An Old-Fashioned Drink Salon on Tech and Ethics: a Toast to More! by Stine An

EMW hosted the first Drink Salon on Technology & Ethics in November. In 2015, the salon will be a regular EMW program where members of the community can gather to learn about, discuss, and share ideas at the intersection of technology and ethics from featured speakers and other guests. Check out our snazzy poster here!

An Old-Fashioned Drink Salon

Colin McSwiggen (@cosmc), one of the organizers for the event, kindly wrote us a recap!

— Stine

-- No one really knows when the word "salon" ceased meaning anything but a beauty parlor. Historians' estimates fall anywhere between the invention of brunch in 1895 and the death of Django Reinhardt in 1953. Recently, however, a few of us have begun a project to revive an older definition: a venue for people to congregate and talk about important issues, make new friends, and get proper sloshed.

So, last Thursday, EMW hosted the first of what will hopefully be an ongoing series of Old-Fashioned Drink Salons on Technology and Ethics. As far as we could tell everyone had a great time, thanks to our four distinguished guests:

Sara Watson spoke about the concept of technology criticism, about who gets a platform to speak and write publicly about technology and about the roles and responsibilities of critics in society.

EMW's own David Kong talked about the politics behind his work as a synthetic biologist. In a world where our technical knowledge is increasingly siloed in corporations and univerisities, whose interests will really benefit from the coming biotech revolution?

Yascha Mounk took the discussion to the next plane of abstraction and asked us whether technology really has an impact on politics in the first place. We all agreed that yes of course it does, but maybe not in the most obvious ways, and then Yascha said way too much other interesting stuff to even summarize it here.

Perhaps most important of all, our master bartender David Zhou kept everyone happily buzzed throughout the evening. He also taught me how to make my own Old Fashioned, which has frankly been a mixed blessing. You know what they say: make a man an Old Fashioned, and you'll get him drunk for an hour; show him how to do it his own damn self and he'll be drunk for the rest of his life.

a rapt audience!

If you missed the event, sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know about cool Drink Salon events in the future!

— Colin