Franklin Foer National Correspondent, The Atlantic
Talk Title: World Without Mind
Thursday, January 30, 5:00 p.m.
Franklin Foer is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and Fellow at the New America Foundation. A 1996 graduate of Columbia University, he is the author of How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization (2010) and World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech (2017). The latter was a New York Times Notable Book in 2017, the Times' reviewer calling it an "energetic and clear-eyed view of the modern ‘knowledge monopoly' giants." A passionate critique of big tech companies, the book probes the effects of technology on contemporary life and values. Exploring the darker side of Silicon Valley, World Without Mind argues that the companies are undermining liberal values and violating laws that protect privacy and intellectual property. The Washington Post's reviewer called the book "a polemic in the best sense of the word, which is to say a relentless intellectual argument, executed in the tradition of George Orwell and Christopher Hitchens, which often eschews nuance in favor of wit and aggression."
Mr. Foer began his journalism career at Slate, then owned by Microsoft. He was Editor of The New Republic magazine from 2006 to 2010. He returned to that position in 2012, working for owner and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes before leaving the magazine in 2014.
He was also the co-editor of the celebrated collection Jewish Jocks, winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award.
In a 2017 interview, Mr. Foer said, "Questions about technology are fundamentally spiritual questions. As we fight to preserve our attention and our capacity for independent thought, we're fighting for the core of our spiritual being."