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Thinking About Thinking

“There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous.” Hannah Arendt Posted on 26 August 2010 | 7:34 am

Earth Alienation from Galileo to Google

Roger Berkowitz, Director of the Arendt Center, held a lecture this week titled “Earth Alienation from Galileo to Google,” as part of the Rostrum Lecture Series sponsored by Bard’s Language & Thinking Program. “Earth Alienation from Galileo to Google” —Roger Berkowitz, Director, Arendt Center for Ethical and Political Thinking from Language & Thinking at Bard…Read more Earth Alienation from Galileo to Google Posted on 20 August 2010 | 3:07 pm

Simulation: “Getting Rid of the Digital Divide”

In her book Simulation and Its Discontents, MIT Professor Sherry Turkle argues that what simulation wants is immersion in the simulated world that is so complete that it serves as a proxy for the real. Turkle’s worry, or the worry she reports from the scientists she studies in her book, is that simulation replaces reality…Read more Simulation: “Getting Rid of the Digital Divide” Posted on 18 August 2010 | 4:38 pm

From the comments section

In response to my essay on simulation, Ben Stevens writes that simulations are fictions that have been around a long time. So, too, is Sophocles’ Antigone. Are these fictions not simulations? For my money, then, what remains to be seen is whether increased pervasion of simulation is qualitatively different from traditional or non-technoscientific modes of mediation including…Read more From the comments section Posted on 11 August 2010 | 9:49 am

Jaron Lanier: Fighting the Singularity

Jaron Lanier has quickly established himself as the most important opponent of the Singularity crowd. A silicon valley entrepreneur and one of the original pioneers of virtual reality, Lanier is hardly a Luddite. Yet he has been writing clear and provocative prose raising serious questions about the humanity of current trends on the internet and…Read more Jaron Lanier: Fighting the Singularity Posted on 9 August 2010 | 10:47 am

The Wonders of Man in an Age of Simulations

Here is my latest essay, The Wonders of Man in an Age of Simulations that just appeared in The Fortnightly Review. It is a review of books by Ray Kurzweil, Jaron Lanier, and Sherry Turkle and sets up the question of Human Being in an Inhuman Age, the topic of the Arendt Center’s upcoming conference.…Read more The Wonders of Man in an Age of Simulations Posted on 9 August 2010 | 8:13 am

Christopher Hitchens

Three years ago when I decided to host a conference celebrating Hannah Arendt’s 100th Birthday (this was before the Arendt Center existed), the first email went to Christopher Hitchens. While he had not written on Arendt, somehow I knew that he was the right person to think with her in our times. He accepted immediately,…Read more Christopher Hitchens Posted on 6 August 2010 | 6:51 pm

Being Judgmental

In commenting on my essay “Why We Must Judge,” Scott Horton writes: One of the most serious distortions of liberalism in modern American thought could be reduced to a simple, oft-repeated phrase: don’t be so judgmental. The argument is that it’s healthy for citizens in a modern society to collect information and suspend the process of…Read more Being Judgmental Posted on 3 August 2010 | 10:37 pm

Human Mystery

Professor Stevens response to my post on genetically choosing traits in our offspring suggests that I, and Arendtians (whatever such a thing may be) think “technology is inimical to nature, and therefore undesirable.” He diagnoses a fear of technology, and, it seems, a nostalgia for a pre-technological age. In the thinking of Arendt and her followers,…Read more Human Mystery Posted on 3 August 2010 | 10:31 pm

The Wisdom of Rhadamanthus: Why We Must Judge

I have a new essay just published in Democracy, A Journal of Ideas. My title was: The Wisdom of Rhadamanthus. If you read to the end you’ll see the point. But they wisely called it: “Why We Must Judge.” Read Why We Must Judge Here. Read Why We Must Judge Here. The essay begins: I n 2004,…Read more The Wisdom of Rhadamanthus: Why We Must Judge Posted on 1 August 2010 | 2:04 am