Mark Kingwell, Wish I Were Here: Boredom and the Interface (Author Meets Critics)

Author Meets Critics, Ethics of AI in Context

Wish I Were Here: Boredom and the Interface (McGIll 2019)

Mark Kingwell
Department of Philosophy
University of Toronto

Lauren Bialystok 
(Social Justice Education, OISE, University of Toronto)
Molly Sauter (Communication Studies, McGill University)
Ira Wells (Victoria College, University of Toronto)

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Offering a timely meditation on the profound effects of constant immersion in technology, also known as the Interface, Wish I Were Here draws on philosophical analysis of boredom and happiness to examine the pressing issues of screen addiction and the lure of online outrage. Without moralizing, Mark Kingwell takes seriously the possibility that current conditions of life and connection are creating hollowed-out human selves, divorced from their own external world. While scrolling, swiping, and clicking suggest purposeful action, such as choosing and connecting with others, Kingwell argues that repeated flicks of the finger provide merely the shadow of meaning, by reducing us to scattered data fragments, Twitter feeds, Instagram posts, shopping preferences, and text trends captured by algorithms.

Written in accessible language that references both classical philosophers and contemporary critics, Wish I Were Here turns to philosophy for a cure to the widespread unease that something is amiss in modern waking life.

Mon, Jun 17, 2019
04:15 PM - 06:15 PM
Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
Rm 200, Larkin Building