At the dawn of the contemporary “information age,” prophets evangelizing for technological innovations insisted that “information wants to be free” and envisioned a world in which easy, unregulated exchange of information facilitated by revolutionary media and technologies would liberate the human condition.
In recent years this optimistic vision has turned dark, as the ever-expanding global information ecosystem has proven not to exalt reason or produce stabilizing consensus, but to be troublingly susceptible to the chaos-inducing poison of disinformation.
Disinformation, while difficult to define, is the information strategy of deliberately using falsehood, decontextualization, and distortion to sew disorder, chaos, and debilitating skepticism. While it is a matter of contemporary urgency, the Tyler Speaker Series this year investigates its long history.
The schedule of events is as follows:
Siva Vaidhyanathan (University of Virginia): Misunderstanding Free Speech: The Role of ‘Garbage’ in a Democratic Republic."
April 1, 4pm, Washington 201
Margaret Meserve (Notre Dame): Forgeries and Fictions in Early Modern Print.
April 15, 4pm, James Blair 229
Eliot Borenstein (NYU): Plots against Russia: Conspiracy, Sincerity, and Propaganda
April 22, 4pm, James Blair 229