the fluency the rest of the word has for using theoretical notions. The confidence they have for naming things is something I won’t ever have.

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The free-WIFI experiment

Times Square is a fragile place. In 2016 a solitary homeless man was caught watching porn using the tablet of a free WIFI kiosk located around the Square. Immediately the news made a big echo of this issue tracing an imaginary relationship between this man and the recent past of the zone, the one before its renovation. A tourist interviewed by the New York Post was complaining about the situation saying that right now Times Square was much worse than in the ’70s because at least at that time the porn was indoors. 

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Dismantling the smart city. Going for the myth, coming with the motto

The popularization of the adjective “smart” for talking about particular conglomerates of things, intending to highlight a new specific technological process, is the triumph of corporate propaganda over what we understand as urban life. Nowadays to talk about “smart cities” is a normalized and popularized attitude from business magazines to technological reviews; from entrepreneurial movements and creative economy to academic circles. Because of its nature and components, this trending notion has also been under the STS gaze as a part of its research agenda.

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Four vignettes of horses in the Square

One hour before midnight, sometimes earlier, some carriages are going to Times Square for working there. This activity is still legal in New York City, despite a few attempts for banning it (Neuman, 2017Gould, 2018), and after 11:30 pm until three in the morning, it is allowed around the Square. During that period, the street traffic is considerably slower, and the night, plus the LED lights shining in the sky, are the best artificial scenario for a romantic view of skyscrapers, ads, stores, and tourists, riding a possible tired and stressed animal. 

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