What’s The Internet Doing To Us?
WHEN: Fri May 07 | 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
We now know Zooming has nothing to do with moving quickly, and “going virtual” is our new reality. Not only have we worked remotely, but also we have watched plays, gone to concerts, joined book groups, taken classes, and attended birthday parties — not to mention Berkeley City Club programs — all on our electronic devices. Yet as more and more of us are vaccinated and cautiously returning to our pre-pandemic routines, what will our online lives become?
For our Arts & Culture program on Wednesday, May 7, at 7 p.m., award-winning writer Chris Colin will consider how our 14-month dependence on the internet has affected us and what our post-pandemic online lives might be. In fact, he already has imagined an internet-free world in his brand new book Off: The Day the Internet Died, a satirical picture book for grownups written in mock-Biblical style.
Joining Chris to discuss how the internet has changed us will be Alexis Madrigal, an Oakland-based journalist, who recently hosted the first hour of KQED’s Forum.
“It feels like the pandemic has heightened our utter dependency on the internet,” says Chris. He acknowledges that, for many of us, being online has been our primary connection to much of what we missed in person. “But have we painted ourselves into a problematic corner? This may be a good time to pull back and ask ourselves, ‘Where is this going?’”
Chris, who lives in San Francisco, has written or co-written four books, including the cookbook This is Camino. His work has appeared on NewYorker.com and other online publications as well as in print publications, including The New York Times, Outside, and Wired and the 2019 edition of The Best American Science & Nature Writing. He’s a contributing writer for California Sunday Magazine and Afar. During the pandemic, he’s been editing an online newspaper by and for kids called Six Feet of Separation. He’s also working on a tv show about the rent-a-friend industry in Japan.
Alexis Madrigal is a staff writer at The Atlantic and co-founded that magazine’s COVID Tracking Project. He was the editor-in-chief of Fusion TV and a staff writer at Wired as well as a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Information School and an affiliate with Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Alexis wrote Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. His next book will focus on Oakland and racial capitalism in urban America.