91 Works

Engineering Education - Сonvergence of Technology and Language

Eduard Krylov
This essay for the inaugural issue of Technology and Language demonstrates the close relationship between technology and language with just a few examples from engineering education. Just like a name becomes meaningful in the context of a sentence, the meaning of an engineering object depends on external circumstances. This relation between technology and language is not the same in all Engineering cultures and languages, however – as testified by the differences between engineering education in...

Cybernetics for the Blind: The Reading Machine «Luch» (The Ray)

Anna Kotomina
This essay for the inaugural issue of Technology and Language looks at a particular technical device that was to give access to the written word. In the late 1960s Rostislav Muratov proposed the model of a reading machine named “Luch” (Ray). “Luch” was designed for blind people to provide comprehensive access to books, newspapers, and magazines. Muratov understood blindness as “the loss of information” and assumed that his invention would appeal to a desire to...

Good Engineering Design - Design Evolution by Languages

Peter Pelz
This essay for the inaugural issue of Technology and Language shows that the mastery of multiple languages is the enabler for good engineering design. Engineers express ideas and for that they need expressive design languages. If a language is a structured system of symbols serving communication, the languages of engineering include German, English, and Russian, mathematical and programming languages, technical drawing and formal modelling, with abstract design elements constituting a further, engineering-specific language. The semantics...

Calculating with Words: Perspectives from Philosophy of Media, Philosophy of Science, Linguistics and Cultural History

Ulrike Ramming
This essay pursues the title of the special issue "In the Beginning was the Word - The Word as a Technical Artefact" and asks if words can be (technical) artefacts. The following thesis will be defended: as long as words are spoken they are part of parole, of spoken language and cannot be an object. Words as some kind of res are signs, but signs as a class of objects cannot be subsumed under the...

Claiming Infinity: Tokens and spells in the foundations of the Moscow Mathematical School

Walker Trimble
The Moscow Mathematical School, led by Dmitri Egorov, made tremendous strides in the development of set theory in the period around the Russian Revolutions. The concepts of transfinite sets and absolute infinity have long had a controversial association with religion, namely in the explicit theological statements of the founder of set theory, Georg Cantor. However, several recent studies have argued that the Moscow School was instrumentally shaped by a sect called the “Name Worshippers”. Here...

Utopian Grammars of Human-Machine Interaction

Christopher Coenen & Aleksandra Kazakova
In his essay in the inaugural issue of this journal, Alfred Nordmann suggests that we can speak of a language of mechanics and that machines – in which, according to Franz Reuleaux, movement is domesticated or civilized – can be conceived of as structures that enable the self-expression of things, or as elements of a grammar of things. He points out that the journal is dedicated to exploring interactions between the sphere of ideas (of...

Visualizing the Composition: A Method for Mapping Inscription and Instruction

Yingyu Zhu
How are instructions mediated by technical artifacts? What role does technology play? From a Latourian perspective, these questions have to do with composition. The purpose of this article is to review Latour’s approach to Science and Technology Studies (STS) and, more specifically, to review and assess his visualization practices. According to Latour, science and technology are not two separated domains. Scientific facts are obtained through cascades of mediation of heterogenous components, and the manufacture and...

The Grammars of AI: Towards a Structuralist and Transcendental Hermeneutics of Digital Technologies

Mark Coeckelbergh
After its rejection of the linguistic turn, influential strands in empirically-oriented philosophy of technology tend to neglect or are even hostile towards structuralist and transcendental approaches to technology. Drawing on Cassirer, Bourdieu, Wittgenstein, and Ricoeur, this article offers an account of the meaning of technologies that theorizes precisely those aspects of technology and shows what this hermeneutics means for understanding digital technologies such as AI and algorithmic data processing. It argues that a transcendental and...

Staging Notations

Danil Vyrypanov
The paper examines the possibility of recording performances by analysing more than 10 types of notations (Lorin, Beauchamps-Feuillet, Tomlinson, Saint-Leon, Stepanov, Zorn, Sutton, Benesh, Ivanov, Varpakhovsky, Schreyer, Nikritin, Eshkol-Wachman and others). The paper foregrounds methods of fixing movements and sounds in space and time and the ways in which iconic and symbolic signs are used. Difficulties and solutions are highlighted, such as the transmission of 3D motion, changes simultaneously in space and time, the recording...

Teaching English as a Language for Mechanical Engineering

Eduard Krylov, Liudmila Khalyapina & Alfred Nordmann
Engineering education usually includes the acquisition of a foreign language for a transnational professional discourse. Engineering education also involves the acquisition of competencies to compose functional technical systems from component parts. This paper provides a conceptual and empirical exploration of a synergistic effect between these two learning processes. It proposes that engineering education draw upon and incorporates this synergy. A pilot training course confirms that this leads to a faster development of the overall engineering...

The Grammar of Behavior as a Theoretical Notion

Andrei Serikov
Many researchers of human behavior lack empirical data in the form of descriptions of actually observed behaviors and their generalizations. Fictional narratives could be used as a source of empirical descriptive data, and their analysis naturally results in the formulation of some "grammar of behavior." The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibility to use the notion of behavioral grammar in a strict scientific sense. Since the notion of grammar comes from linguistics,...

Quipping Equipment: Apropos of Robots and Kantian Chatbots

Cheryce von Xylander
Robots, Bourdieu, Kant, and Sex – Coeckelbergh’s philosophy of technical assemblages has it all. This commentary considers his early work “on the linguistic construction of artificial others” in light of his later elaboration of a general theory of human-technology interaction. Coeckelbergh draws on “habitus”-theory, virtue ethics and a historically recontextualized Kantianism to propose nothing less than a new general moral philosophy for the technoscientific age. In so doing, he also conjures up something beguilingly elusive...

