Saturday 12 November 2011

The Sum of All Fears at the Bishopsgate Institute

If ‘The Fear Factor’ panel at the Bishopsgate Institute proved anything at all, it was that fear itself is not a single-issue subject. The conversation ranged from violent hallucinations to violence in the home, networked experience to the trolls that seem to inhabit the network, and from lies and damned lies to statistics and Daily Mail headlines. Julie Bindel spoke of fear as a means of social control, while David Aaronvitch described the terror of losing control of what appears to be your innate rationality. Timandra Harkness exploded a few stochastic myths about our life expectancy, while I explored the distributed paranoia built into our current media architecture. Throughout the proceedings Neil Denny of Little Atoms maintained control of the group with a clenched iron fist, which is as it should be. Listen out for details on the forthcoming podcast of the event. All Hail Little Atoms – and All Hail the Bishopsgate Institute!

Pictured from top to bottom – the library set up for the panel; Julie Bindel and David Aaronovitch; KH and Timandra Harkness; the panel in full effect with Neil Denny presiding; a message from our sponsor displayed in the institute’s main reception area.

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