ATC Lecture — The Death Throes of the Desert God, John Perry Barlow

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He talked about love as the purpose of life, he talked about access to knowledge breaking down a single monotheistic truth, he talked about his latest project to reduce the waste of valuable resources, now you can hear John Perry Barlow live in his own words! Hosted by the Internet Archive, check out the Art, Technology and Culture Colloquium’s 2014-2015 season launch from September 8! Enjoy watching, and stay tuned to see Maya Lin’s upcoming video!

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The launch of the 2014-2015 season of the Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium was a huge success with John Perry Barlow’s talk “The Death Throes of the Desert God,” a meditation on the move from monotheism to pantheism, and the growing pains of a world struggling to shift its understanding of truth. Check out some of the highlights below through Storify, and then our photos via Flickr! A lively discussion followed Barlow’s talk, with participants debating on topics as varied as the possibility of nuclear war, gender norms and stereotypes, and the ability to create energy positive fuel.

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Abstract: We are beset by crises that appear may disconnected – whether in Gaza, Fort Mead, ISIS, the weather, the Financial Tumor, the fibrillating Congress, and many, many others – and yet are all symptomatic of the slow collapse of Monotheism, a stark, vertical column of God-given authority that has dominated most of the world for 2000 years. It is being melted away by the Internet’s horizontal “pantheism” of universally distributed and accessible information, which is the ultimate solvent for dogma. I’ll put this in context drawing on 40 years of experience with radicals, musicians, intelligence professionals, cowboys, computer wizards, and trouble-makers around the globe.

Bio: Among many endeavors, John Perry Barlow has been a cattle rancher in Wyoming, a songwriter for the Grateful Dead, and the co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has been protecting the free flow of information on the Internet since 1990. He is also co-founder with Daniel Ellsberg of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He remains on the board of these organizations. He has been writing about society in Cyberspace since 1988 and was first to apply that name to the global social space it presently describes. He was a founding Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. In 2013, he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. More recently, cofounded and and is helping run Algae Systems, a enterprise that transforms sewage and atmospheric CO2 into energy positive drinking water and carbon-negative transportation fuel. He is the father of three daughters and his primary aspiration is to be a good ancestor.

Tickets are available online and at the door. Ticketed attendees will be admitted on a first come, first served basis.

Berkeley’s Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium is an internationally recognized forum for presenting new ideas that challenge conventional wisdom about art, technology, and culture. This series, free of charge and open to the public, presents artists, writers, curators, and scholars who consider contemporary issues at the intersection of aesthetic expression, emerging technologies, and cultural history, from a critical perspective.

For the first time ever, the 2014/15 lecture series will be co-presented by the Arts Research Center, the Berkeley Center for New Media, and The David Brower Center, and will focus on the legacy of the Free Speech Movement here on the Berkeley Campus. All lectures will take place at The David Brower Center from 7:30-9:00pm.