The Digital Future, in Retrospect
When and where? December 4, 2019; 15-16; room 2A18 @ ITU
What? The Internet has been treated as a revolutionary catalyst of sociopolitical change for over a quarter-century. In this lecture, Dave Karpf will explore how the “Internet Imaginary” has changed over the intervening decades, as viewed through the archives of WIRED magazine. How did the digital future look in the 1990s, the 2000s, 2010, and today? Which predictions and mistakes reoccur over the years? How has the discourse about the digital future departed from the original cyber-optimist mythos? Centrally, Karpf argues that all of the focus on digital disruption has overlooked a stronger trend of institutional fragility.
Who? David Karpf is an associate professor and the associate director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. He teaches and conducts research on internet politics, with a focus on organized political advocacy campaigns in the digital age. He is the author of two books, The MoveOn Effect (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Analytic Activism (Oxford University Press, 2016). He is currently working on a history of the digital future, which he wrote about for WIRED magazine in October 2018.