The 21st century will be the century of the fugitive. Not because fugitives are proliferating, but because they are disappearing. And not disappearing in the way that fugitives like to disappear, but disappearing because they simply won’t exist. Technology won’t allow it. A manhunt summons forth the great machinery of the state: scores of armed… Continue reading The Century of the Fugitive and the Secret of the Detainee
The hornbook was not a book, but a small wooden board with a handle. A sheet of vellum inscribed with a lesson—typically the alphabet and the Lord’s Prayer—was attached to one side and covered by a thin, transparent layer of horn or mica. Historians don’t know much about hornbooks, other than they were important tools… Continue reading A Digital Hornbook for the Digital Humanities?
I'm five weeks into the new semester, and it's time to consider how my ambitious technology-heavy Graphic Novel course is going. And I'm serious when I say it's technology-heavy: we're doing a blog, a wiki, Twitter, and rigorous Pecha Kucha presentations. About the only thing we're missing is a MMORPG. I plotted out the major… Continue reading Reflections on a Technology-Driven Syllabus
While it seems like Web 2.0 outfits are dying left and right and venture capital for dot coms has all but dried up, I've noticed that there is still a market in Web 2.0 events: demos, expos, workshops, summits, conferences and so on, with tickets running $200/head. There may be no money in perpetually beta… Continue reading Southern States Web Expo and Exchange
I'm not sure why I started reading for pleasure two separate novels on the eve of the new semester, but I did. Maybe I'm trying to squeeze a few more drops of summer out of the first week of classes, before my reading for work grows too heavy. First up is Hari Kunzru's Transmission. The… Continue reading Kunzru’s Transmission and Gaiman’s Coraline
So my ancient 30gb MP3 player broke, and the only buttons that work now are the volume controls and the "Random Play" button. I'm going to milk this brick-like, nearly bricked player for all it's worth, and so I'm now cycling through the 8,000 songs in the random play, and I'm hearing things I haven't… Continue reading My life on Random Play
Sitting in the local coffee shop I overheard a group of fifty-ish women having their weekly coffee clutch. Their conversation drifted toward doctors and illnesses, and one of them related how the husband of a mutual friend was "going in for tests." I've never thought much about this phrase before, but suddenly today it struck… Continue reading Going in for tests…
From the archives: one of my students dug up a report by the United Auto Workers which details the history of death-by-robot in the auto industry. As the report warns us, "Robot injuries are one of the best-kept secrets." The best-kept secrets where, I'm dying to ask, and I'm hoping they mean "in the industry"… Continue reading Killer Robots!!!