Village Books & Paper Dreams - Fairhaven
Mon-Sat: 9am-9pm
Sun: 10am-7pm
 
Village Books - Lynden
Mon-Sat: 9am-8pm
Sun: 11am-5pm

VB Reads... Engaged Citizens Book Group

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Wed, 09/18/2019 - 12:00pm
Event address: 
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Read and discuss a variety of books exploring how to create a more civil and engaged community.Join Mary Dumas on the third Wednesday of the month from noon to 1:30. Authors DO NOT attend. Meetings are in the Readings Gallery -- brown bag lunches are encouraged. Anyone interested in exploring their role as an engaged citizen is welcome.

Wednesday, September 18th, 12:00pm

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer

Over the past few decades there has been a revolution in terms of who controls knowledge and information. This rapid change has imperiled the way we think. Without pausing to consider the cost, the world has rushed to embrace the products and services of four titanic corporations. We shop with Amazon; socialize on Facebook; turn to Apple for entertainment; and rely on Google for information. These firms sell their efficiency and purport to make the world a better place, but what they have done instead is to enable an intoxicating level of daily convenience. As these companies have expanded, marketing themselves as champions of individuality and pluralism, their algorithms have pressed us into conformity and laid waste to privacy. They have produced an unstable and narrow culture of misinformation, and put us on a path to a world without private contemplation, autonomous thought, or solitary introspection—a world without mind. In order to restore our inner lives, we must avoid being coopted by these gigantic companies, and understand the ideas that underpin their success. 
 
Elegantly tracing the intellectual history of computer science—from Descartes and the enlightenment to Alan Turing to Stuart Brand and the hippie origins of today's Silicon Valley—Foer exposes the dark underpinnings of our most idealistic dreams for technology. The corporate ambitions of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, he argues, are trampling longstanding liberal values, especially intellectual property and privacy. This is a nascent stage in the total automation and homogenization of social, political, and intellectual life. By reclaiming our private authority over how we intellectually engage with the world, we have the power to stem the tide.

At stake is nothing less than who we are, and what we will become. There have been monopolists in the past but today's corporate giants have far more nefarious aims. They’re monopolists who want access to every facet of our identities and influence over every corner of our decision-making. Until now few have grasped the sheer scale of the threat. Foer explains not just the looming existential crisis but the imperative of resistance. 

Books: 
World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781101981122
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - September 11th, 2018

Location: