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 →

podcasting: basic rhetorical questions

As you may have seen, I posted a podcast yesterday. I think I am finding starting up a podcast to be similar in its rhetorical challenges to starting this blog many a year ago. Back then I was asking myself some basic rhetorical questions about audience, genre, and purpose. These are all one question in... Continue Reading →

the late age of late ages

 It's undeniably a quizzical situation. For the middle-aged rhetorician it's the comically late age of the humanities/English Studies and the tragically late age of humans (cf. climate change) in the midst of a still spry rhetorical universe that will go on without us. I can only imagine a generation of mid-century factory workers punching clocks... Continue Reading →

when AIs start vlogging

Right now I have two scholarly/professional interests, and I'm wondering how they intersect. On a general thematic level they appear to share a lot as they are both about digital technologies and communication/rhetoric. However, they also represent two very different segments of digital culture. I've been writing/speaking about both recently on this blog. The first... Continue Reading →

rhetoric of podcasts, podcasts of rhetoric

One of the very best things about no longer running the composition program is having the time and mental space to get back to digital rhetoric in a more practical and compositional way. This has got me thinking, in this post, about podcasting in terms of its various rhetorical structures but mostly about the kinds... Continue Reading →

the affects of gun control

Conversations in America about gun control, public space, and safety--which are related but not equivalent--are grounded in affect, cultural/ideological identity, and ontology. I'll swing around to the ontological element later, as that's what is most relevant for my work, but I'll stick with the more familiar elements first. Most strong opposition to gun control begins... Continue Reading →

rhetoric in the late age of the internet

Some 25 years ago, Jay Bolter described the "late age of print" not as an era when print media were disappearing but rather as time when the question of an impending end began to characterize how we understood the technology. In imagining a late ago of the internet, some semantic clarification is necessary. I do... Continue Reading →

consensual and competing media hallucinations

In Neuromancer William Gibson famously described cyberspace as A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations... Continue Reading →

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