the most stupid superintelligence possible

I’m reading Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence as a kind of light reading tangentially related to my scholarly interests. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s basically a warning about the dangers of artificial intelligences spinning out of control. There are plenty of respectable folks out there who have echoed these worries—Hawking, Gates, Musk, etc. And Bostrom himself is certainly... Continue Reading →

carving cognition at its joints

I've started reading Katherine Hayles' Unthought: The Power of the Cognitive Nonconscious. I have to say that I recognize (and am sympathetic toward) the difficult gyrations this topic demands in the humanities as one is called upon the establish various boundaries. In the first chapter, she creates a three-step pyramid comprised by (from top to bottom) conscious/unconscious... Continue Reading →

Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities: a new essay collection

Fresh off the presses, Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities, edited by Jim Ridolfo and William Hart-Davidson, from University of Chicago Press (AMZN). Here's the abstract to my contribution, "Digital Humanities Now and the Possibilities of a Speculative Digital Rhetoric." This chapter examines connections between big data digital humanities projects (the Digital Humanities Now project in particular),... Continue Reading →

Invasion of the MOOCs arrives

I'm in an essay collection that is now available from Parlor Press, Invasion of the MOOCs: The Promises and Perils of Massive Open Online Courses, edited by Steven Krause and Charlie Lowe. Quick Loot Payday Loan From the website: Invasion of the MOOCs: The Promise and Perils of Massive Open Online Courses is one of the... Continue Reading →

what is reading? e-readers and print books

John Jones has a good piece at DMLcentral in response to Ferris Jabr's Scientific American piece "Why the Brain Prefers Paper" (paywall). Here is Jabr's summary: Studies In the past two decades indicate that people often understand and remember text on paper better than on a screen. Screens may inhibit comprehension by preventing people from intuitively navigating and... Continue Reading →

after the scholarly monograph

This is a continuation of the last post and is, in part, an answer to Geoff Sirc's question about what happens next. When I say "after" the scholarly monograph, I don't necessarily mean what do we do after we no longer write monographs but rather going in pursuit of the monograph: I am going after the... Continue Reading →

writing books, writing dissertations

Timothy Morton has some interesting posts on planning the phd and writing a dissertation. His central point is that a dissertation is not a book (even though some dissertations get published) and if you try to write it as a book you can encounter many problems. I particularly like this line: A transitional object is... Continue Reading →

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