Do Unto Others

A lot of people have been sharing the image of robot trials undertaken at Boston Dynamics, often mashed up with scenes of Sarah Connor from Terminator. While what we’re witnessing are tests to see how robots cope with challenges, the time may come when we have to ask serious questions about the ethical treatment of them. In the [Read More…]

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Flipping the Church

I found myself reflecting recently on the ways we count “attendance” in relation to church congregations. Why do we focus on Sunday morning worship services, and not how many come to the community breakfast, or other things. And indeed, what is the meaning of the Sunday morning service, which was designed to convey information in [Read More…]

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58 Years of Computing

The above photo came to my attention on Facebook. It is a very clever way of making the point about how much computers have changed over the past 58 years. The photo at the top is the first delivery of a computer. The photo at the bottom has one that has a much greater computing power, [Read More…]

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Digital Humanities at #AARSBL15

One important element in the decision to bring the Blogger and Online Publication program unit to an end was the fact that the Digital Humanities program unit was open to folding our area within theirs. Indeed, they invited me to join their steering committee, and we had a meeting over breakfast this morning, discussing lots [Read More…]

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The 2019 Mindset List

Beloit College has published its latest “Mindset List” – a list of things that characterize this year’s incoming freshmen. One is that there has always been a Benoit Mindest List! But perhaps even more striking for many of us are these: Hybrid automobiles have always been mass produced. Google has always been there, in its [Read More…]

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Amazon Echo: The Future Is Now

I paid a visit to Amazon.com today to see if I could find a particular piece of sheet music. I didn’t find it, but on the front page was an announcement that Amazon Echo is available to the general public. I had not really paid attention to the news about this before. But when they quoted [Read More…]

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Prophets of the Technological Future

I had been meaning to blog about the movie Ex Machina for a while now. It makes explicit the potential for the creation of artificial intelligence to be thought of in terms of godlikeness. It is interesting that, whenever we imagine creation of sentient beings taking place, whether in Genesis or sci-fi, they never fail to [Read More…]

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Acts 8 (Enterprise Edition)

Unvirtuous Abbey shared this on Facebook. This isn’t what I have pictured when I have read Acts 8. But it may be what I end up picturing from now on. But I have thought often about the tendency of science fiction to depict miracles and gods as real, but the products of advanced technology or [Read More…]

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Exploring Our Matrix On Mobile Devices

Patheos announced recently that it will be rolling out a new mobile-friendly version of its site. I know that readers of my blog have been frustrated with some of the technical issues. And so I would encourage you to try out the site today via your mobile device(s), and let me know if and when [Read More…]

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Staring at their Hands in Despair

April 1st’s Bizarro is funny, but also problematic. How can people who are engaging in constant conversation be “incapable of conversation”? But I am happy to see a depiction of an afterlife without cell phones. Can you imagine how long it would take you to get from one cloud to another if you were stuck [Read More…]

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Rigor in Online Education

My colleague Jim Keating wrote a piece about online education for the Tomorrow’s Professor eNewsletter. Here is an excerpt. Click through to read the rest. There is a worry that online education is not as rigorous as that which happens in the classroom. When we hear people ask wither a particular online course is sufficiently [Read More…]

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