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?
Tagged with “politics” (32)
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.
Statistical analyst Nate Silver says humility is key to making accurate predictions. Silver, who writes the New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blog, has just written a new book called The Signal and the Noise.
The history of ideas discussed by Melvyn Bragg and guests including Philosophy, science, literature, religion and the influence these ideas have on us today.
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss game theory, the mathematical study of decision-making. Some of the games studied in game theory have become well known outside academia - they include the Prisoner’s Dilemma, an intriguing scenario popularised in novels and films. Today game theory is seen as an important tool in evolutionary biology, economics, computing and philosophy. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Ian Stewart, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick; Andrew Colman, Professor of Psychology at the University of Leicester and Richard Bradley, Professor of Philosophy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Many commentators have debated whether the Internet is ultimately a force for freedom of expression and political liberation, or for alienation, and repression.
Rebecca MacKinnon moves the debate about the Internet’s political impact to a new level. It is time, she says, to stop arguing over whether the Internet empowers individuals and societies, and address the more fundamental and urgent question of how technology should be structured and governed to support the rights and liberties of all the world’s Internet users.
Drawing upon two decades of experience as an international journalist, co-founder of the citizen media network Global Voices, Chinese Internet censorship expert, and Internet freedom activist, MacKinnon offers a framework for concerned citizens to understand the complex and often hidden power dynamics amongst governments, corporations, and citizens in cyberspace. She warns that a convergence of unchecked government actions and unaccountable company practices threatens the future of democracy and human rights around the world.
Rebecca MacKinnon visits the RSA to give us a call to action: Our freedom in the Internet age depends on whether we defend our rights on digital platforms and networks in the same way that people fight for their rights and accountable governance in physical communities and nations. It is time to stop thinking of ourselves as passive “users” of technology and instead act like citizens of the Internet – as netizens – and take ownership and responsibility for our digital future.
Chair: Aleks Krotoski, academic, journalist and host of the Guardian’s Tech Weekly
In the 2011 Vancouver Human Rights Lecture, Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, looks at the "cute cat" theory of internet activism, and how it helps explain the Arab Spring. He discusses how activists around the world are turning to social media tools which are extremely powerful, easy to use and difficult for governments to censor. The Vancouver Human Rights Lecture is co-sponsored by the UBC Continuing Studies, the Laurier Institution, and Yahoo.
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