A writer who had a turn working and living here back when Slate was a newly conceived ‘content’ project of Microsoft, Franklin Foer has been seen and heard from over the years. He had a strong run as editor of The New Republic, and is the author of a bestselling book that’s been published around the planet, How Soccer Explains the World. He is here tonight with a provocative, grounded study and argument about the place of tech in things, World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech (Penguin Press). This book’s case is almost all that Franklin Foer’s brother, Jonathan Safran Foer, wanted to talk of when visiting here this past summer for his novel, Here I Am.
“World Without Mind is an argument in the spirit of those brave democracy protestors who stand alone before tanks. Franklin Foer asks us to unplug and think. He asks us to recognize and challenge Silicon Valley’s monopoly power. His book is a vital response to digital utopianism at a time when we desperately need new ethics for social media.”—Steve Coll.
“A provocative, enlightening, and above all, important book that is asking the most important question of our times. It is nothing less than an examination of the future of humanity and what we like to call ‘free will.’ It is also a good read—Foer writes with an engaging vibrancy that makes the book a page-turner.”—Tim Wu.