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Cass Sunstein on "#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media"

7:15-7:59am check-in and coffee; 8:00am sharp to 9:00am book talk; 9:00-9:10am book sale

Event Details

Speaker Series

Republic Book Cover
Date: Monday February 26, 2018 | 08:00 AM - 09:00 AM
Speaker(s): Cass Sunstein, Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University and Founder and Director - Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, Harvard Law School; former Administrator, White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs; Author or Co-Author of several influential books including Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard Thaler, Yale U Press, 2008)
Topic: "#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media" (Princeton U Press, 2017)
Venue: Desautels Hall (Second floor, South Building) | map
Rotman School of Management, U of Toronto,
105 St George Street
Location: Toronto
Cost: $37.95 plus HST per person (includes 1 seat for the book talk and 1 hardcover copy of "#Republic")
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BOOK SYNOPSIS: From the New York Times bestselling author of Nudge and The World According to Star Wars, a revealing account of how today's Internet threatens democracy - and what can be done about it. As the Internet grows more sophisticated, it is creating new threats to democracy. Social media companies such as Facebook can sort us ever more efficiently into groups of the like-minded, creating echo chambers that amplify our views. It's no accident that on some occasions, people of different political views cannot even understand each other. It's also no surprise that terrorist groups have been able to exploit social media to deadly effect. Welcome to the age of #Republic. In this revealing book, Cass Sunstein shows how today's Internet is driving political fragmentation, polarization, and even extremism - and what can be done about it. Thoroughly rethinking the critical relationship between democracy and the Internet, Sunstein describes how the online world creates "cybercascades," exploits "confirmation bias," and assists "polarization entrepreneurs." And he explains why online fragmentation endangers the shared conversations, experiences, and understandings that are the lifeblood of democracy. In response, Sunstein proposes practical and legal changes to make the Internet friendlier to democratic deliberation. These changes would get us out of our information cocoons by increasing the frequency of unchosen, unplanned encounters and exposing us to people, places, things, and ideas that we would never have picked for our Twitter feed. #Republic need not be an ironic term. As Sunstein shows, it can be a rallying cry for the kind of democracy that citizens of diverse societies most need.

BIOGRAPHY: Cass R. Sunstein is currently the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard. From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School. Mr. Sunstein has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has been involved in constitution-making and law reform activities in a number of nations. Mr. Sunstein is author of many articles and books, including Republic.com (2001), Risk and Reason (2002), Why Societies Need Dissent (2003), The Second Bill of Rights (2004), Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle (2005), Worst-Case Scenarios (2001), Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard H. Thaler, 2008), Simpler: The Future of Government (2013) and most recently Why Nudge? (2014) and Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas (2014). He is now working on group decision-making and various projects on the idea of liberty.

QUESTIONS: events@rotman.utoronto.ca, Daniel Ellul, (416) 978-6119

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