Junot Díaz discusses his novel
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
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Helen Pilcher: "Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction"
Helen Pilcher has a PhD in cell biology and is an avid science writer, but she also performs comedy, comperes live events, and trains people to write and talk about science.
She paid Google a visit to talk about de-extinction: Bringing back extinct animals through modern technology. With lots of humor and knowledge she discusses what is possible today, what might be possible in the future, and which of these possibilities we should use. What about certain types of frogs? The woolly mammoth? Or Elvis Presley? And what would be the consequences of bringing back these animals?
Junot Díaz on Donald Trump's Shamelessness
Junot Díaz on Donald Trump's Shamelessness
The Fight to Vote
Michael Waldman discusses his new book, "The Fight to Vote," where he analyses a crucial American struggle: actions to define and defend government based on the consent of the governed. From the nation's earliest days, as Americans sought the right to vote, others have fought to stop them. Waldman examines the full story from the founders' debates to today's challenges.
Speaker Biography: Michael Waldman is president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, a nonpartisan law and policy institute that focuses on improving the systems of democracy and justice. He was director of speechwriting for President Bill Clinton from 1995 to 1999. He comments widely in the media on law and policy.
After Words with Tim Wu, "The Attention Merchants"
Columbia law professor Tim Wu examines the history of advertising & how today's marketers are vying for our attention over a variety of mediums from billboards to social media. He is interviewed by Jon Fortt, CNBC's Co-Anchor of "Squawk Alley."
Beth Simone Noveck: "Smart Citizens, Smarter State"
We were joined in London by Beth Noveck (@bethnoveck) who discussed her book "Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing". Filmed in February 2016
ABOUT THE BOOK
Government "of the people, by the people, for the people" expresses an ideal that resonates in all democracies. Yet poll after poll reveals deep distrust of institutions that seem to have left "the people" out of the governing equation. Government bureaucracies that are supposed to solve critical problems on their own are a troublesome outgrowth of the professionalization of public life in the industrial age. They are especially ill-suited to confronting today's complex challenges.
Offering a far-reaching program for innovation, Smart Citizens, Smarter State suggests that public decision making could be more effective and legitimate if government were smarter—if our institutions knew how to use technology to leverage citizens' expertise. Just as individuals use only part of their brainpower to solve most problems, governing institutions make far too little use of the skills and experience of those inside and outside of government with scientific credentials, practical skills, and ground-level street smarts. New tools—what Beth Simone Noveck calls technologies of expertise—are making it possible to match the supply of citizen expertise to the demand for it in government.
Drawing on a wide range of academic disciplines and practical examples from her work as an adviser to governments on institutional innovation, Noveck explores how to create more open and collaborative institutions. In so doing, she puts forward a profound new vision for participatory democracy rooted not in the paltry act of occasional voting or the serendipity of crowdsourcing but in people's knowledge and know-how.
Ahkil Reed Amar, "The Constitution Today"
Yale professor Akhil Reed Amar discusses the relevance of America's Constitution to today's headlines in his book, "The Constitution Today."
Four Futures: Life After Capitalism
Author Peter Frase in conversation with Alyssa Battistoni at Verso Books in Brooklyn, October 13, 2016.
Join Jacobin and Verso Books for the official launch of Jacobin Editor Peter Frase's Four Futures: Life After Capitalism.
One thing we can be certain of is that capitalism will end. Maybe not soon, but probably before too long; humanity has never before managed to craft an eternal social system, after all, and capitalism is a notably more precarious and volatile order than most of those that preceded it. The question, then, is what will come next?
In Four Futures, Frase imagines how this post-capitalist world might look, deploying the tools of both social science and speculative fiction to explore what communism, rentism and extermininsm might actually entail.
Could the current rise of the real-life robocops usher in a world that resembles Ender's Game? And sure, communism will bring an end to material scarcities and inequalities of wealth—but there's no guarantee that social hierarchies, governed by an economy of "likes," wouldn't rise to take their place. A whirlwind tour through science fiction, social theory and the new technologies are already shaping our lives, Four Futures is a balance sheet of the socialisms we may reach if a resurgent Left is successful, and the barbarisms we may be consigned to if those movements fail.
2016 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony: Full Event
The PEN Literary Awards are the most comprehensive in the United States. Each year, with the help of its partners and supporters, PEN confers nearly $315,000 to writers in the fields of fiction, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children's literature, translation, drama, and poetry.
On April 11, 2016, PEN honored the winners for its 2016 Literary Awards at a ceremony held at The New School in NYC. Winners included Toni Morrison, Mia Alvar, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Lynn Nottage, and more.
2016 National Book Award Winner: Ibram Kendi (Non-fiction)
Ibram Kendi won the nonfiction award for "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America"
Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett
FEMINIST FIGHT CLUB by Jessica Bennett
Part manual, part manifesto, a humorous yet incisive guide to navigating subtle sexism at work—a pocketbook Lean In for the Buzzfeed generation that provides real-life career advice and humorous reinforcement for a new generation of professional women.
Hope in a Time of Extinction pt1
This discussion with Ashley Dawson, Eben Kirksey, Julie Livingstone, Anne McClintock, Rob Nixon, and Jovana Stokic will probe imaginative horizons to illuminate concrete sites of biocultural hope. This conversation will orbit around two freshly published books: Extinction: A Radical History by Ashley Dawson and Emergent Ecologies by Eben Kirksey. As other species are snuffed out, possible futures for humans look bleak. Can radical political transformation bring an end to the sixth mass extinction event? As some charismatic creatures are being saved in zoos, captive breeding facilities, and cryogenic banks, a multitude of others are disappearing as they are disregarded or actively targeted for destruction. How should we love in a time of extinction? What practices of care can keep those who we love in the world?
Ashley Dawson is professor of English at the College of Staten Island and The Graduate Center. His work examines the literature of migration, including movement from postcolonial nations such as Jamaica and Nigeria to the former imperial center and from rural areas to mega-cities of the global South like Lagos and Mumbai. He is the author of Mongrel Nation: Diasporic Culture and the Making of Postcolonial Britain, and co-editor of Democracy, the State, and the Struggle for Global Justice; Dangerous Professors: Academic Freedom and the National Security Campus; and Exceptional State: Contemporary U.S. Culture and the New Imperialism. At present Dawson is at work on a book about urban culture and imperialism and on a history of twentieth-century British literature. He is currently web co-editor of the journal Social Text.
2016 National Book Award Winner: Colson Whitehead (Fiction)
Colson Whitehead won the National Book Award for fiction for "The Underground Railroad."
Neil DeGrasse Tyson, "Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour"
Neil DeGrasse Tyson answers many of the questions of the universe including how it began and the liklihood of intelligent life elsewhere in, "Welcome to the Universe."
C. Nicole Mason, "Born Bright"
C. Nicole Mason discusses poverty in America and her own personal struggle in her book, "Born Bright: A Young Girl's Journey from Nothing to Something in America."
Erin McHugh, "Political Suicide"
Former publisher Erin McHugh recounts memorable political missteps in American history in her book, "Political Suicide: Missteps, Peccadilloes, Bad Calls, Backroom Hijinx, Sordid Pasts, Rotten Breaks, and Just Plain Dumb Mistakes in the Annals of American Politics."