Franklin Foer

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech

Date 9/25/17

Affiliation Journalist, NY


Franklin Foer reveals the existential threat posed by big tech and offers a toolkit to fight their pervasive influence. 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. In this talk, Foer explains not just the looming existential crisis but the imperative of resistance.


Franklin Foer is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and fellow at the New America Foundation. For seven years, he served as editor of The New Republic. Foer has written for Slate and New York magazine. His previous book How Soccer Explains the World has been translated into 27 languages and was the winner of a National Jewish Book Award.

-- As of 9/25/17