We are sharing a glossary of terms from the book:


A collection of different, not necessarily coherent systems of convictions about the nature of the world, medicine, nutrition, health, and various other fields and topics, which are based on hearsay and beliefs rather than verified through research and the scientific methods, although not always contradicting them (e.g., Paleo diet, acupuncture).


Social movements and groups convinced that the scientific world is either in conspiracy with industry or simply not competent enough; they thus treat scientific knowledge with suspicion and disbelief, and actively oppose it (e.g., antivaccination movements, Flat Earthers.)

Artificial intelligence (AI)

A science and a set of computational technologies that are inspired by the ways people use their nervous systems and bodies to take actions, acquire knowledge, and reason about the world. AI is a very broad field, consisting of such domains as computer vision, natural language processing, robotic process automation, expert systems, and machine learning.


This term, broadly referring to using technology to change or influence biological organisms, can be used in diverse contexts: do-it-yourself (DIY) biology (studying biology on one’s own and pursuing biological experiments); grinder biohacking (altering bodies by implanting DIY cybernetic devices and wearable technologies); nutrigenomics (using nutrition to hack human biology); an in the Quantified Self movement (for measuring activity, behaviors, and biomarkers to optimize health, well-being, and mental states).


Software application that runs various tasks online. On social media, bots are sets of algorithms that establish services for the users. Most famous cases are chatbots that are able to converse in natural language and thus mimic human behavior. The history of social botting can be traced back to Alan Turing in the 1950s and his idea, known as the Turing test, of designing rules for recognizing bots and distinguishing them from humans.

Citizen science

Social movements and groups relying on scientific methods to advance or provide knowledge, organized collaboratively and outside of academic hierarchies, and allowing a wider public engagement in scholarly discovery.

Collaborative society

An increasingly common phenomenon of emergent and enduring cooperative groups, whose members have developed particular patterns of relationships through technology-mediated cooperation.

Free/Libre open source software (F/L/OSS)

A term coined to avoid taking sides in the heated debate on whether the term “free software” or “open-source software” is preferable when referring to code that is freely licensed to any user and available to use, copy, study, modify, and reshare.

Gig economy

A phenomenon of increasing the number of occupations that rely on contingent, short-term demand, operating in radical informational asymmetry, and often enabled by intermediating online platforms.


A set of online activities, with roots in hacker culture, which use technology to promote a social or political change.


A form of organizing, typically used for open collaboration and peer production projects, in which the structure is nonhierarchical and any unit can be governed by others.

Human–computer interaction

The research and design of communication between computer technology and its users, mainly focused on the interface between computers and people.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The network of internet-connected devices extending beyond standard formats such as desktop computers or smartphones, to everyday objects (such as home appliances or clothing) or infrastructures (such as urban or rural utilities and transport systems). All IoT devices must contain electronics, software, actuators, monitors, or sensors, for example, which allow them to establish connectivity, exchange/receive data, and interact.

Machine learning

The study of statistical models, algorithms, and neural networks used in computer systems to improve their performance when solving various tasks. Machine learning algorithms build a model of sample data, known as a “training set,” in order to make predictions or decisions on the so-called test set.[MB1] 

Open collaboration

A form of organization that participants can freely join or quit, and thus share a common goal, in a loosely coordinated fashion often enabled by online platforms. The phenomenon is similar to peer production, but with less emphasis on the sustainable outcome.

Peer production

A method of cooperating in large, self-organized communities, to produce goods or services and result in a commons-based shared outcome, often enabled by online platforms.

Platform capitalism

An economic drive within the capital market to harness the power of cutting-edge technologies so as to connect different users and turn them into workers and customers, and to arbitrate the pricing thanks to informational asymmetry.

Platform cooperativism

Using technology to connect users and allow them to exchange goods and services in a nonexploitative way.


The process that blurs the roles of creators (active producers) and users (passive users), typically occurring in online media, F/L/OSS, or blogs.

Quantified Self

A movement as well as a practice also known as lifelogging: using technology (mainly wearable technology) for measuring activity, behaviors, and biomarkers to optimize health, well-being, and mental states.

Remix culture

This social trend for appreciating derivative art relies on the creative combining or editing existing of works, and requires the reader to be able to contextualize the original sources and denote the quotes.

Second Life

An online nonquest game developed, owned, and launched (in 2003) by the San Francisco–based company Linden Lab. It is a virtual world where users create avatars that are free to do whatever they wish, including build companies, get married, network socially, or attend events. By 2013, Second Life had approximately one million regular users. The number of current users is unknown.

Sharing economy (also called collaborative economy)

A very broad term related to utilizing the idle capacity of different kinds of resources and making them available for free or for profit, usually enabled by technology, and relying on internet platforms connecting strangers and intermediating trust between them. See also: unsharing economy


A theory that assumes that a society’s technology determines the development of its social, political, and economic structures as well as its cultural values. It also claims that technology is the main driver of societal change.

Unsharing economy

The term emphasizes the market-driven aspects of the so-called sharing economy, which leads to reducing the number of actual acts of genuine nonprofit sharing while accommodating and monetizing the idle capacities of different goods and services.

Wearable technology (wearable devices, tech togs, fashion electronics)

Smart electronic devices equipped with microcontrollers that can be worn on the body. Usually used for tracking various forms of users’ activities and delivering data. Wearable technology is also an example or subcategory of the Internet of Things.


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