Langdon’s upcoming talks:

1.  Spanish Congress of Philosophy, Zaragoza, Spain 13-15 September, 2017. 

My talk:

“Internet Democracy vs. Right Wing Populism: Computer Discourse in Crisis”

Hopes that computer communications would enhance practices of citizen-centered democracy have long been central in philosophical speculation about the role of the Internet in political society.  Expectations of this kind often tended to discount the possibility that malevolent forms of discourse – deliberate fabrication, insidious propaganda, hollow sensationalism, hate speech, and the like – could be mobilized to undermine political debate.  Evidence from recent elections and political movements in the U.S.A. and Europe indicate that platforms of “social media” can easily become “anti-social media,” producing outcomes favorable to oligarchy and authoritarianism rather than robust participatory governance.  Within the wild frontier of Internet communications how can the intelligence of democracy be realized in practice, protected from increasingly powerful enemies?

Note:  I’ll be giving the same talk at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Department of Law, Morals and Politics, Friday, September 15, 10:00 a.m.

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2.  S.NET – Society for the Studies of New and Emerging Technologies

Engaging the Flux, 9th Annual S.NET Conference 2017, Phoenix, Arizona, October 9-11, 2017

Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society

My keynote talk:

“The Majesty of the Technosphere and Twilight of Democracy”

If American democracy were a patient being admitted to a hospital, it’s condition would now be rated somewhere between “critical” and “serious” with a weakening pulse.  Explanations for this widely recognized state of affairs range from the peculiarities of particular party “leaders” to long term fundamental shifts in the Republic’s economic and political culture.  In contrast, the Technosphere that surrounds us seems a thing apart and in much better condition, a domain that supports and inspires.  Its marvelous devices, systems and media hold forth the promise of a world restored by continuing innovation, a godsend for individuals and society as a whole.  Today we live and work within these two realms – one of civic sickness, the other of technical vitality.  Is there a connection?