Category Archives: rhetoric of computation

Completely Different and Exactly the Same

I was flattered to see Nicholas Carr picking up on a blog entry I wrote about the Cartesian dualism underlying most thinking about the Singularity. I was equally pleased to read this comment on Carr’s post from CS Clark, who is otherwise unknown to me: I’m reminded that many tech/law debates depend on the new […]

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Building and (Not) Using Tools in Digital Humanities


As I mentioned in my last post, the “Short Guide to Digital Humanities” (pages 121-136 of Digital_Humanities, by Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld, Todd Presner, and Jeffrey Schnapp, MIT Press, 2012) includes the following stricture under the heading “What Isn’t the Digital Humanities?”: The mere use of digital tools for the purpose of humanistic […]

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‘Digital Humanities’: Two Definitions

DH wordle

Those of us working in or close to the field of Digital Humanities know that the very definition of the term has been vexed from its inception–in my opinion, moreso than typical academic fields. I’ll not go into them in depth here, but two of my major concerns about the term have been that (a) […]

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The (Future) Automation of Labor, and Some Notes on ‘Mind,’ ‘Intelligence,’ and the Google Singularity

(Modified version of a comment on Dale Carrico’s Amor Mundi blog, in response to his excellent “Krugman Flirts with Robot Cultism“–also see the slightly different version of Carrico’s post on his blog on the World Future Society site, “Krugman Flirts with Futurism,” both of which respond to Paul Krugman’s “Is Growth Over?” and “Robots and […]

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Techno-Utopianism: 3 Dissents

prologue and promise

While we are eagerly awaiting the shot-across-the-bow that is Evgeny Morozov‘s forthcoming To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism (Public Affairs, 2013), a few recent pieces of writing have come across the wires that open up some of the same space on which a few of us have been working (personally, I […]

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Centralization and the ‘Democratization’ of Higher Education

amazon central

In my previous post, “Computerization, Centralization, and Concentration,” I discussed how the fact that decentralization and distribution are genuine hallmarks of the networked computerization revolution can easily blind us to the fact that centralization and concentration, especially of economic power, are also its hallmarks, in many cases even more strongly than are the former. One […]

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Talk: ‘Game of Drones’


“Game of Drones,” aka, “Gameful, or Shameful?,” aka “Presto Change-O World Peace, from the Same Team That Brings You Permanent War” Paper delivered at SLSA 2012 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, WI, September 2012. Full paper: “Game of Drones” Abstract The recent widespread deployment by the US in particular of Unmanned Combat Vehicles (UCVs), especially Unmanned Aerial […]

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USA® & Twitter® Solidify Product Placement Relationship #gotohell

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So in yesterday’s news we learned not only of much more hacking by and awareness of hacking on the part of News Corp (I doubt we’ve even scratched the surface–what I want to know is how widely dispersed these techniques are and where knowledge about them comes from, because they all impinge on national security […]

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Today the Wall Street Journal gives us even more on hackers, under the title “Hackers Shift Attacks to Small Firms” (GEOFFREY A. FOWLER And BEN WORTHEN, July 21, 2011). They write: Hacking at small businesses “is a prolific problem,” says Dean Kinsman, a special agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s cyber division, which has […]

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