Academic life is filled with thought-provoking events. Tomorrow, I'll be one of three faculty discussants following a lecture by designer and author Samina Quraeshi at FIU. It is part of the university's Life of the Mind lecture series. If you're in the area, stop by for the lecture at 2.
What'll I talk about? I might mention something about the persistence of spatial and physical metaphors drawn from architecture (we "post" on "walls," we "open windows," we access the internet through "portals") in the otherwise inchoate world of digital communication. Or I could say something about globalization’s greatest benefit to us coming possibly from observing and listening to the “other” – not with a missionary’s sense of how to help the less prosperous, but rather to learn from their resilience and innovation in order to improve our own built environment. Since Ms. Quraeshi is going to mention the revolutions in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and other countries, I might ask whether universal access to information is necessarily an unalloyed good, and ponder what we might risk by attributing the recent anti-government movements around the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf to the digital free speech of Twitter.