Bewitched, Beguiled, and Bewildered: Finding Ourselves in the 21st Century

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Fridays, 9:30-11:00 a.m. 8-week course begins 9/18

There is a brave new world looming, and we see it only through the glass, darkly. Despite their promise of a brighter future, Big Data, Deep Algorithms, and Super AI, working together systematically may be on the verge of making many of us obsolete, irrelevant, or, at best, members of a redundant social class. Fake news, disinformation, propaganda, groupthink, etc., herald a new post-factual age in which anything goes. What of morality, ethics, justice, and fairness in a world where everything is globalized and societies are fast becoming homogeneous? Has the market supplanted democracy? Does liberal democracy have a future? What will be our new defining story as individuals, a society, a culture, a species, as we are reimagined/ reshaped in/by the 21st Century, and beyond? Required Book: Yuval Noah Harari, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, ISBN 978-0525512196.

Fred Cichocki, Ph.D., has studied and taught ecology and evolutionary biology at several colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. His interests have always been eclectic and inclined toward “big picture” synthesis. In addition to teaching and research, Fred was a natural history museum curator (currently adjunct at the Maine State Museum), and co-founder of the Maine Master Naturalist Program.

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