Event Responses

Parallel Universes: Materiality and the Digital Age- A Response to George Dyson

By Desiree LaVecchia  A response to a public conversation with George Dyson on  Apocalypse Now. According to the data analyst Eric Scott Hunsader, one second of market trade data, if printed, would produce six feet of stacked paper.  What is it that is going on in the world of the digital market – guided by algorithms, not humans […]

The Most Political Act: Refusal (a response to Rebecca Solnit)

By Jason Bell A response to a public conversation with Rebecca Solnit on  Apocalypse Now.  In his 1960 “Letter to the New Left,” C. Wright Mills called the work of Leftist politics “utopian” because it imagined transcendent alternatives to institutional structures. For Mills, utopianism meant simply that which was momentarily impossible. Five decades ago, an apocalypse of liberal […]

The Burden of Choice

By Mark C. Taylor A response to a public conversation series held Spring 2012.  How many different items does the average American grocery store stock?  (45,000)  How many Starbucks are there in Manhattan? (187 and counting) In the world? (17,244)  How many channels are there on your TV?  (You don’t know.)  We have become obsessed with choice […]

Nuclear Waste: Between a Rock and a Radioactive Place

By Michele Lent Hirsch A response to a public conversation with Allison Macfarlane on March 28, 2012.  Listening last week to Allison Macfarlane, Harvard-affiliated member of the White House’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future and author of Uncertainty Underground: Yucca Mountain and the Nation’s High-Level Nuclear Waste, one got the impression that if anyone could explicate the quagmire that is […]

Mark C. Taylor: Refiguring the Spiritual

Is the increasing commercialization of art an effect of the widening scope of finance markets? Is contemporary art dying at the hands of capitalism? And how can we refuse the impulse to bring art down to its lowest common denominator – money? While forcing us to address these troubling questions, Mark C. Taylor’s newest book, […]

Getting Guns Out of New York

By Carlos Blanco A response to a public conversation with John Feinblatt on February 29, 2012. For the past decade, John Feinblatt, chief policy advisor to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has led New York City’s effort to rid its streets of illegal guns. At a recent event at Columbia, he emphasized the need to get guns “out of the […]

Can Donors Choose?

By Charity Hanley  A response to a public conversation with Charles Best on February 15, 2012.  Since 2000, Donorschoose.org has raised more than $100 million to fund classroom projects in public schools across the country, reaching more than 6 million students. On its site, teachers post projects like trips to an aquarium or requests for dictionaries, construction […]