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Wednesday, April 26. TED 2017 Michael P. Lynch Director of the Humanities Institute and Philosopher.

TED2017: A week to explore the most pressing questions of our time. In these mainstage sessions (including one in Spanish) we’ll ask – and try to answer – the big questions of the moment.

Wednesday, April 26

8:30AM – 10:15AM PDT
Michael Patrick Lynch examines truth, democracy, public discourse and the ethics of technology in the age of big data.

Michael Patrick Lynch is a writer and professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, where he directs the Humanities Institute. His work concerns truth, democracy, public discourse and the ethics of technology. Lynch is the author or editor of seven books, including The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data, In Praise of Reason: Why Rationality Matters for Democracy, Truth as One and Many and the New York Times Sunday Book Review Editor’s pick, True to Life.

The recipient of the Medal for Research Excellence from the University of Connecticut’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, he is The Principal Investigator for Humility & Conviction in Public Life, a $7 million project aimed at understanding and encouraging meaningful public discourse funded by the John Templeton Foundation and the University of Connecticut. He’s a frequent contributor to the New York Times “The Stone” blog.

michael-lynch.philosophy.uconn.edu

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Lynch

The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data

With far-reaching implications, this urgent treatise promises to revolutionize our understanding of what it means to be human in the digital age.

The paradox confronting us today is that even as we know more and process information at a faster rate, we reason, think, and understand less. While a wealth of literature has been devoted to similar topics, the deep philosophical implications of this seismic shift have not been properly explored until now. Demonstrating that knowledge based on reason plays an essential role in society and that there is more to knowing than just acquiring information, leading philosopher Michael P. Lynch shows how the modern Internet has distorted not only the way we learn and communicate but also the very essence of what it means to be human. Charting a path from Plato’s cave to Sheldon’s mathematical theory of information to Google Glass, Lynch builds on previous works by Nicholas Carr, James Gleick, and Jaron Lanier to give us a necessary guide for how to navigate the philosophical quagmire that is the Information Age.

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