Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
th-2

  I have no complaints about living in Maine. I find good music, good restaurants, good friends in the small city of Portland. I’ve taught inland and upstate in Bangor – just this side of Old Town, home of the classic canvas canoes I grew up with and rigged for sailing in a tidal river […]

ZiR
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Power to Intrude, Illustration by Ben Jennings, Prospect Magazine, February 2016

Two weeks ago I wrote about the relationship between privacy and power, and how may of today’s spokespeople for the oppressed focus more on stopping surveillance in the name of privacy than daring to call for surveillance of oppressors, or imagine ways that surveillance could be used to create a world devoid of oppression. Since […]

ZiR
luddite

Last week, I attended the Technology, Privacy, and the Future of Education symposium at NYU’s Media, Culture, and Communication department. One panelist, NYU Sociology’s Richard Arum, addressed the impact of technology on education-as-vocation—a subject on which I recommend Sugata Mitra’s self-organized, child-driven pedagogy. The other panelists focused primarily on digital technology’s impact on educational administration. […]

ZiLL
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banksy surveillance

Perhaps Jane Jacobs’ most acclaimed contribution to urban studies in The Death and Life of Great American Cities is her “eyes on the street” theory. “[T]here must be eyes upon the street, eyes belonging to those we might call the natural proprietors of the street . . . to insure the safety of both residents and strangers” (1992, […]

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robots - honda - crop

By Walter Cummins   Third in a series   Arobot killed a young contractor in a German Volkswagen production plant recently. While the worker was installing the stationary robot in its protective cage, the device suddenly struck out with a fatal blow. Apparently, this robot killing was the first of its kind in German manufacturing, with […]

Article
Categories: Fritz Tucker, ZiR | 1 Comment
Cultural Revolution Picture

I’ve just read The Chinese Cultural Revolution Reconsidered: Beyond Purge and Holocaust, a collection of essays that consider the social, political, economic, and psychological factors that contributed to the 1966-76 period. It was the first I had read about the Maoist period in years, after my thorough disenchantment with Maoists in Nepal. My renewed interest in the […]

ZiR
Categories: Essay | 1 Comment
RealDoll prosthetic device, leg, being repaired

By Walter Cummins   Second in a series   Last time I wrote of the relationship of various prosthetic devices to the people who wear them. This time my topic is humanoids. At first glance, they may seem to be very different subjects. Prosthetics often and humanoids always, however, do share roots in robotics and […]

Essay
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cummins - prosthetic hand

By Walter Cummins   Robotics and artificial intelligence are now in the news almost every day, and at the movies and on TV. Some hi-techers believe we have entered into new relationships with our digital devices. The boundaries between Us and Them may be vanishing. If we are becoming “transhumans,” is it more threat than […]

Essay
Categories: ZiR | 1 Comment
dig journ 1

In the first of three articles in the New York Review of Books on “Digital Journalism: How Good Is It?” author Michael Massing gives himself this assignment: That digital technology is disrupting the business of journalism is beyond dispute. What’s striking is how little attention has been paid to the impact that technology has had […]

ZiR
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gpacker

Reading 31 March-6 April 2013 (ZiR) Fritz Tucker, Zeteo Associate Editor [One in an ongoing series of posts. For the full series see Zeteo is Reading.] 25 June 2013 My mom, who has moved to the land where you can walk around naked, but can’t sit down, sent me the latest dispatch One question for technology boosters—maybe the […]

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James-Watt

James Watt Did Not Want Information to Be Free By Clifford D. Conner What was that most powerful idea that gave rise to the Industrial Revolution? The idea of latent heat? Thermodynamics? Steam power? No, it was the idea that an inventor’s innovations could be considered property deserving the protection of law that provided the […]

Review

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A Syrian man holds lifeless body of his son, killed by Syrian Army, Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2013, photo by Manu Brabo - AP

James Watt Did Not Want Information to Be Free By Clifford D. Conner What was that most powerful idea that gave rise to the Industrial Revolution? The idea of latent heat? Thermodynamics? Steam power? No, it was the idea that an inventor’s innovations could be considered property deserving the protection of law that provided the […]

ZiR

February 8, 2017

How does the slogan “man is a wolf to man” fit in with your later, somewhat hopeful image of camaraderie in the class struggle? I mean, if your starting assessment of human nature is correct, then doesn’t the class struggle actually come down to one group of savage beasts fighting another, the exploited class merely comprising those wolves with less opportunity to express their lupine ferocity? And don’t the exploiters no less than the exploited regularly turn against one another, so that besides the strife of classes, there is also the strife of each wolf against every other wolf? Wha...

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Beyoncé

James Watt Did Not Want Information to Be Free By Clifford D. Conner What was that most powerful idea that gave rise to the Industrial Revolution? The idea of latent heat? Thermodynamics? Steam power? No, it was the idea that an inventor’s innovations could be considered property deserving the protection of law that provided the […]

Article

December 13, 2016

Any doubts I may have had have been thoroughly quashed.

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Bakewell on Sartre: “Of course, he was monstrous. He was self-indulgent, demanding, bad-tempered. … I disagree with quite a lot in Sartre. But then there is the question of ‘character’—and Sartre is full of character. He bursts out on side sides with energy, peculiarity, generosity, and communicativeness.”

James Watt Did Not Want Information to Be Free By Clifford D. Conner What was that most powerful idea that gave rise to the Industrial Revolution? The idea of latent heat? Thermodynamics? Steam power? No, it was the idea that an inventor’s innovations could be considered property deserving the protection of law that provided the […]

Review

November 29, 2016

What a nice review ! I've read Bakewell and admire her courage and skill in mixing biography and philosophy in such an attractive way -- and I admire your skill in presenting the figures and themes of existentialism in an equally attractive way ! Mazel tov !

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