Roundtable podcast on the History of Quantification


By Contributing Writer John Handel

with Dan Bouk, How Our Days Became Numbered: Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual (UChicago, 2015);

William Deringer, Calculated Values: Finance, Politics, and the Quantitative Age(HUP, 2018);

and Jamie Pietruska, Looking Forward: Prediction and Uncertainty in Modern America
(UChicago, 2017);

In his landmark 1990 book The Taming of Chance, Ian Hacking attempted to make sense of the “avalanche of printed numbers,” that appeared across Europe during the 19th century. (46) Ironically,  Hacking himself was participating in an avalanche of work on the history of numbers that proliferated during the 1980s and 1990s.These studies of numbers and the history of quantification ranged widely from the history of double-entry bookkeeping (Poovey, History of the Modern Fact), probability theory (Daston, Classical Probability), and insurance, statistics (Porter, Rise of Statistical Thinking) to economics (Tooze, Statistics and the German State). While…

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M. A. D. 1971 (Rat Run)

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Reading Bass Culture: Linton Kwesi Johnson & Paul Gilroy

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Nick Land & Jeff Wasserstrom – All Tomorrow’s Parties: Shanghai Futurism

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Infrastructures of Subterranean Urban Politics

Image result for black and white tunnel
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Speculative Posthumanism: R. Scott Bakker, Mark Fisher and David Roden

Break The Code

“A posthuman is any WHD [Wide Human Descendent] that goes feral; becomes capable of life outside the planetary substance comprised of narrow biological humans, their cultures and technologies.”

– Dr. David Roden, Hacking Humans

“So really think about it now,” Thomas continued. “Everything you live, everything you see and touch and hear and taste, everything you think, belongs to this little slice of mush, this little wedge in your brain called the thalamocortical system. The neural processing that makes these experiences possible—we’re talking about the most complicated machinery in the known universe—is utterly invisible. This expansive, far-reaching experience of yours is nothing more than a mote, an inexplicable glow, hurtling through some impossible black. You’re steering through a dream…”

– R. Scott Bakker,  Neuropath

In his novel Neuropath Thomas Bible, one of R. Scott Bakker’s characters – an atypical academic, not one of your pie-in-the-sky type, theorists, reminisces with a friend about an old…

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Gothic Futurism reconstructed

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