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A feminist media historical past of quantification, uncovering the tales behind the instruments and applied sciences we use to depend, measure, and weigh our lives and realities.
Anglo-American tradition has used media to measure and quantify lives for hundreds of years. Historical journal entries map the main points of on a regular basis life, whereas dying registers put numbers to life’s endings. Today we depend our day by day steps with health trackers and quantify births and deaths with digitized information. How are these present-day strategies for measuring ourselves just like these used in the previous? In this ebook, Jacqueline Wernimont presents a brand new media historical past of western quantification, uncovering the tales behind the instruments and applied sciences we use to depend, measure, and weigh our lives and realities.
Numbered Lives is the primary ebook of its variety, a feminist media historical past that maps connections not solely between previous and present-day “quantum media” however between media monitoring and long-standing systemic inequalities. Wernimont explores the historical past of the pedometer, mortality statistics, and the census in England and the United States to light up the entanglement of Anglo-American quantification with spiritual, imperial, and patriarchal paradigms. In Anglo-American tradition, Wernimont argues, counting life and counting dying are sides of the identical coin—one which has at all times been used to render statistics of life and dying extra precious to company and state organizations. Numbered Lives enumerates our shared media historical past, serving to us perceive our digital tradition and inheritance.