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Cigars & Cybernetics


Oct 19, 2017

In this episode we are joined by Lydia Nicholas who chats with us about the increasing use of the metaphor of magic, faith, and the occult in the understanding of complex systems and technologies.  Through this we can't escape talking about boundaries, knowledge production, and belief.

Lydia Nicholas is an anthropologist who works in places where data, identities, bodies and biotechnologies meet, focusing on futures and networks, often using speculative fiction as a research and communication tool. In recent years she has used speculative fiction to explore information flow through interdisciplinary synthetic biology projects, researched antibiotic resistance for the Longitude Prize and edited a science fiction collection to spread awareness.

Reading list:

Foundation's Edge - Isaac Asimov

Venerating the Black Box - Magic in Media Discourse on Technology

The Creative Response in Economic History - Joseph Schumpeter

God and The Chip - William A. Stahl