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To Save Everything Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism

Events | Headline and Cultural Forums

In the very near future, "smart" technologies will allow us to solve problems in highly original ways. Imagine a world in which humanity—equipped with powerful self-tracking devices—finally conquers obesity, insomnia, and global warming as everyone eats less, sleeps better, and emits more appropriately. The fallibility of human memory is conquered, as the very same tracking devices record and store everything we do. Car keys, faces, factoids: we will never forget them again. No need to feel nostalgic, since that moment is surely stored somewhere in your smartphone. While there are many who might find such a technology-driven utopia enticing, Evgeny Morozov (acclaimed author of The Net Delusion) finds this sort of future terrifying. In his candid investigation of the digital world, Morozov looks at smart-technology’s threat to real-life democracy and asks how "solutionism"  might affect our society's morals, ethics, and civil behavior? What will happen when deeply political, moral, and irresolvable problems are recast as uncontroversial and easily manageable matters of technological efficiency? Are we entering into a bargain that trades ease and efficiency for the “imperfections” of freedom and democracy? Join us as Morozov explores the shape of society in the digital age, the direction in which the 21st century may be headed, and some of the alternate paths we might still be able to choose from. 


Cosponsored by Technology Association of Oregon and the Turnbull Center for Journalism

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