Storage/Retrieval: Human Possibilities and Limits in the Information Age

Mark Kingwell, author of Dreams of Millenium, suggests that the turn of the century has heightened our awareness of the increasing velocity of life in a technological society. When it comes to information, technology, and information technology, we have developed a relentless desire to consume more and more. But, he asks, is this wise? How much information can the human capacity of storage and retrieval handle? Kingwell argues that such a desire can never be fully satisfied, it can only be fed; and that has negative effects on our sense of self. The wisdom here, as so often, involves recognizing and acknowledging our limits. He will discuss one of the great challenges of the next century: the need to establish a correct relationship to information and technology for the good of society.

Dr. Mark Kingwell

A Toronto-based political and cultural theorist, author, and critic, Mark Kingwell is now Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Advanced Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Toronto at Scarborough. He is the author of three award-winning books: Dreams of Millennium: Report from a Culture on the Brink; Better Living: In Pursuit of Happiness from Plato to Prozac; and A Civil Tongue: Justice, Dialogue, and the Politics of Pluralism. He is also a contributing editor for the magazines Saturday Night, Shift and Descant, and a member of the editorial board of This Magazine. He has been the television columnist for Saturday Night and digital media columnist for the Utne Reader. His new collection of essays, Marginalia: A Cultural Reader, and a book of social history in photographs called Canada: Our Century (with Christopher Moore) will both be published in the fall of 1999.

Friday, September 17, 1999 - 7:30pm
Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University