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Or, why there’s no such thing as machine intelligence. In his seminal paper on machine intelligence, Computing Intelligence and Machinery (1950), Alan Turing replaces the question “can machines think?” with the more tractable question of what would happen if a machine took the place of one of the human beings...

John Locke has a lot to answer for. As I argue in Confronting the Democratic Discourse of Librarianship, Locke’s writings - especially the “Letter Concerning Toleration” provide the ideological justification for free-speech/intellectual-freedom maximalism. However, Locke’s philosophy is based on the presumption of a homogeneous society, a democracy made up solely...

As part of yesterday’s “Diversity Day” at University of Alberta Libraries, Jessie Loyer gave a thought-provoking workshop called “Where do you work? Rooting responsibility in land”. The workshop was essentially a set of guided questions on land, indigeneity, settler rights and responsibilities, sovereignty, communities, and relationships. When I got home...

The machine… is a mechanism that, after being set in motion, performs with its tools the same operations as the worker formerly did with similar tools. (Capital, Chapter 15, p. 495). For Marx, a machine consisted of three parts. In modern terms, the power supply, the transmission mechanism, and the...

Over the last while, two observations have been floating around in my head. The first is that several radically different kinds of work with different perspectives and values have been shoehorned into a single profession: technical services, systems/digital projects, public services/reference/teaching, etc. The dominant perspective on this is siloization, as...