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Joshua Mann

Category Archives: Technology

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 decide between crashing itself and putting its human occupant(s) at risk versus risking the lives of, say, the children on a school bus stalled in an intersection. In stark terms, the car is in a sense programmed to sacrifice its occupants in certain scenarios. 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

Website re-design: dropcaps, indents, and more with CSS

Website re-design: dropcaps, indents, and more with CSS

I took advantage of some down time to redesign the blog. My design goal was to (1) maintain some of the minimalism but (2) dial up some sophistication and (3) give a nod to old-book elegance: dropcaps, indentation, and retro font. The previous iteration of the blog was uber-minimalist and came at a time in which my priority was improving backend speed and security (i.e.,… Continue Reading

What You Publish Online Is NOT Forever

What You Publish Online Is NOT Forever

A myth is often repeated that what one publishes on the web is permanent. But like any medium, it is anything but permanent. (It would be fun to go just 20 years into the future and see what we have). Digital media are especially susceptible to corruption and deletion. Sometime in 2005-06, I started blogging… Continue Reading

What is Digital Humanities Research?

What is Digital Humanities Research?

A few months ago, the CODEC team discussed pieces of Defining Digital Humanities: A Reader (Ashgate, 2013). One interesting chapter from that book is entitled “Selected Definitions from the Day of Digital Humanities 2009–2012.” The diversity of quoted scholars and their various definitions are instructive and reflect to some extent ongoing debates in the area. One of… Continue Reading

A New Year

A New Year

A few things have changed around here, including a new custom server setup, site design (minimalistic!), and domain (now josh.do). The plan for 2015 is to keep the focus mostly the same with the exception of incorporating a bit more from the realm of digital humanities with which I am increasingly involved. After an extremely… Continue Reading