Response: Language and robots

Mark Coeckelbergh
Six commentaries on the paper “You, robot: on the linguistic construction of artificial others” articulate different points of view on the significance of linguistic interactions with robots. The author of the paper responds to each of these commentaries by highlighting salient differences. One of these regards the dangerously indeterminate notion of “quasi-other” and whether it should be maintained. Accordingly, the critical study of the linguistic aspects of human-robot relations implies a critical study of society...

Back to the Future with Writing and Speech

Tim Ingold
This essay for the inaugural issue of Technology and Language suggests a kind of time-travel. As the hand becomes dethroned in writing, the voice might be in speech, and it is with the technologies of the scribal and vocal arts that they can be reclaimed. In the fairly recent past, words, severed from hand and mouth, have been converted into the liquid currency of a global information and communications industry. Technologies followed in step and...

In the Beginning was the Word

Alfred Nordmann & Daria Bylieva
The problem of modernity haunts the Western tradition of philosophy and moves us from disenchantment and disempowerment of the word to its reenchantment. If critical reasoning exorcised the magic power of the word, technological achievements of control reinstated it. More straightforwardly, perhaps, Russian thought traditionally viewed the word as a "technical" or "magical" artifact capable of changing the world. In the beginning was God‘s word but are also the words which open the world of...

Decaying Words: The Metaphor of Evolution in Language Becomes Literal in a Canadian Forest

Joseph Wilson
In 2009, two Canadian poets Stephen Collis and Jordan Scott travelled to five different ecosystems within the borders of British Columbia (BC). At each location, they left a copy of the canonical text of physical anthropology, Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859), open to the elements, for one calendar year. The project, documented in the photographic book Decomp turned the poets’ usual mode of expression on its head: instead of manipulating words to create a final...

The Automated Expert Workplace as a Tool for Technological Support for Forensic Expert Activities

Igor Latyshov
The forensic institutions of the Russian Federation draw on the advanced achievements of science and technology to account for the state of modern crime, the methods of committing and concealing crimes. In order to achieve this efficiency at the present stage, issues of technological support of forensic expert activity are of particular relevance. Based on an analysis of the scientific knowledge-base, it is noted that for the successful solution of tasks through the effective use...

First and Last Things: The Signatures of Visualization-Artists

Alfred Nordmann
Nanotechnology began for real when Don Eigler and Erhard Schweizer used 35 xenon-atoms to spell the name of their sponsor “IBM.” The resulting image has since been called “The Beginning” and, indeed, physical processes at the molecular level have since been used countless times to write the names of laboratories and sponsors and sometimes logos (including, of course, the White House and the American Flag). Indeed, when we conquer new territory, we tend to mark...

Future Marketing as Technology for Manipulating Symbolic Consumption

Alexander Pletnev
At the end of the 20th and in the beginning of the 21st centuries, many publications appeared with the aim of trying to characterize the new state of society, which is characterized by an orientation towards economic goals and values. The concept of a consumer society continues to develop, and many authors associate the peculiarities of modern consumption with the spread of digital technologies. An analysis of these publications, as well as the latest trends...

Biotechnological Agencies in our Information Society: The Emergence of Biocitizenship and Genetic Language

Jessica Lombard
It is not uncommon to consider deoxyribonucleic acid, most commonly called DNA, as the expression of the genesis and mutation of living species. This molecule is composed of a double helix that carries genetic instructions for all known organisms and several viruses. However, in the Molecular Age, this metaphoric landmark is moved and stretched as we discover and study new structures that impact the genome. Important work is done nowadays in order to understand the...

Technology and Language in Tattoos

Daria Ozerova & Alisher Serikov
This study identifies graphic features of words that are used in tattoos. Our interest in this type of name tattoos is based on the fact that words have a great significance in a person's life. The article presents the history of the origin of tattoos from ancient times, the geography of tattoos, and also describes in detail the methods of ancient tattooing techniques. It moves on to the main task of analyzing the relationship between...

Politics of Usernames

Matthias Hess
We interact with usernames every day to communicate on the Internet. We are so familiar with this practice that it seems banal and we therefore fail to see the political implications associated with it. This article aims to help uncover this political dimension of the username. At first, the article follows the argumentation of two texts by Jacques Derrida, from where I establish a connection between the phenomena of proper names and usernames. Derrida deconstructed...

Dialog, Communication, Cooperation, and Collaboration: Facets of Human-Computer Interaction

Irina Belyaeva
This study is a linguist’s attempt to analyze such terms as human-computer interaction, computer-human interaction, human-machine cooperation, machine-human collaboration, and many related terms. The purpose of this analysis is to determine whether and how they represent different shades of meaning, some nuanced, some distinctive. This allows for their further systematization and the identification of terminological synonymy. The discussion shows that terminological choices might be necessary - not only between „man“ and „human“ or between „dialogue“...

Explicit and Implicit Components of Social and Technical Instruction

Irina Beliaeva
Instructions are increasingly part of our lives and become the subject of research by linguists, philosophers, political scientists, sociologists, and marketing professionals. Instructions not only regulate social aspects of our life, but also allow us to control technical systems and devices. Analysis of the explicit and implicit components of instructions provides knowledge about the types and functions of instructions, their direct and indirect impact on individuals and the human community at large. The paper takes...

Global-local Cultural Interactions in a Hyperconnected World

Irina Saltanovich
The article dwells upon the development and organization of new information relations and global-local cultural interactions. New social environment processes that encompass real and virtual life are being controlled by a complex set of digital instruments or interactive systems. The novel notion of a “hyperconnected” world is being discussed with its characteristics that lead to the transparency of human relations and the hyperopenness of society. There is a description of the growing importance of social...

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