extreme present: the age of earthquakes

“Shumon Basar, writer, thinker and cultural critic, Douglas Coupland, the renowned author of ‘Generation X’, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, one of the world’s best-known curators, joined forces for a special event with Intelligence Squared to explore the challenges that the planet faces in the Extreme Present. Ours is an era so unfamiliar that in their book, ‘The Age of Earthquakes’ – their 21st-century update of Marshall McLuhan’s seminal 1967 book ‘The Medium Is the Massage’ – Basar, Coupland and Obrist have developed a new ‘Glossarium’ to describe the unsettling experiences of the always-on, networked age. Do you suffer from ‘monophobia’ (the fear of feeling like an individual) or from ‘connectopathy’ (a range of irregular behaviours triggered by the rewiring of our brains)? Do you spend more and more of your time ‘deselfing’ (willingly diluting your sense of self by plastering the internet with as much information as possible) or, as technology makes you ever smarter yet leaves you feeling ever more stupid, maybe you – along with everyone else on the net – have begun to feel ‘smupid’? They were joined on stage by London-based artist, writer and filmmaker Sophia Al Maria, Director of Climate and Landscape Change science at the British Geological Survey Dr Mike Ellis, neuroscientist Dr Daniel Glaser and internet technologist, journalist and author Ben Hammersley.”

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