hell is other people (on screens)

There's a NY Times article by Nellie Bowles doing the rounds with the titular observation that "Human Contact is Now a Luxury Good." It focuses on both old and young: the senior citizen with a virtual pet companion; the kids taught by apps on tablets and laptops. And it notes that the wealthy eschew screens... Continue Reading →

Becoming b-roll #4C19

Here's the text and videos used in my presentation in case you weren't inclined to drag yourself over here at 8am. Rhetoric and composition has been talking about video for decades—as a teaching tool, an object of study, and a medium of scholarly and student composing. More than 15 years ago, Dan Anderson was discussing... Continue Reading →

hold me closer tiny rhetorician

After all, who can resist an Elton John reference? Well, I'm in the midst of book revisions (and there was much rejoicing). I'm thinking back--and perhaps modifying--a notion I had a few years ago: minimal rhetoric. I'm thinking "tiny" rather than "minimal." Maybe both. My attraction to "tiny" is from the line in A Thousand Plateaus that has stuck... Continue Reading →

why we can’t have nice things

It's that old saying but one that might cut in two directions. Yes, "we" can't have nice things because "you" are always ruining them with your irresponsible behavior, lack of class, etc. But possibly we also can't have nice things because we're always getting crap shoved in front of us. Or both. Facebook is case... Continue Reading →

informally proposing a “materials rhetoric”

In the briefest terms, my idea here is conceiving of a materials rhetoric that is roughly analogous to materials science. I'll return to that in a moment but first a few detours. Since the 80s at least, rhetoric as concerned itself with "materialism" and far more recently with "new materialism." Materialism has generally been another... Continue Reading →

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 →

ambient cybernetics of the noise floor

Sometimes you come across a term commonly used in other professions and it just strikes you as thought-provoking... or at least that happens to me, and it happened recently with "noise floor." Maybe that's a term you've heard many times before (if you're an engineer or work with sound or maybe as an audiophile). If... Continue Reading →

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