Exposing the Darkside of the Future, One Event at a Time

With the Internet blurring borders and class lines, healthtech surging to the forefront, and virtual reality giving us an escape from this constant rain, one can be reluctant to remember the darker side of the future.

Unless, of course, you’re the team that brought Vancouver “Cyborg Camp YVR” or the “From Now: Humanity with Technology” conference. Then, on November 7th, you throw DARK FUTURES: Revealing the Truth Behind Hidden Systems. Just because October willll be over doesn’t mean people won’t still want a good scare.

The sold-out event promises its attendees open-minded dialogue about the forces that keep the 21st century in motion—the deliberately-crafted cycles that propel us through our daily routines. Four thought leaders will guide the night’s discussion, each handling a different dark aspect of modern life.

“Dark Clouds” will address what David Shenk calls “data smog”: the glut of information that contributes not only to human envy and resentment but allows corporations a deep understanding of customers’ psychology. “Dark Patterns” will dissect the relative freedom within society’s framework of available choices. Nik Badminton’s “Dark Social” will rend asunder the notion that social networking has anything to do with friendship. Finally, Ryan Betts’ “Dark Cities” ends the evening on a broader scope.

Any Vancouverite is familiar with the gist of his pitch line.

“As cities compete for a livability high score, ownership becomes a four letter word – fairness, a forgotten concept…”

The event will be held at Microsoft’s offices from 6pm to 8:30pm on November 7. While the event is sold out, there is a waitlist for whatever tickets do become available closer to the date. Video recording and subsequent streaming is likely. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance—the price of a ticket to a conversation about vigilance? Fifteen dollars. Be vigilant for a ticket at Eventbrite if this seems like an event for you.