The Design History of Robert M. Pirsig’s Books

I published my article on the history of Robert Pirsig’s books at the Humanities Commons.

I admire Rober Pirsig’s work on the Metaphysics of Quality as described in his two books Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila. Robert passed away in 2017 I started to collect all the English editions of his books. I wrote an article entitle “The Design History of Robert M. Pirsig’s Books” in which I analysed all these books and their covers. The book proposal for Zen was rejected by 122 publishers. My article was rejected by only nine journals but this was done sequentially, which took almost a year. It seems like Pirsig’s curse is upon this manuscript. Academic publishing remains difficult and I recently interviewed Anton Angelo about it.

It is time to take a new approach and hence I decided to publish the article in the Humanities Commons. Please enjoy the article. High resolution scans of all the book covers are available over at the Open Science Framework. I also published the scans of all the covers over at Flickr. Have a look at the Zen and Lila albums.

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Ask your librarian

In this In this podcast episode we discuss the evolving landscape of academic publishing.

Publishing scientific papers and books is a difficult task. The arrival of the internet has the potential to dramatically change the business models, but also the review and publishing process. I discussed the changing world of publishing with Anton Angelo, Data Librarian at the University of Canterbury. We discussed Open Access, Print-on-Demand and the changing roles of libraries. We even spotted some dangerous predators in the publishing jungle. And in case of any trouble, always ask you librarian!

Emmet’s Full Size Dream House

In the LEGO Movie 2, Emmet is inviting Lucy to his dream house. Similar to a Tardis, it is bigger on the inside than from the outside. But when we get to see the backside of the house, it becomes clear that there is a full size version that is different from the set 70831. I too several screenshots and tried to assemble this full size version of Emmets house based on the shots from its rear side.

The house can be opened up by removing half of the roof and by opening up the other half. We have the famous couch and the double decker porch swing. Here are some screen grabs from the movie and their MOC counterpart.

Ethik in KI und Robotik

My first scientific book in German is now available. Here is the blurb:

Was darf KI eigentlich?

Unser Leben wird zunehmend von Künstlicher Intelligenz (KI) und Robotik beeinflusst. Autonome Fahrzeuge kommen auf unsere Straßen, Roboter werden für eine Vielzahl von Aufgaben im Gesundheitswesen vorgeschlagen – von der Unterstützung älterer Menschen bis zum Einsatz bei Operationen – und Algorithmen entscheiden über Kreditanträge sowie sogar über den Einsatz automatischer Waffensysteme. Viele Menschen befürchten, dass KI langfristig die Kontrolle über unser Leben übernimmt.

Vor diesem Hintergrund wird es immer wichtiger, die ethischen Grundlagen und Auswirkungen des Einsatzes von KI und Robotik in unserer Gesellschaft zu diskutieren. Dieses Buch bietet eine Einführung in das Thema, die keine technischen, rechtlichen oder philosophischen Kenntnisse voraussetzt. Es behandelt Fragen des Vertrauens, der Verantwortung, der Haftung, des Datenschutzes und des Risikos in der Beziehung der Nutzer zu KI-Systemen und Robotik.

Die Autoren veranschaulichen die Themen im gesamten Buch anhand von Beispielen. Am jeweiligen Kapitelende befinden sich Fragen, die zur Diskussion von KI-Anwendungen einladen, von der Gesundheitsfürsorge bis zur Kriegsführung. Weiterführende Literatur dient ebenfalls als Anregung für den Leser.

Aus dem Inhalt:

  • Was ist KI?
  • Was ist Ethik?
  • Fairness und Vertrauen in KI-Systeme
  • Verantwortung und Haftung bei KI-Systemen
  • Risiken der KI für Unternehmen
  • Psychologische Aspekte der KI
  • Privatsphäre und KI
  • Human Enhancement
  • Autonome Fahrzeuge
  • Militärische Anwendungen der KI