Category Archives: Events (eng)

#STU12 – Melissa Sterry: “Building a Bionic City: Science Fiction or Future Science Fact?”

ThursDAY, 16TH OF February 2012, 8 PM GMT

Abstract: A city able to anticipate and adapt to major meteorological and geological events may sound like the stuff of sci-fi, but could emergent innovations in materials, sensors and signal processing, structural engineering, smart technologies and intelligent systems enable the concept to become science fact? Arthur C. Clarke said “At the present rate of progress, it is almost impossible to imagine any technical feat that cannot be achieved – if it can be achieved at all – within the next few hundred years.” Melissa’s lecture will present current and future technological possibles to assist those participating in the lecture to answer for themselves the question of whether a Bionic City will remain in the domain of science fiction or become future science fact. Continue reading

#STU11 – Steve Fuller: “How to think like God”

SunDAY, 25TH OF DECEMBER 2011, 8 PM GMT

Title: How to think like God.
Tweeter: Steve Fuller is Auguste Comte Professor of Social Epistemology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick, UK. Originally trained in history and philosophy of science, he is best known for his work in the field of ‘social epistemology’, which is concerned with the normative foundations of organized inquiry. It is also the name of a quarterly journal he founded in 1987 and the first of his eighteen books. His most recent books are The Sociology of Intellectual Life: The Career of the Mind in and around the Academy (Sage, 2009), Science: The Art of Living (Acumen and McGill-Queens University Press, 2010) and Humanity 2.0: What It Means to Be Human Past, Present and Future (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).  He is currently completing a history of epistemology to be published by Acumen in 2013.
Abstract: “Without denying that many – though exactly how many is far from clear – people not only don’t believe in God but also appear to object to the very idea, it might be a good idea to get a sense of what it would mean to think like God. At the very least, this would give both believers and non-believers a clear sense of what they’re talking about. One might think that ‘theologians’, whose name literally means ‘scientists of God’, would offer some straight talk on the subject. And while some theologians do, many if not most are compromised by having to speak within one or another church stricture.

In any case, what better time to discuss this matter than the Christmas season! After all, the sort of God whose mind is worth fathoming is the one that led a motley crew of dissenting European Christians in the 17th century to initiate the Scientific Revolution. It’s this version God, which I believe remains very relevant, that I wish to discuss in my lecture. Even today, it’s pretty difficult to rationalize science – especially if we look at both the positive and the negative sides of its score sheet – unless we imagine ourselves as over time, albeit in fits and starts, getting closer to the mind of this hypothesized God, in whose ‘image and likeness’ the Abrahamic religions maintain that we have been created.

Of course, some believe that science was a big mistake to begin with, or that we’re likely to be doomed if don’t curtail science’s development. But that’s not my starting point.” Continue reading

#STU09 – Eileen A. Joy: “Notes Toward a Speculative Realist Literary Criticism”

Tuesday, 20th of December 2011, 8 pm GMT

Title: Notes Toward a Speculative Realist Literary Criticism
Tweeter: Eileen A. Joy is Associate Professor of English at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where she teaches courses in medieval literature, contemporary fiction, cultural studies, and critical theory. She is the Lead Ingenitor of the BABEL Working Group (www.babelworkinggroup.org), Co-Editor of postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies (http://www.palgrave-journals.com/pmed/index.html), Co-Editor of O-Zone: A Journal of Object-Oriented Studies (http://ozone-journal.com), and Co-Director of punctum books (http://punctumbooks.com). She has published numerous essays and articles on medieval literature, cultural studies, post/humanism, and ethics (website: http://www.siue.edu/~ejoy).
Abstract: Relative to the current debate over “close” versus “symptomatic” (New Historicist + psychoanalytic + skeptical) reading strategies, I’d like to outline a series of leading questions relative to what an inhuman or post/human “close reading” might look like, especially under the cross-disciplinary influence of the movements known as “speculative realism,” “object-oriented ontology,” “dark ecology,” “weird realism,” and “vibrant materialism” (as mainly typified in the work and thought of Graham Harman, Levi Bryant, Ian Bogost, Timothy Morton, and Jane Bennett). This will also serve as a springboard to collectively explore what Michael Witmore, in his essay “We Have Never Not Been Inhuman” (published in the inaugural issue of postmedieval on the post/human), suggested with respect to the inhuman characteristics of literary narrative:

Mathematics and diagrams have often been associated with an anti- or inhuman reduction of complexity into ‘graphs and numbers’, a reduction that we associate with the rise of experimentalism in the seventeenth century. Why should this be so? Are there not, on the one hand, ways in which narrative itself is—particularly in terms of plot—designed to implement a strategic reduction in complexity among the social and physical sources of change and transformation in the world?

And further,

Our work with narratives puts us in touch with forms of reduction or compression that are every bit as diagrammatic and so (potentially) inhuman as those who study the compression algorithms of physics or planetary biology. The key for us is the way in which narratives of human action introduce counterfactual ideals—impossible, limiting, but also operative and effectual—that are immanent in the objects we study, not simply projections of the creators or interpreters of those objects. The issue here is where one locates the absence of the human, just as a century ago, it was where one located its essence.

