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Databite No. 86: Tim Maughan

Data & Society Research Institute

Thursday, July 14, 2016 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (EDT)

Databite No. 86: Tim Maughan

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RSVP Ended Free  

Event Details

Databites are Data & Society's weekly lunch conversations focused on unresolved questions and timely topics of interest to our community.

WHO: Tim Maughan presents: The Hidden Network that Keeps the World Running

Over the summer of 2014 Tim Maughan joined the nomadic design studio Unknown Fields on a three week long journey. They followed a supply chain (in reverse) from South Korea to China to trace the source of our consumer goods.  After spending a week on a container ship visiting the mega-ports of South Korea, Taiwan and China, followed by visits to factories in Shenzhen and Yiwu, they ended up in Inner Mongolia where they witnessed the environmental impact of mining the rare earth materials used to manufacture consumer electronics.

In this talk, Tim will outline how the this rare glimpse behind the curtain of capitalism changed his perspective on globalisation. He'll also explore the role that algorithms play in managing this vast, earth-spanning semi-autonomous infrastructure, and look at the impact that the manufacturing of everyday items has on both the environment and human lives. He will also discuss the potential for these supply chains to affect democracy when combined with the algorithmic management of economies.

 Recommended reading:

The Invisible Network that Keeps the World Running

WHEN: Thursday, July 14th, 12-1:30pm (lunch provided)

WHERE: Data & Society, 36 W. 20th St., 11th Fl.

RSVP: required (above)

Tim Maughan is an author, journalist, and features writer using both fiction and non-fiction to explore issues around cities, class, culture, globalisation, technology, and the future. His work regularly appears on the BBC, Vice, and New Scientist. 

Have questions about Databite No. 86: Tim Maughan? Contact Data & Society Research Institute

When & Where


Data & Society Research Institute
36 West 20th Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10011

Thursday, July 14, 2016 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (EDT)


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Data & Society Research Institute

Data & Society is a NYC-based research institute focused on social and cultural issues arising from data-centric technological development.

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