From Aggregation to Navigation | Bruno Latour

Abstract: The vast amount of data available on singularizing networks (what could be called ‘monads’) raise a new problem for social theorists, statisticians, designers, computer scientists and end users: how to vizualize their various components without resorting to the aggregation in which too many details are necessarily lost. The flood of digital traces and the new ways to handle them show that many of the basic epistemological assumptions about what it is to know something in the social science are actually dependent upon data structures and visualizing tools. This presentation will draw a few possible paths in this new situation and propose a few challenges to the audience.

[H/T Dirk] Recorded on May 2nd, 2013 at the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Paris, France.

Bruno Latour is professor in Sciences Po Paris where he founded the medialab and developed the mapping of scientific controversies. His work in anthropology of science and social theory, especially the development of Actor Network Theory is especially well adjusted to the harnessing of the power of digital traces now available in vast quantities. He is the 2013 laureate of the Holberg Prize. All references and most articles are available at:

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