A Map of Techno-Politics of the Future University: Deep Convergence, Platform Ontologies, and Cognitive Efficiency

Thesis Eleven Forum for Social and Political Theory

Thesis Eleven Forum for Social and Political Theory presents a public lecture delivered by Professor Michael A. Peters (Beijing Normal University). This lecture coincided with a week of workshops and conference on Global Education co-hosted by the International Education Association Australia.

The supreme value of cognitive efficiency requires that we participate and labour endlessly, that we give away our data free, and that we integrate ourselves into the soon to be one trillion-dollar data monopolies of surveillance capitalism, a form of ‘digital authoritarianism’. The ‘dataism’ that creates new ‘platform ontologies’ now threaten the tracking and hacking of the body. The US National Science Foundation has been working on the notion of ‘converging technologies’ for over a decade. The ‘new paradigm’ consists in a deep and progressive convergence of ‘nano-bio-info-cogno’ (NBIC) technologies that signal a revolutionary integration of science at the nano-level. The final phase of this convergence is the application of ‘cogno’ technologies — the least mature — funded through cognitive neuroscience that focuses on cognitive efficiency to harness a ‘bio-informationalism’ of a re-/programmed body. This is the map of the techno-politics of the future university and the battleground of the algorithmic academy in which philosophy and the critical humanities are dying.

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Michael A. Peters

Michael A. Peters (FRSNZ)  is a New Zealander and is currently Distinguished Professor at Beijing Normal University, and Emeritus Professor University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He has established and edited many journals and written prodigiously.