designing rhetorical technologies of deliberation

An interesting article in The Atlantic, "The Binge Breaker," discusses the challenges of ethical design for social media, smartphones, and related technologies. The article focuses on familiar and widespread experiences in digital culture: its addictive qualities and attentional demands. It is no surprise that devices and apps are built with the express purpose of attracting user attention: "the digital... Continue Reading →

rhetoric, the humanities, and service departments

MLA's Profession has a interesting new article by Christopher Newfield: "The Humanities as Service Departments: Facing the Budget Logic." I recommend that you read it, but I will give a brief summary here. Using the examples of SUNY Albany's closure of language programs and Middlesex's closure of its philosophy department, Newfield investigates and critiques the budgetary... Continue Reading →

finally, robotic beings rule the world

Last week in The Guardian Evan Selinger and Brett Frischmann ask, "Will the internet of things result in predictable people?" As the article concludes, Alan Turing wondered if machines could be human-like, and recently that topic’s been getting a lot of attention. But perhaps a more important question is a reverse Turing test: can humans become machine-like... Continue Reading →

What If? Special Higher Education Issue

Jesse Stommel and Sean Michael Morris at Hybrid Pedagogy ask "Imagine that no educational technologies had yet been invented — no chalkboards, no clickers, no textbooks, no Learning Management Systems, no Coursera MOOCs. If we could start from scratch, what would we build?" As the image here suggests, this reminds me of the What If? Marvel comics. The ones... Continue Reading →

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