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Marshall McLuhan on Critical Vision and the Automatic

marshall mcluhan
Marshall McLuhan comments on the power of critical thinking against automatic movement in this week's Thoughts on Thinking. Posted on 23 February 2016 | 8:00 pm

Reading With Your Computer

Franco Moretti is a literature professor, and founder of the Stanford Literary Lab, who believes in something called “computational criticism,” that is, the ability of computers to aid in the understanding of literature. Joshua Rothman’s recent profile of Moretti has provoked a lot of response, most of it defending traditional literary criticism from the digital…Read more Reading With Your Computer Posted on 2 April 2014 | 12:16 pm

Nettlesomeness and Humanity

Magnus Carlsen—just 22 years old—beat Viswanathan Anand (the reigning world chess champion) this week at the World Chess Championships in Chennai, India. There has been much excitement about Carlsen’s victory, and not simply because of his youth. As Joe Weisenthal writes, Carlsen’s win signifies the emergence of a new kind of chess. We can profitably…Read more Nettlesomeness and Humanity Posted on 22 November 2013 | 1:13 pm

Amor Mundi – 8/25/13

Hannah Arendt considered calling her magnum opus Amor Mundi: Love of the World. Instead, she settled upon The Human Condition. What is most difficult, Arendt writes, is to love the world as it is, with all the evil and suffering in it. And yet she came to do just that. Loving the world means neither uncritical acceptance nor contemptuous…Read more Amor Mundi – 8/25/13 Posted on 26 August 2013 | 10:32 am

Beware of the Drones!

Thomas Levin of Princeton came to Bard Tuesday to give a lecture to the Drones Seminar, a weekly class I am participating in, led by my colleague Thomas Keenan and conceived by two of our students Arthur Holland and Dan Gettinger.  Levin has studied surveillance techniques for years and he came to think with us…Read more Beware of the Drones! Posted on 22 March 2013 | 4:45 pm

John Adams on Education

One of the great documents of American history is the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, written in 1779 by John Adams. In Section Two of Chapter Six, Adams offers one of the most eloquent testaments to the political virtues of education. He writes: Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the…Read more John Adams on Education Posted on 1 February 2013 | 11:25 am

The Humanity of Robots

The Wall Street Journal ran an interview this week with Luke Muehlhauser, the Executive Director of the Singularity Institute. The Journal asked: Will Artificial Intelligence Make us Obsolete? Muehlhauser’s answer was, well yes. In his words: Cognitive science has discovered that everything the human mind does is done by information processing and machines can do…Read more The Humanity of Robots Posted on 18 October 2012 | 1:09 pm

Rethinking the Unsustainable

There is probably no presidential speech more quoted in Academic circles than Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1961 farewell speech, on the final day of his presidency. It was in that speech that Eisenhower warned of the danger of a military-industrial complex. The need for a permanent army and a permanent arms industry creates, he writes, a…Read more Rethinking the Unsustainable Posted on 22 May 2012 | 11:41 am

Beautiful Chess played by Humans and Machines

Rebecca Thomas has a long and thoughtful response to my post on Gary Kasparov’s article on computers, chess, and humanity. The whole comment is worth reading. But here is how she begins: Regarding the first of the three comments, I have to take issue with the idea that a chess game played by a computer…Read more Beautiful Chess played by Humans and Machines Posted on 9 July 2010 | 11:36 pm