Science Cocktails The technology that divides us

Science & Cocktails: The technology that divides us + Cocobolo

Science & Cocktails: The technology that divides us + Cocobolo

maandag 25 september 2023

maandag 25 september 2023

In Tolhuistuin - Club

Doors: 19:00, Support: 17:30, Main programme: 20:30

  • Program is half seated, half standing

Science & Cocktails is a series of public talks by scientists with live music and smoky dry-ice chilled cocktails in your hand.

19:00 Doors open for cocktails
19:30 Cocobolo 
20:30 Chris Bail (talk)
Event in English, semi-seated.

Be the first to know when the next Science & Cocktails Amsterdam event(s) will take place by subscribing to our newsletter.

The technology that divides us: is social media making us more polarized, or are we the problem?

How does technology exacerbate polarization? Are we are fault or the machines? Can data experiments show us polarization in action? Is Big Tech doing anything about polarization online? Can we do anything about it? Can AI be a tool for good in this, or will it make things worse?

In an era of increasing social isolation, platforms like Facebook and Twitter are among the most important tools we have to understand each other. We use social media as a mirror to decipher our place in society, but it functions more like a prism that distorts our identities, empowers status-seeking extremists, and renders moderates all but invisible. Chris Bail directs the Polarization Lab at Duke University and is part of a team using data to show how common perceptions of polarization are actually all wrong. In his book Breaking the Social Media Prism: How to Make Our Platforms Less Polarizing Chris combats common myths about echo chambers, foreign misinformation campaigns, and radicalizing algorithms, revealing that the solution to political tribalism lies deep inside ourselves.

Drawing on innovative online experiments and in-depth interviews with social media users from across the political spectrum, Chris will explain why stepping outside of our echo chambers can make us more polarized, not less. He takes us inside the minds of online extremists through vivid narratives that trace their lives on the platforms and off—detailing how they dominate public discourse at the expense of the moderate majority. Wherever you stand on the spectrum of user behavior and political opinion, Chris offers fresh solutions to counter political tribalism from the bottom up and the top down. He introduces new ideas drawn from data experiments which can help us avoid misperceptions and engage in better conversations with the other side. Finally, he explores what the virtual public square might look like if we could hit “reset” and redesign social media from scratch through a first-of-its-kind experiment on a new social media platform built for scientific research. Providing data-driven recommendations for strengthening our social media connections, this lecture will demonstrate how to combat online polarization without deleting our accounts.


Chris Bail
Chris Bail is Professor of Sociology, Public Policy, and Data Science at Duke University, where he directs the Polarization Lab. A leader in the emerging field of computational social science, his research examines fundamental questions of social psychology using social media data, bots, and the latest advances in machine learning. He regularly consults with corporations, non-profits, governments, and social media platforms struggling to combat polarization, and he has written for the New York Times and Washington Post as well as appearing on NBC Nightly News, CBS, CNN, and the BBC. His book, Breaking the Social Media Prism: How to Make Our Platforms Less Polarizing, draws on innovative online experiments and in-depth interviews with social media users from across the political spectrum to explain why stepping outside of our echo chambers can make us more polarized, not less.

This event is an initiative by the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena (DIEP) with the support of NWA Route 2
Science & Cocktails Amsterdam is presented in cooperation with Paradiso Amsterdam.

Be the first to know when the next Science & Cocktails Amsterdam event(s) will take place by subscribing to our newsletter.

View event on Facebook

Line-up

Club

  • Cocobolo

Cocobolo

Cocobolo writes instrumental themes with song titles that fuel the listener’s creativity. They sound like a mixture of old school funk, psychedelic rock and surf-ish guitars, with an overall retro sound. Cocobolo believes music isn’t just something you listen to, it’s a visual thing as well. That’s why the band writes all songs with an image as a starting point. This image and the song then become a story, like a movie. Envision yourself being chased in a spy film, or walking in the woods by dusk. Through a myriad of backdrops, there’s one thing all the songs have in common: they spark one’s imagination.

How to get to Tolhuistuin

Tolhuistuin (formerly Paradiso Noord) is located at IJpromenade 2 in Amsterdam North. A free ferry is departing from Amsterdam Central Station to Buiksloterweg. Turn left and you’ll walk into Tolhuistuin. For club nights, the rear entrance is used (Buiksloterweg 5C), which can be reached via the Overhoeksplein. Restaurant THT serves an extensive menu for any music lover – making a reservation is recommended.

Paradiso Programme

What's on