Yesterday, I attended to the Ouishare research workshop held at the ESCP Europe Paris Campus. This workshop was devised to discuss practices, theories and methods for the study of the collaborative (or sharing or peer) economy. Over the day, thirty researchers from across Europe and beyond had the opportunity to share our research interests. Collaboratively, we also map the landscape of current research to define topics for 2 open sessions. In my case, I participated in the open sessions related to “Impact Assesment (Topics, Methods and Scales)” and “Internal processes & Governance”. Finally, we concluded the workshop considering ways to foster cooperation, organise events, and explore other opportunities.
I am very happy to announce the launch of “Tecnopolítica y 15M: la potencia de las multitudes conectadas“, the first book written by DatAnalysis15M with Javier Toret Medina (coordinator), Antonio Calleja-López, Oscar Marín Miró, Miguel Aguilera, Xabier E. Barandiaran, Alberto Lumbreras, Arnau Monterde and me as authors.
English abstract by Antonio Calleja-López:
The text is a synthesis of our study on a living and novel phenomenon under construction. For more than six months our group, DatAnalysis15M, has undertaken a systematic exercise of analysis, synthesis, and visualization of data from the Spanish 15M (also known as “indignados”) movement. The work explores a series of theoretical and methodological proposals for the study of 15M and similar movements.
In our investigation, of transdisciplinary character, we have developed and applied new analytical methods based on complexity sciences, network analysis and data engineering in order to approach social movements in the network society, as well as to improve collective action inside them. In this sense, we have approached the movement from the viewpoint of both research and action.
We are convinced that we are in the prehistory of the network society. Despite the fact that the beginnings of microelectronics date back only to the last third of the XXth century, the last fifteen years have been crucial in the evolution of the Internet, free software, mobile devices and social networks, among other information and communication technologies (ICTs).
This process is not merely technological but also social or, rather, sociotechnological. Our study shows that the use and appropriation of different platforms or devices as enablers of political action have been key to 15M. The concept of “technopolitics” (which we dig into later on) connects the different research lines of a work that, more than a study, represents the sketch of a research program.
ONODO is open, replicable and collaborative platform to facilitate the analysis of networks and relationships in any field of knowledge. With Onodo users will be able to create their own project and facilitate analysis and understanding of complex information. The project is is based on the initial development of the project Quién Manda, a map of political and economic power in Spain, presented as an interactive, graphical and documented repository of all ties between the most influential people in the country.
In the workshop, we gathered – through concrete user stories – a list of requirements/improvements related to usability, visualizations’ design and content, data structure and replicability of the platform in order to guide the development.
Exciting news! We have set the date and preliminary agenda for the next D-CENT event. On May 5th, we will be hosting a conference in Barcelona which dives into Network democracy for a better city. Our plan is to inspire a great number of high-level policy makers, academics, activists, civic society organisations, and hackers to debate the future of democratic City Governments.
Together we will explore new ways of strengthening citizens’ participation in the political process presenting already existing digital tools for a more participatory democracy. We will also discuss how future democratic city infrastructures and governments should look like.
Our discussions will start from the assumption that institutions are in great need of revival since they are out of synchronization with the 21st century technologies, norms and collective aspirations. They haven’t been able to respond and adapt to the new technologies of participation, transparency and proximity, which for instance Spanish citizens demanded since the big wave of the 15-M indignados movement in 2011 that radically changed Spanish politics.
The crisis of political representation and legitimacy of current institutions, corruption scandals that unveiled the major political parties’ complicity with private interest, and the public disaffection with politics can be addressed by reinventing and reactivating political participation, with concrete proposals to devolve greater control and power to citizens.
This is the second larger event the project has organised since its launch in 2013. The previous one was held in London last year with the theme Re-imagining democracy and currency in Europe.
The event is free of charge but requires registration via Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/1E2lGCw.
Our venue will be Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (C/Montalegre, 5 – 08001 Barcelona).
This week, our latest article with Young-Ho Eom, David Laniado, Andreas Kaltenbrunner, Sebastiano Vigna & Dima L. Shepelyansky has been published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE (full article here).
In this paper, we apply methods of Markov chains and Google matrix on 24 editions of Wikipedia that cover languages which played an important role in human history and include Western, Asian and Arabic cultures. We find spatial, temporal, and gender skewness in Wikipedia. Each language edition highlights local figures so that most of its own historical figures are born in the countries which use the language of the edition. In summary, we believe that the analysis of historical figures can be a useful step towards the understanding of local and global history and interactions of world cultures.
Birth place distributions over countries of the top historical figures of 24 Wikipedia edition, according to PageRank.
Wikipedia is a huge global repository of human knowledge that can be leveraged to investigate interwinements between cultures. With this aim, we apply methods of Markov chains and Google matrix for the analysis of the hyperlink networks of 24 Wikipedia language editions, and rank all their articles by PageRank, 2DRank and CheiRank algorithms. Using automatic extraction of people names, we obtain the top 100 historical figures, for each edition and for each algorithm. We investigate their spatial, temporal, and gender distributions in dependence of their cultural origins. Our study demonstrates not only the existence of skewness with local figures, mainly recognized only in their own cultures, but also the existence of global historical figures appearing in a large number of editions. By determining the birth time and place of these persons, we perform an analysis of the evolution of such figures through 35 centuries of human history for each language, thus recovering interactions and entanglement of cultures over time. We also obtain the distributions of historical figures over world countries, highlighting geographical aspects of cross-cultural links. Considering historical figures who appear in multiple editions as interactions between cultures, we construct a network of cultures and identify the most influential cultures according to this network.