Discussing Lanier: an OCH Reading Group - Oklahoma Center for the Humanities
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Discussing Lanier: an OCH Reading Group

Join us March 6 and 13 at 6:30pm at 101 Archer!

To anticipate Jaron Lanier’s presidential lecture on March 26, OCH is hosting a reading group of Lanier’s 2018 book, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. The group will meet for two sessions: the first on March 6, and the second on March 13.

We will have pizza and refreshments ready at 6:30 p.m. and begin each discussion at 7 p.m.

Lanier abstains from social media platforms he calls BUMMERS (acronym: Behaviors of Users Modified, and Made into an Empire for Rent), and he offers powerful and personal reasons for all of us to leave these dangerous online spaces.

Some of Lanier’s arguments for freeing ourselves from social media’s poisonous grip include its tendency to bring out the worst in us, to make politics terrifying, to trick us with illusions of popularity and success, to twist our relationship with the truth, to disconnect us from other people even as we are more “connected” than ever, to rob us of our free will with relentless targeted ads.

How can we remain autonomous in a world where we are under continual surveillance and are constantly being prodded by algorithms run by some of the richest corporations in history that have no way of making money other than being paid to manipulate our behavior? How could the benefits of social media possibly outweigh the catastrophic losses to our personal dignity, happiness, and freedom? Lanier remains a tech optimist, so while demonstrating the evil that rules social media business models today, he also envisions a humanistic setting for social networking that can direct us toward a richer and fuller way of living and connecting with our world.

Interested in joining our reading group? Follow this link to sign up! The first twenty participants to sign up will receive a free copy of the book.

To learn more about the Presidential Lecture Series, visit utulsa.edu/pls. To stay up-to-date with OCH events, bookmark our homepage at humanities.utulsa.edu or, if Lanier hasn’t convinced you yet, follow us on social media.