Category Archives: Critique of Media & Technology

Soul (Slow Online and Ubiquitous Learning): Analysis and Regulation of Instructional Time

We just uploaded “Soul (Slow Online and Ubiquitous Learning): Analysis and Regulation of Instructional Time,” which will be presented at the upcoming STEM in education in conference here at UBC.

ABSTRACT: This paper addresses an experimental and innovative pedagogy and philosophy: Slow Online and Ubiquitous Learning (SOUL). Since 2011, the co-authors have implemented SOUL as a pedagogy and philosophy into the online courses they teach at a university level. Pedagogically, SOUL is a pragmatic temporal regulation that limits and paces course commitments for students and instructors. Philosophically, SOUL is an intervention into the conventional wisdom that portrays online learning as a limitless exchange of ideas 24/7. This paper provides a theoretical framework that underwrites SOUL, reviews relevant research on time, and analyzes instructors’ and students’ experiences and self-study data.

Who will own the robots?


Illustration credit: Joost Swarte.

David Rotman’s three-part article series in the MIT Technology Review asks important questions about the effects of software and automation on the economy. Do you think that today’s rapid advances in artificial intelligence and automation foreshadow a future in which robots and software greatly reduce the need for human workers? Are we facing a future with increased disparity and inequality due to the commercialization of technological innovation? Will the rewards of new technologies go largely to the very richest, as has been the trend in recent decades?

Part I (June 12, 2013): How Technology Is Destroying Jobs
Part II (Oct 14, 2014): Technology and Inequality
Part III (June 16, 2015): Who Will Own the Robots?

How do you respond to Robert Solow’s claim that, “any decent person should find having extreme poverty coexisting in the same society with extreme wealth immoral” in regards to the increasing gap between the super wealthy and everyone else in our world?

For example, the 2014 Global Wealth Report informs: “a person needs only USD 3,650 to be among the wealthiest half of world citizens. However, more than USD 77,000 is required to be a member of the top 10% of global wealth holders, and USD 798,000 to belong to the top 1%. Taken together, the bottom half of the global population own less than 1% of total wealth. In sharp contrast, the richest decile hold 87% of the world’s wealth, and the top percentile alone account for 48.2% of global assets.”

We need to do better at intelligently managing and sharing our world’s resources. How does income inequality effect economic opportunity and innovation in our world? How do we share the wealth that technology creates? How do we create a technological world without greed? How do we work towards a prosperous technological future with human flourishing for all?


Critique of #Media & #Technology Workshop #mediastudies #history


Wednesday, April 29, 2015
10:20-12:00     Scarfe 1209
Year of Research in Education event #yreubc


Stephen Petrina
University of British Columbia

This workshop focuses on the Critique of Media & Technology. The first part of the workshop includes a presentation and discussion on a forthcoming chapter. The second part of the workshop focuses on the process of researching and writing with special attention to philosophical and historical research 2.0 and narrative. How can we or ought we write a (big) history of the critique of media and technology?

The chapter begins with the spiritual critique of media and technology and proceeds historically through cultural criticism and social, psychic, ontic, and identic critiques. Differentiated from the spiritual critique that precedes, cultural criticism of media and technology emerges in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as a mode of describing and depicting the mechanical arts. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, spiritual critique is displaced through a rejection of religion and theology as sources of modern authority. With spiritual ground undermined, social, psychic, ontic, and identic critics of media and technology compete for defensible ground for leverage. The history of critique is a search for ground. This chapter historicizes the critique of media and technology as well as critique as a practice that has run out of steam. “Critical distance” from or “free relation” to media and technology— a seductive orientation since the 1940s— has been instrumental in critique’s gradual decline. The critique of critique has quickened the decline. The conclusion questions the short-term future of machinic critique and long-term renewal of spiritual critique.

Download the Critique of Media & Technology chapter.