The Machine has no Tradition: A Seminar on Technology, Revolution, and Apocalypse
An immersive weeklong seminar for undergraduates, graduate students, and young professionals on the essence of technology and life in a technological society. Co-hosted by the Stanford Civics Initiative and the Zephyr Institute.
Time & Location
Jul 03, 2022, 7:00 PM PDT – Jul 09, 2022, 9:00 PM PDT
Sheraton Palo Alto Hotel
About the Event
The distinctive feature of life today is that our lives appear to be technologically liberated from nature. We live in human-made physical, social and virtual environments. The human condition is unbundled, disrupted, and made optional, even as supposed human distinctives like speech, creation, and rationality are automated, simulated, and replicated. The spectre of technology raises afresh the question: what is a human being, and what does it take to stay one?
In this immersive weeklong seminar, we will grapple with the essence of technology and life in a technological society. We will explore how technology is reshaping our souls and our society and what a humanistic approach to technology might look like. We will engage with the best that has been said and thought about technology, while also hearing from both Silicon Valley technology creators and practitioners of endangered human traditions. The seminar will balance a focus on the increasing technological mediation of human consciousness on the one hand, and the shifting material foundations of social life on the other. We shall dive into the transformation of economy, psychology, politics, gender, religion and culture: in short, the transformation of humanity.
Readings will include Karl Marx, Martin Heidegger, Marshall McLuhan, Ivan Illich, René Girard, and more.
- Jon Askonas (Catholic University of America)
- Matthew Crawford (Institute for Advanced Studies and Culture, University of Virginia)
- Mary Harrington (Unherd)
- Jimmy Kaltreider (Thiel Foundation)
- Nathan Pinkoski (Zephyr Institute)
- James Poulos (Claremont Institute)
- Peter Thiel (Thiel Capital)
- Jean-Pierre Dupuy (Stanford University)
This seminar is open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students. It is also open to young professionals under the age of 30 working in fields related to the seminar's topic.
Please fill out the registration form on this page, and send the following in a single pdf file to email@example.com
- Cover letter explaining your interest in the seminar
- Resume or curriculum vitae,
- Copies of your unofficial transcripts.
Please also arrange to have two letters of recommendation sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All application materials must be received by April 9th.
Location and Admissions Information
Admitted students will be notified of their status in mid-April. A non-refundable $500 registration fee is required of all admitted students to offset the costs of tuition, room, and board to attend this program.
*We are still awaiting confirmation from Stanford University whether we will be able to hold this event in-person on their campus next summer (2022). If not, we will host the seminar at a nearby hotel.
Please email us at email@example.com if you have any questions.