Book Talk | Beyond The Valley & The Revolution That Wasn’t
NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to join for a discussion with Ramesh Srinivasan on his new book Beyond The Valley: How Innovators Around the World Are Overcoming Inequality and Creating the Technologies of Tomorrow and Jen Schradie on her new book The Revolution That Wasn’t: How Digital Activism Favors Conservatives.
In Beyond the Valley Srinivasin describes the internet as both an enabler of frictionless efficiency and a dirty tangle of politics, economics, and other inefficient, inharmonious human activities. We may love the immediacy of Google search results, the convenience of buying from Amazon, and the elegance and power of our Apple devices, but it’s a one-way, top-down process. We’re not asked for our input, or our opinions–only for our data. The internet is brought to us by wealthy technologists in Silicon Valley and China. It’s time, Srinivasan argues, that we think in terms beyond the Valley.
While hashtag activism captures headlines, conservative digital activism is proving more effective on the ground. Jen Schradie’s The Revolution That Wasn’t: How Digital Activism Favors Conservatives identifies the reasons behind this previously undiagnosed digital-activism gap. Large hierarchical political organizations with professional staff can amplify their digital impact, while horizontally organized volunteer groups tend to be less effective at translating online goodwill into meaningful action. Not only does technology fail to level the playing field, it tilts it further, so that only the most sophisticated and well-funded players can compete.
We hope you can join us for this engaging conversation between these two authors!
Ramesh Srinivasan is professor of Information Studies and Design Media Arts at UCLA. He makes regular appearances on NPR, The Young Turks, MSNBC, and Public Radio International, and his writings have been published in the Washington Post, Quartz, Huffington Post, CNN, and elsewhere.
Jen Schradie is a sociologist and Assistant Professor at the Observatoire sociologique du changement at Sciences Po in Paris. Her work has been featured on CNN and the BBC and in the New Yorker, Newsweek, Time, Daily Beast, Vox, and Buzzfeed, among other media. She was awarded the Public Sociology Alumni Prize at the University of California, Berkeley, and has directed six documentary films.