BY BJØRN EKEBERG “Who am I? A vortex. A dispersal that comes undone.” —Michel Serres, The Birth of Physics An extraordinary philosopher of science has passed away. Michel Serres was a Henri Bergson for the fractal age. He combined a precise grasp of the sciences with a philosophical appreciation of its lack of understanding of … More Turbulent Thoughts of a Peaceful Mind
“Feeling lurks in that interval of time between desire and its consummation. Shorten that interval, break down all those old unnecessary barriers.” —Aldous Huxley, Brave New World *** BY MICHAEL HAWORTH In 2016 Amazon introduced a new range of products called Dash Buttons. These are pocket-sized internet-enabled interfaces consisting simply of one button mapped to … More From Amazon’s Dash Button to Google Glass: Is there no limit to the capabilities of today’s radical neurotechnologies?
CHRISTOPHER A. PAULAssociate Professor, Seattle University The core argument in my book is that video games are an actualized meritocracy, a realm in which the values of hard work and skill have been pushed to their extremes and the result is a toxic community that focuses more on the celebration of individual glory than on … More On gaming, athletes, and individual glory . . . oh, Mercy!
BY ANDREW PILSCHAssistant professor of English, Texas A&M UniversityIn my timeline on Twitter, I get a lot of updates about Elon Musk. Maybe you do too, especially if you follow as many data scientists, technologist, and futurists as I do. Seemingly every week, the billionaire founder of SpaceX, Solar City, and Tesla is making headlines … More What’s the deal with Elon Musk? A transhumanist’s perspective.
Fritz Kahn, “Der Mensch als Industriepalast” (2d ed, ca. 1929).Artist: Fritz Shüler. © Kosmos Verlag, Stuttgart. National Library of Medicine. BY MICHAEL SAPPOLSwedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala In recent decades, scholars have begun to reckon with the visual turn in the popular science of the 18th and 19th centuries — the plates of the Encyclopédie … More Fun with Your Modern Head
BY SHELLEY Z. REUTERAssociate professor of sociology at Concordia University “I really should be taking better care of myself.” Who hasn’t thought that at least once in the past year? (Month? Week?) In Canada, where I live, government surveys have found in 2014, for example, that 72% of those responding thought there was something they … More Health care and the right to be responsible.
BY IAN G. R. SHAWLecturer in human geography at the University of GlasgowOn July 7, 2016, police forces in Dallas attached a small explosive device to a robot and sent it to kill Micah Johnson, the gunman who shot five police officers at a Black Lives Matter rally. Dallas Police Chief David Brown defended the … More Empire in an age of robots and drones
BY CURTIS MAREZProfessor of ethnic studies at the University of California, San Diego Even before Donald Trump promised to build one, U.S. popular culture was preoccupied with walls—most famously the Wall in Game of Thrones that protects the Seven Kingdoms from the wildlings. Contemporary depictions of zombies are set amid fences and fortifications that recall … More Of walls and robots: The future of immigration
This publicity photograph from RCA emphasizes the wealth and prestige of the first television viewers posed in front of the TRK-12 RCA receiver.Courtesy of the Hagley Museum and Library. BY DANIELLE SHAPIRO Today, we take television for granted. It is everywhere, in different sizes and shapes, in our pockets and our living room walls. It is … More The 1939–40 New York World’s Fair publicly launched the first idea of the television and what it can do.
LAURA MAULDINAssistant professor of human development/family studies and women’s, gender and sexuality studies at the University of Connecticut A common argument for using sign language with hearing babies is that it would have benefits that are practical (less fussing), emotional (creates a closer parent bond), and cognitive (boosts brain development). “Fewer tantrums and more fun!” … More Disagreement abounds about the best way to serve deaf children.