I’m speaking at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall next Thursday 1 March as part of the Glasgow Lectures series, organised by Professor Philip Schlesinger. My talk, Cult of Me Meets Cult of We, uncovers the sociocultural assumptions designed into the web technologies we use in everyday life. Here’s a blurb:

As Prof Melvin Kranzberg from Case Western University says, “technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.” In the West, the services that technologists have created for us reflect our individualism and free speech agendas. And more besides. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google, have decided the most valuable information should be determined by the crowd, not by independent sources. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, believes serendipitous discoveries that inspire new ways of thinking should be based only on what we – and people “like” us – have bought before. And Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, says privacy is dead. By using their services, we sign a contract that says we believe in their worldviews. This has enormous implications for our place in society, our place in global culture and global politics.

Some of what I’ll be speaking about was covered in the piece I filmed for the 10 February edition of the BBC’s Culture Show:

I remember going to the Concert Hall when I lived in Glasgow in the late 1990s/early 2000s. I honestly never thought I’d be speaking there! Very honoured.