Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the "Mars" trilogy, "2312," and "Shaman," has been called our greatest living science fiction writer AND one of the greatest political novelists. He writes post-capitalist page-turners set in the far future and the distant past. We talk with him about the politics of science and the imagination.
Tagged with “politics” (35)
Gabriella Coleman, the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy in the Art History and Communication Studies Department at McGill University, discusses her new book, “Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking,” which has been released under a Creative Commons license.
Coleman, whose background is in anthropology, shares the results of her cultural survey of free and open source software (F/OSS) developers, the majority of whom, she found, shared similar backgrounds and world views. Among these similarities were an early introduction to technology and a passion for civil liberties, specifically free speech.
Coleman explains the ethics behind hackers’ devotion to F/OSS, the social codes that guide its production, and the political struggles through which hackers question the scope and direction of copyright and patent law. She also discusses the tension between the overtly political free software movement and the “politically agnostic” open source movement, as well as what the future of the hacker movement may look like.
Stephen Sackur talks to Thomas Drake, a former senior executive at the highly-secretive National Security Agency in the US. His life changed when he decided to become a whistle-blower and leak to the media his concerns about the way in which the NSA was developing its surveillance strategy inside the United States. He became the subject of a long-running investigation which threatened to see him locked up for much of the rest of his life. His home was raided, his computers analysed, and he became a key figure in a wider Obama Administration drive to crackdown on leakers within the national security system. For Thomas Drake that meant years of anguish and uncertainty; but did he deserve it?
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks on the subject of knowledge, and its relationship with power.
Alan Moore is the graphic novelist behind the ghostly, bearded mask worn by computer hackers and Occupy protestors the world over. He has, in the past, championed graphic novels - book-length comics - for their effect on politics and culture. Tim Franks asks him why, in that case, is he now becoming disillusioned?
Jaron Lanier is a technology inventor and philosopher who has been dubbed the prophet of the digital age. He coined the phrases ‘Virtual Reality’ and ‘digital Maoism’. His last book, You Are Not A Gadget, was a hugely influential and hotly debated critique of the ‘hive mind’. Here he talks about his new book, Who Owns the Future?, with artist and writer James Bridle.
Digital technologies dawned with the promise that they would bring us all greater economic stability and power. That utopian image has stuck. But, Lanier argues, the efficiencies brought by digi-techs are having the effect of concentrating wealth while reducing overall growth. He predicts that, as more industries are transformed by digital technologies, huge waves of permanent unemployment are likely to follow those already sweeping through many creative industries.
But digital hubs are designed on the principle that people don’t get paid for sharing. Every time we apply for a loan, update Facebook, use our credit cards, post pictures on Instagram or search on Google, we work for free says Lanier. He argues that artificial intelligence over a network can be understood as a massive accounting fraud that ruins markets. Past technological revolutions rewarded people with new wealth and capabilities. He will explain why, without that reward, the middle classes - who form the basis of democracy as he sees it - are threatened, placing the future of human dignity itself at risk.
Lanier discusses his analysis of the deep links between democracy and capitalism, and shares his thoughts for how humanity can find a new vision for the future.
This event was part of The School of Life’s ‘In Conversation’ series and took place at Conway Hall on 6th March 2013.
Audio rip, original here under CC by-nc: http://vimeo.com/61418990
The Treaty of Rome in 1957, which was the founding event of what is now the European Union, was supposed to be the beginning of the end of nationalism in Europe. But over a half-century later, walking through any of the EU buildings in Brussels, it feels like nationalism never went away.
The Irish language used to be a symbol of Catholic nationalism. But it’s gradually becoming de-politicized, morphing into just another minority language in need of saving.
How Cooking Can Change Your Life 30th May 2013;
Cooking involves us in a dense web of social and ecological relationships: with plants and animals, the soil, farmers, our history and culture, and, of course, the people our cooking nourishes and delights. Cooking, above all, connects us.
And yet many people now spend a lot more time watching other people cook on TV than doing it themselves. And the outsourcing of this work to corporations has had disastrous effects on our health, our family life, and even on our agriculture.
Renowned journalist, activist and author Michael Pollan presents a compelling case that cooking is one of the simplest and most important steps people can take to improve their family’s health and well-being, build communities, help fix our broken food system, and break our growing dependence on corporations. Approached in the proper spirit, Pollan suggests, cooking becomes a political act.
Speaker: Michael Pollan is a food activist, and the author of Second Nature, A Place of My Own, The Botany of Desire, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defence of Food and Food Rules.
Chair: Tim Lang, professor of Food Policy at City University London.
One expert says the administration is operating drones with a "kill-not-capture" policy, adding that you don’t get intelligence from those killed. But there’s also a human toll — from the pilots who remotely operate the drones to those people who live in the areas that are targeted.
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