Knowledge, Technology, and Social Systems

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Technologies, scientific transformations, and new areas of knowledge are continuously, and rapidly, being in- troduced. These developments are transforming social systems around the world. We have seen networked computers rapidly converging with telephones and TV into globally pervasive digital communications systems. These systems—and the emerging New Media they create—are increasingly impacting what and how we communicate with each other, as well as how we write history and interact among ourselves. The opportunities and threats these and other systems pose to personal and global quality of life, end even to human survival, are very real and relatively little understood. This seminar will consider these aspects, as well as alternative social systems that may lead to a better future for humankind. This seminar was formerly called Computers, Man, and Society.

Professor Jerry Spivack

Professor Takeshi Utsumi

Nitasha Nair

Meeting dates and locations are subject to change. Please confirm details with the seminar rapporteur.




10/11/2017 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:00 PM
From Cancer to Normalcy: Evolution of a Cell and an Idea
Robert Pollack, Columbia University
Speaker Link Abstract

11/08/2017 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:00 PM
Creativity and its Enemies
John Lobell, Pratt Institute
Speaker Link Abstract

12/06/2017 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:00 PM
The Know-It-Alls: How a Bunch of Geeks Took Libertarianism Mainstream
Noam Cohen, The New York Times

03/28/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:00 PM
Markers and Unintended Consequences of Technology’s Progress
James Gould, The New School

04/11/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:00 PM


05/02/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:00 PM