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Six Contradictions and the End of the Present. Evgeny Morozov

Digital Capitalism and Discontent

26 and 27 March - 7pm and 12 noon (consult programme) / Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200 and Study Centre

Free ticket

A Google server farm used to store Big Data. Photograph, 2016
A Google server farm used to store Big Data. Photograph, 2016

The meteoric rise of digital giants worldwide has posed a raft of unsettling questions on the concentration of political, economic and social power in the hands of tech brokers. After relatively innocuous beginnings in the fields of advertising and online shopping, technology companies have expanded the range of their operations to offer an ever-growing array of services, many maintained by powerful artificial intelligence tools that feed off our data, hailing from areas as divergent as cybersecurity and health care.

Many observers put this meteoric rise down to the founders’ business and technological genius. Yet in the face of this individualist mythology comes the pressing need for us to make a critical reading of a situation whose hegemony can be explained through the vacuums and breaches left by obliging approaches to technology built in a new period ushered in after the Cold War. Only by comprehending the historical-political context in which this new technological capacity emerged can we be in a position to elucidate the urgent question of how to restrict and tame this new form of social and political power. If it’s still possible, that is.

This session will analyse and discuss the possible alternatives to this invisible and all-powerful government of the algorithm and Big Data, ranging from the design of new data ownership models to algorithms being subjected to audits, via the creation of cooperate platforms or the comprehensive nationalisation of technology platforms.

Evgeny Morozov is one of the sharpest critics of the social and political models that stem from the effects of Big Data. He is the author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom (PublicAffairs, 2011), To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Affairs (PublicAffairs, 2011), and Capitalismo Big-Tech, ¿welfare o neofeudalismo? (Enclave de Libros, 2018). He also writes a monthly column on technology and politics in The Observer (UK) and his contributions regularly appear in European and US publications, from The New Yorker and The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times. The former editor-in-chief of The New Republic (USA), he has taught at Georgetown University and Stanford University, at the Open Society and New America Foundations and at the American Academy in Berlin.


Program

Lecture
Monday, 26 March, 7pm / Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200

Research workshop
Tuesday, 27 March, 12 noon / Nouvel Building, Study Centre

Free ticket

  • Organized by: Museo Reina Sofía
  • Admission:

    Lecture: Free, until full capacity is reached

    Research workshop: Registrations closed, complete capacity

    Capacity:

    35 people

    Language:

    Lecture: English, with simultaneous interpretation

    Activity included in the programme:

    Six Contradictions and the End of the Present

    Workbook, with the following texts:

    «Socializad los centros de datos», New Left Review; 91, 2015
    «Introducción», Capitalismo Big Tech. ¿Welfare o neofeudalismo digital?, Madrid, Enclave de libros, 2018
    «Internet como ideología», Capitalismo Big Tech. ¿Welfare o neofeudalismo digital?, Madrid, Enclave de libros, 2018
    «Digital Intermediation of Everything: at the Intersection of Politics, Technology and Finance», Empowering Democracy through Culture – Digital Tools for Culturally Competent Citizens, 4th Council of Europe Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation, Center for Art and Media, Karslruhe, 2017
    «El activismo digital en la política de la post Guerra Fría», La era de la perplejidad: Repensar el mundo que conocíamos, Madrid, BBVA, OpenMind, Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial, 2017

  • Documents:

    Workbook 1. Evgeny Morozov

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