Information and Liberation

Information and Liberation


  • Paul Duguid


In this talk Duguid explores why it is tempting to champion information technologies in the cause of liberation, yet why it may also be problematic. He does it by reflecting upon popular conceptions of the relationship between information and liberation expressed by thinkers over the course of the last two centuries. The idea that the age of information has arrived and that it will democratize the world has been around for several centuries but has failed to achieve a radical transformation of social relations in practice. This talk explores some of the key reasons why such ideas have fallen short in reality.

Speaker Bio

Paul Duguid is a renowned information theorist who works at the School of Information at Berkeley. In recent years he has also held visiting positions at Queen Mary, University of London, Copenhagen Business School, the École Polytechnique in Paris. In the 1990s, he was a consultant to senior management at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). While there he was co-author of “The Social Life of Information” with John Seely Brown, the director of PARC. His recent work has focused on the multiple conceptions of information and confusions they can give rise to.