Benjamin Peters

I'm an author and a media scholar. I am writing a book on the proverbial stupid history of smart technology. I wrote How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (2016 MITP), edited Digital Keywords: A Vocabulary of Information Society & Culture, and have recently published edited journal issues on Russian data ethics and materialistic media theories. A fellow at MECS this summer, I also hold tenure at a university in the USA.

What cannot be learned?
All things that are unintelligible to the collective knowledge gathering processes of our reason-expanded species sensorium. A kind of anthropic paradox obtains: some set of the cosmos--that which is--must be compatible with our species sensorium that observers it. Therefore, all that which lies outside our species' reason-expanded sensorium cannot be learned.

What can people learn from you?
I am writing about a speculative media history of smart technologies and artificial intelligence in the global North, using Soviet, North American, and European materials in the long twentieth-century. It argues that the false human-robot equivalence applies better to artifice than to intelligence.

What do you want to unlearn?
Ideally, I only want to unlearn everything that I cannot forget. Practically, I would be fine learning about how to unlearn how I think about the Bauhaus.

Under the patronage of

Deutsche UNESCO Kommission

Supported by


Organized by

Media and event partners