Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now (6/18); REWIRE: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection (6/25)

June 13, 2013

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berkman luncheon series

Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now

Tuesday, June 18, 12:30pm ET, Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall, Classroom 1015. This event will be webcast live.

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The always-on, simultaneous society in which we have found ourselves has altered our relationship to culture, media, news, politics, economics, and power. We are living in a digital temporal landscape, but instead of exploiting its asynchronous biases, we are misguidedly attempting to extend the time-is-money agenda of the Industrial Age into the current era. The result is a disorienting and dehumanizing mess, where the zombie apocalypse is more comforting to imagine than more of the same. It needn't be this way.

Winner of the Media Ecology Association's first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, Douglas Rushkoff is an author, teacher, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other's values. He is technology and media commentator for CNN, digital literacy advocate for Codecademy.com and has taught and lectured around the world about media, technology, culture and economics. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

book launch

REWIRE: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection

Tuesday, June 25, 6:00pm ET, Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East Rooms. Reception to follow.

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We live in an age of connection, one that is accelerated by the Internet. This increasingly ubiquitous, immensely powerful technology often leads us to assume that as the number of people online grows, it inevitably leads to a smaller, more cosmopolitan world. We’ll understand more, we think. We’ll know more. We’ll engage more and share more with people from other cultures. In reality, it is easier to ship bottles of water from Fiji to Atlanta than it is to get news from Tokyo to New York.

In Rewire, media scholar and activist Ethan Zuckerman explains why the technological ability to communicate with someone does not inevitably lead to increased human connection. At the most basic level, our human tendency to “flock together” means that most of our interactions, online or off, are with a small set of people with whom we have much in common. In examining this fundamental tendency, Zuckerman draws on his own work as well as the latest research in psychology and sociology to consider technology’s role in disconnecting ourselves from the rest of the world.

For those who seek a wider picture—a picture now critical for survival in an age of global economic crises and pandemics—Zuckerman highlights the challenges, and the headway already made, in truly connecting people across cultures. From voracious xenophiles eager to explore other countries to bridge figures who are able to connect one culture to another, people are at the center of his vision for a true kind of cosmopolitanism. And it is people who will shape a new approach to existing technologies, and perhaps invent some new ones, that embrace translation, cross-cultural inspiration, and the search for new, serendipitous experiences.

Rich with Zuckerman’s personal experience and wisdom, Rewire offers a map of the social, technical, and policy innovations needed to more tightly connect the world.

Featured respondents will include Judith Donath (Berkman Center Fellow), Ann Marie Lipinski (curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard), and David Weinberger (Co-Director of the Harvard Law School Library Innovation Lab).

Ethan Zuckerman, Director of the Center for Civic Media, is cofounder of the citizen media community of Global Voices. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

video/audio

Laura Amico on Jazz and Journalism: Reporting with Improvisation

berkman

Improvisation theories, drawn mostly from jazz, have increasingly been applied to entrepreneurship, new product development, and other fields, but rarely, if ever, to journalism. Yet journalism is an industry built on improvisation, from the actions of reporters out in the field, to the deadline work of editors and page designers. More than that, it is an industry that needs a new framework in order to survive. Laura Amico -- a Nieman-Berkman fellow in journalism innovation and founder of Homicide Watch -- presents her preliminary ideas on improvisation theory and jazz in news development, arguing for a journalism framework that builds new culture out of improvisation. video/audio on our website>

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Last updated June 13, 2013

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