On October 29, 2018, Jaron Lanier visited UC Santa Cruz and explored how the internet as it exists today might destroy our world. In developed countries, its arrival has corresponded to bizarre political dysfunction, while in the developing world, ethnic rivalries that had been waning have been re-ignited in the most grotesque fashion. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The internet was supposed to empower people and enrich culture and democracy. What went wrong was based on a simplistic, nerdy philosophy. The solution can be discerned, and it involves creating and strengthening societal structures that are in between giant tech platforms and individuals.
Nicolas Ibarra wrote about the 2018 Peggy Downes Baskin Ethics Lecture for the Santa Cruz Sentinel and Jaron Lanier was profiled in Santa Cruz GoodTimes by Wallace Baine. Scott Rappaport covered the event for UC Santa Cruz.
- Nicholas Ibarra’s article for the Santa Cruz Sentinel
- Scott Rappaport’s article for UC Santa Cruz
- Wallace Baine’s article for GoodTimes
You can also stay engaged by watching our video of the event or looking through our photos below.
Event Photos by Crystal Birns:
The Peggy Downes Baskin Ethics Lecture Series is a lively forum for the discussion and exploration of ethics-related challenges in human endeavors. The Ethics Lecture is made possible by the Peggy Downes Baskin Humanities Endowment for Interdisciplinary Ethics which enables the Humanities Division to promote a dialogue about ethics and ethics related challenges in an interdisciplinary setting. The endowment was established in honor of Peggy Downes Baskin’s longtime interest in ethical issues across the academic spectrum.
Data and Democracy: This event kicked off a year of programming on “Data and Democracy.” The Humanities Institute will be hosting numerous events and other activities around this theme. As our society navigates shifting definitions of fake news, targeted ad programs, and compromised voting systems, it is essential that we work to understand the complex and often obscured relationship between data and democracy. During the 2018-2019 Academic Year, The Humanities Institute will lead a community-wide conversation about this topic through a range of events focused on the ethics of social media, online privacy, big data, and algorithmic bias.