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Joshua Mann

My book picks from Princeton Profs’ Summer Reading

My book picks from Princeton Profs’ Summer Reading

I am always interested in the books that other academics are hoping to read. Recently Princeton released the summer reading that a handful are hoping to tackle this Summer. From those recommendations, I have highlighted the following for my own list:

From AnneMarie Luijendijk’s list:

From Matthew Salganik’s list:

Reducing Oneself to a Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Reducing Oneself to a Curriculum Vitae (CV)

It recently occurred to me that the academic Curriculum Vitae (CV) is not only an instrument through which a scholar presents the scholarly self to the scholarly world, but also an instrument through which the scholar presents the self to the self. In other words, the CV functions like a (highly skewed) window through which the world can see… Continue Reading

Machine Override: Artificial Intelligence and Human Agency

Machine Override: Artificial Intelligence and Human Agency

One of the concerns that many share about training computers to perform certain tasks (like driving) is when or whether to allow a human to override the machine’s decision(s). I have encountered three recent discussions of this to serve as some food for thought. First, the example that gets trotted out frequently is a self-driving car that must… Continue Reading

Chad Wellmon on Reading, From Augustine to Digital Humanists

Chad Wellmon on Reading, From Augustine to Digital Humanists

Chad Wellmon, in “Sacred Reading: From Augustine to the Digital Humanists,” recounts various shifts in the conception of reading over the centuries–how we read, for what we read, the telos of reading, etc. Underlying the compelling narrative Wellmon crafts is a comparison of ‘close’ and ‘distant’ (sometimes equated with ‘computational’) reading: Continue Reading

A Brief Description of Digital Humanities

A Brief Description of Digital Humanities

I reflected once before on the issue of defining the ‘digital humanities’. Here’s the description I typically give now: The digital humanities is a field that (i) applies the questions and methods of computing to the humanities (e.g., sentiment analysis of 19th century Scottish literature); and/or (ii) applies the questions and methods of the humanities to computing (e.g.,… Continue Reading

Today’s Degrees Cost More, Worth Less

Today’s Degrees Cost More, Worth Less

A friend of mine shared an article repeating a familiar narrative, namely the plight of freshly minted PhDs looking for work. Today’s academic degrees cost far more than they used to but are worth far less. So who is cashing in on the difference? Related to this, I have deep reservations about the nearly unqualified encouragement given… Continue Reading