Have we unleashed an orgy of trivia? Will robots manipulate our souls? Where’s the experimental writing?
These were some of the questions asked during a superb evening of writers (fiction, non-fiction and marketeer) talking about the future of their craft and answering a broad range of questions from a lively audience.
We touched on the democratisation of publishing, the future of the eBook and whether the big publishers are dying. Finishing up with the speculation that the future is one of artificial intelligence scripting our lives via mass produced personalised messages.
You can read more about it in an article by SilverWood Books.
I want to say a huge thank you to the organisers of the Fitzrovia Festival (“the people live here festival”) for inviting me to host the evening. Thanks also to Etienne Gilfillan for the ‘band’ photo above (left to right: Hannah Kowszun, Helena Halme, Stephen Oram and Allen Ashley) and to the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for providing the venue (and wine and nibbles).
Sadly, the camera ran out of space so we didn’t capture it all. However, you can watch most of it here…
A couple of weeks ago I spoke at the Greenbelt Festival on whether a mature and confident society should encourage people to opt-out; if we have a successful and attractive way of living (capitalism and consumerism) then the number of people wanting something different would be insignificant and we should go out of our way to accommodate them, rather than bully them into our way of thinking.
Exploring this idea led me down a number of paths you might find interesting: Continue reading
Stephen spoke to a full tent of 250 people at the Greenbelt Festival…
“Some of us believe that every point-of-view is valid and we should live and let live. Some of us believe there are concrete truths on which everyone should base their world-view, whether that’s in science, atheism or religion. Both extremes are dangerous and most of us are somewhere in between. How do we decide where to sit on that continuum and what are the consequences of our choice?”
(you can purchase the talk here)
Stephen also wrote an article about truth…
Truth is what you believe, so believe what is true
Who decides what is true? It’s difficult to know who to trust and traditionally we looked to the educators, the politicians and the clergy, but they’ve become crowd pleasers rather than crowd leaders.
As a layman in relation to theology, philosophy and science, I’ve been thinking about the nature of truth. There are plenty of facts we all agree on, but the hypotheses that emerge from these facts can vary and that’s when it becomes difficult to agree, or even discuss, what is true. It can be hard to believe in something and hold it lightly enough to genuinely welcome the other point of view or even change your mind. Continue reading