This brief Twitter University lecture will work to open up new questions relative to the possibilities and problematics of what might be called close, inhuman reading—an “inhuman” reading, moreover, that does not dispense with “humanist” reading ethics, per se, but rather, fortifies them through non-human-centric lenses and concerns.
Hashtag: #STU09 Continue reading

#STU07 – Jim Walker: “Steve Jobs’ Greatest Legacy: How Apps, Smartphones, and Tablets Will Revolutionize Healthcare”

Tuesday, 13th of December 2011, 8 pm GMT

Title: Steve Jobs’ Greatest Legacy: How Apps, Smartphones, and Tablets Will Revolutionize Healthcare
Tweeter: Jim Walker, Director Emerging Trends – Cadient Group. Jim is the founder of AnywhereHealth.com, and provides digital marketing strategy for a wide-range of healthcare clients. He is particularly interested in helping brand teams take advantage of social networks, mobile marketing, and online video. Jim graduated from Amherst College with a degree in English & Japanese and has an MS in Instructional Technology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.
Description: It will take many years to fully assess Steve Jobs’ impact on the 21st century, but in terms of healthcare – the advances he and his team at Apple sparked in terms of user-friendly apps, smartphones, and tablets have already begun to change the shape of medicine around the world:

  • A physician in Philadelphia clicks on his iPad and has immediate access to CT scans from the ER.
  • In a remote village outside of Nairobi, a healthcare worker walking to a make-shift clinic makes sure to bring her mobile phone so that patient vital signs can be immediately texted back to the hospital.
  • A mother in Chicago goes to the drugstore and uses her iPhone in the aisle to find coupons for children’s pain medicine.

Each day around the world, scenes like these are occurring with increasing frequency as the combined impact of smartphones, tablets, and social networks revolutionize the ways by which patients are diagnosed, monitored, and treated. The common threads that link these stories – Anywhere Diagnosis, Anywhere Data, and Anywhere Delivery – are powerful and far-reaching, and together form the foundation for Anywhere Health.
Hashtag: #STU07 Continue reading

#STU10 – Mark Ingham: “New Paradigms in Pedagogical Thinking for the Academy of the very near Future, or how the Wasp Became the Orchid”

WEDNESDAY, 21TH OF DECEMBER 2011, 8 PM GMT

Title: New Paradigms in Pedagogical Thinking for the Academy of the very near Future, or how the Wasp Became the Orchid.
Tweeter: Dr Mark Ingham, @ScopingPhD2010. Mark is visual artist who has been making work about and researching into ideas of autobiographical memory and its relationships with photographic images. This work is made up of a number of installations that use SLR cameras and LED light sources to create photographic projectors. They use photographic slides as their image source and are attempts to create a sense of memories being fuzzy narratives that can constantly change and be changed. These projected photographic images are an exploration into experiences of remembering and forgetting. They are attempts to evoke a form of ‘paramnesia’, whereby fantasy and reality collapse to create a sense of déjà vu. He is a Principal Lecturer at the University of Greenwich in the School of Architecture, Design and Construction. He is a Masters Programme Leader in the Design Future Despartment.
Description: The impetus for this lecture is how the works of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari can be used to rethink university level education especially in Art and Design. Taking two of their famous metaphors of the Rhizome and the Nomad, the discussion will circulate around ideas of how technology and social media are changing the landscape of how we learn and teach in a 21st century academy. To paraphrase Deleuze, ‘“A lecture is a brick. It can be used to build a courthouse of reason. Or it can be thrown through the window.” The lecture will be a series of ‘thought experiments’ or musings on how we can think differently about how we learn in today’s more connected and hopefully more collaboratively orientated educational systems. Continue reading

#STU06 – Jamais Cascio: “The Foresight Immune System”

Monday, 12th of December 2011, 8 pm GMT

Title:The Foresight Immune System
Tweeter: Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of their Top 100 Global Thinkers, Jamais Cascio (@cascio) specializes in the design and creation of plausible scenarios of the future. His work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly and Foreign Policy, among others, and he has been featured in a variety of future-oriented television programs. Cascio speaks about future possibilities around the world, at venues including the National Academy of Sciences and TED. Cascio is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Future. In 2003, he co-founded the award-winning environmental website WorldChanging.com, and now blogs at Open the Future.
Description: If accurate predictions are impossible — and they are — why should we think about the future? In 25 tweets we’ll explore why foresight work remains important and what role it should play in our thinking about the world. Hint: it does for civilization what a vaccination does for our bodies…
Hashtag: #STU06 Continue reading

#STU08 – An Xiao Mina: “Translating People: Crossing the Language Barrier in Social Media”

Thursday, 15th of December 2011, 11 pm GMT

Title: Translating People: Crossing the Language Barrier in Social Media
Tweeter: An Xiao Mina (aka “An Xiao”, her artist name), @anxiaostudio, is an American design thinker and new media artist. She uses technology to build and empower communities through creative expression. She co-founded and directs the digital efforts of Bird’s Nest: Ai Weiwei in English, a translation site for Ai Weiwei’s Twitter account. Her work has been featured in venues internationally, from the Brooklyn Museum to Shanghai’s Xindanwei, and in publications like The New York Times, The Guardian, Art in America and CNNGo. Learn more at www.anxiaostudio.com or on Twitter at @anxiaostudio.
Description: “By now, we can take for granted that social media interfaces exist in different languages.  Facebook has been translated into over a hundred languages, and Twitter has a dozen options.  But is this really building a global dialogue?  Consider Tencent QQ, a social network of over 800 million active users.  They offer an intuitive, streamlined English-language interface. Most people outside China have never heard of it.  Why is this?

In my Twitter lecture, I want to discuss why we need take the next step beyond translating interfaces.  We need more open, embedded translation tools on social media that translate people.  I will point to sites that offer these features and draw on my experience working on the translation site for Ai Weiwei’s Twitter account.”
Hashtag: #STU08 Continue reading