Category Archives: General

Too Big to Care

This post inspired by a series of articles about bad behavior on Wall Street over the summer.

What makes “too big to fail” or “too big to jail” equal to “license to steal”?  (How) Can the Humanities help restore the social contract, or should we simply acknowledge that we have given up on civilization and get on with the alternatives?  See for example:

Here is a somewhat more thoughtful take on the overall situation:

And somewhat less so:

Or, if you have four hours to spare, the 2012 4-part FRONTLINE series, “Money, Power & Wall Street.”

Documenting and analyzing medieval Sanskrit scientific texts

I’m involved in a collaborative research project on documenting and analyzing medieval Sanskrit scientific texts, with connections to a number of related projects on similar historical texts in other traditions (Babylonian, Hellenistic, medieval Islamic, early modern Latin, etc.). Digital textbase structures and the best ways to define and organize technical/bibliographic/prosopographic information are a key focus of our work.

Robots and Humans

Cherrice Traver, Nick Webb, Union College
The idea that machines could replace humans is both intriguing and perhaps terrifying. So how do robots work anyway? How easy is it to make one do something simple, like move around? How about something complicated, like moving around without bumping into things? This workshop will allow participants to explore these and other questions about robotics as they follow instructions for making a robot do some tasks. Computers, Mindstorm robots, and a graphical tool for instructing the robot will be provided.

Philosophy & Technology Session

“I For One Welcome Our New Robot Overlords”

Doug Klein, Union College

Should you be allowed to use genetic testing and engineering to ensure that your baby is not pre-disposed to certain genetically-linked illnesses? How about choosing the gender of your baby?  Or eye color? Or height; strength; musical talent; intelligence?

What about machines?  How intelligent can we make them?  How intelligent should we make them?  Can we make them intelligent enough that they can go on and make themselves more intelligent – sometimes called “the singularity”?  Should we? (more…)

THATCamp Humanities + Engineering

Union College, September 26-27, 2013

THATCamp Humanities + Engineering is coming together, with new developments all the time!  The current draft of the schedule is online, and we’re excited about the sessions planned.  Registration is open.

In the meantime, be thinking about all the ways that the humanities and engineering can intersect / tease / connect / overlap / converse / interfere / play an awesome game of PONG with each other.  We’ll be talking about all of those issues and more this September.

Be sure to check back regularly, and follow us on twitter:  @UnionTHATCamp


Nott Memorial, Union College


Wold Center Atrium, Site of TC H+E