I study the ways in which technology is a meaning-making enterprise, a reconfiguration of the world to enchant it and make it purposive. My general interests include religious studies, the history of science, anthropology of science, literature, and modern India.
My past research focused upon the relationship between digital technologies and religion (primarily the Singularity, mind uploading, & sentient machines, but also Shinto and Buddhist ideas as they relate to the development of Japanese robotics). In those studies, I wrote a book that was published by Oxford University Press and then moved on to the study of virtual worlds and video games. That research resulted in a National Science Foundation grant and a new book published by Oxford.
In 2012-13, I was a Visiting Scholar at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, funded by a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Award. Thanks to that research resulted in a book about religion, science, & technology in Bangalore, published by Lexington in 2018. In 2018-19, I returned to India under the auspices of another Fulbright-Nehru award to investigate how transnational Indians identify with Indian culture and heritage through the creation, sale, trade, and discussion of handwoven sarees. In addition to a book co-authored with my wife on that subject I am in the finishing stage of a book about the flow of transhumanist ideas in India and the possibility of thinking about artificial intelligence from a standpoint of global values and collective flourishing.