Event: The New Trivium

West, East, and Digital

National Association of Scholars

In the medieval university, the trivium was the gateway to the liberal arts, which encompassed the disciplines of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The modern university still aspires to the ideal set by its medieval predecessors, but are these still instruments of the liberal arts?

The medieval university arose from a new technology of communication, the printing press. We are now in the midst of another communications revolution. Is it time for a new trivium, consisting of the alphabetic (west), pictographic (east), and digital languages?

We will be discussing an early version of “cancel culture” experienced by Norbert Wiener after he refused to apply cybernetics to "social problems." Wiener was a victim of a poorly understood "paradigm-shift" over digital technology. The implications of this are still playing out today in our present conundra over artificial intelligence and the accompanying "Human Use of Human Beings," which were strongly foreshadowed in Wiener's life. Today, there are even more far-reaching psychological and social implications.

This event features Mark Stahlman, the president of the Center for the Study of Digital Life (CSDL) and CEO of the strategic risk assessment firm Exogenous, Inc (EXO). He is a retired Wall Street technology strategist/banker, who trained to be a Molecular Biologist (University of Wisconsin Madison) and theologian (University of Chicago). His father, William, was a historian of ancient mathematics, an expert on Ptolemy, and a protégé of the pioneer of cybernetics, Norbert Wiener at MIT.

Photo by Adobe Stock

  • Share

Most Commented

July 12, 2023


Scott Gerber’s Case in Context

Ohio Northern University seems intent on chiseling into granite its protocol for getting rid of a faculty member who disagrees with the institution’s woke ideology, even when the......

July 19, 2023


On Collegiality

Increasingly, collegiality is being added to the traditional triad of excellence that wins professors tenure. And now, the issue of collegiality is a fraught minefield, and has become&#......

June 22, 2023


Accreditation? A Woke, Good-Cop-Bad-Cop Scam

The “diversity” bug afflicts almost all of academia; dissenters face opprobrium. But the very same mindset controls accreditors....

Most Read

April 14, 2023


Faculty Fight for Academic Freedom at Harvard

While many faculty quietly endorse views they privately disagree with, Harvard faculty band together to resist administrative overreach, overzealous students, and protect academic freedom....

May 15, 2015


Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

June 20, 2023


How Many Confucius Institutes Are in the United States?

UPDATED: We're keeping track of all Confucius Institutes in the United States, including those that remain open, those that closed, and those that have announced their closing....