by | 04.18.2017
Primitive hunter-gatherers, given the broad range of tasks they had to carry out to survive, have a skill set more immune to the “cognitive” smarts of new AI technologies than a highly educated, highly specialized service worker! This reveals something about both the nature of AI and the nature of the division of labor in contemporary capitalism. It helps us understand that AI systems are best viewed as idiot savants, not Renaissance Men.
by | 04.03.2017
The Anthropocene accounts for a vast swath of human and natural history, but there are limits to its scope encouraging the proliferation of numerous other 'cenes. From the Chthulucene to the Anglocene, these terms explain our ecological present from a myriad of different perspectives.
by | 03.21.2017
Blanchot (commenting on Priam's supplication of Achilles) says the choice in Homer is violence or speech. In Vergil, in the modern state, our choice is only violence or the silence, whether of Dido or Ajax, imposed upon us by our isolation within the emptiness of our dreams (Milton).
by | 03.13.2017
What is wrong with our current “administrative state” to deserve this new call for deconstruction? Deconstruction entered literary theory in the 1970s as a rigorous tool for self-critique. This, however, is not Bannon’s idea of deconstruction.
by | 03.09.2017
As machines creep ever further into work that requires thinking and judgment, human creativity, interpretation, emotions, and reasoning will become increasingly important. STEM may just lead to its own obsoleteness, and in doing so increases the value of professionals trained in the humanities.
by | 03.07.2017
Who—in this shamelessly visual age—would bother to read an analysis of the Muslim world’s modern history when ISIS is swamping social media with ghastly short videos whose impact on viewers is often irrevocable? What can my apologetic writings change if the Pandora’s Box of fear has been opened and is indiscriminately spreading poison?
by | 03.02.2017
The HBO series portrays one of the most ancient and divinely powerful posts on the planet as an afflicted man that suffers from the most mundane problems of all: self-doubt and loneliness. We must thank God for that.
by | 02.27.2017
This is a time when we must heed the lessons of the Holocaust, revere the memories of Japanese-Americans, and venerate the integrity of the Judiciary. We must understand patriotism as the relentless defense of civil liberties and as an unyielding resistance to the normalization of discrimination, numbness, cynicism, and detachment.