Dealing with distraction

In an age of constant information and infinite distractions what can we do to pay more attention and engage, online and in real life?

TEDx video talk in the library – Thursday 15 November, 2 to 4 pm

Sociologist Zeynep Tufekci says ‘We’re building a building a dystopia just to make people click on ads’. Jaron Lanier has a solution to this in his talk ‘How we need to remake the internet’. ‘What exactly is attention and how do we reclaim it?’ asks neuroscientist Amishi Jha in ‘How to tame your wandering mind’ and maybe there’s a simple antidote to all of this as Kio Stark explores in ‘Why you should talk to strangers’.

Where and when

More information, booking your free ticket

  • Eventbrite site
  • Do it the easy way — just tell Rick you want to be there.

The 15 November TEDx videos

We’re building a building a dystopia just to make people click on ads

We’re building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren’t even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us — and what we can do in response.


How we need to remake the Internet

In the early days of digital culture, Jaron Lanier helped craft a vision for the internet as public commons where humanity could share its knowledge — but even then, this vision was haunted by the dark side of how it could turn out: with personal devices that control our lives, monitor our data and feed us stimuli. (Sound familiar?) In this visionary talk, Lanier reflects on a “globally tragic, astoundingly ridiculous mistake” companies like Google and Facebook made at the foundation of digital culture — and how we can undo it. “We cannot have a society in which, if two people wish to communicate, the only way that can happen is if it’s financed by a third person who wishes to manipulate them,” he says.


How to tame your wandering mind

Amishi Jha studies how we pay attention: the process by which our brain decides what’s important out of the constant stream of information it receives. Both external distractions (like stress) and internal ones (like mind-wandering) diminish our attention’s power, Jha says — but some simple techniques can boost it. “Pay attention to your attention,” Jha says.


Why you should talk to strangers

“When you talk to strangers, you’re making beautiful interruptions into the expected narrative of your daily life — and theirs,” says Kio Stark. In this delightful talk, Stark explores the overlooked benefits of pushing past our default discomfort when it comes to strangers and embracing those fleeting but profoundly beautiful moments of genuine connection.

A silver lining, ageing in the 21st century

Are attitudes to ageing keeping up with growing life expectancy?

TEDx video talk in the library – Thursday 8 November, 6 to 8 pm

We take a proper look at what it means to grow older today and how we can make ageing more fulfilling.

In her talk Ashton Applewhite states ‘Let’s end ageism’, Paul Tasner explains ‘How I became an entrepreneur at 66’, Laura Cartensen argues that ‘Older people are happier’, and Susan Pinker suggests that ‘The secret to living longer may be our social life’.

Local initiative Hello Hackney has been introducing seniors to technology as well as providing a social hub. Rick Crust joins us to explain how it works. Sarah Douglas and Hector Dyer from Liminal Space will introduce their research-based project about ageing ‘Unclaimed’ in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust.

Where and when

More information, booking your free ticket

  • Eventbrite site
  • Or you can do it the easy way — just tell Rick you want to be there.

The 8 November TEDx videos

Let’s end ageism

It’s not the passage of time that makes it so hard to get older. It’s ageism, a prejudice that pits us against our future selves — and each other. Ashton Applewhite urges us to dismantle the dread and mobilize against the last socially acceptable prejudice. “Aging is not a problem to be fixed or a disease to be cured,” she says. “It is a natural, powerful, lifelong process that unites us all.”


How I became an entrepreneur at 66

It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. Take it from Paul Tasner — after working continuously for other people for 40 years, he founded his own start-up at age 66, pairing his idea for a business with his experience and passion. And he’s not alone. As he shares in this short, funny and inspirational talk, seniors are increasingly indulging their entrepreneurial instincts — and seeing great success.


Older people are happier

In the 20th century we added an unprecedented number of years to our lifespans, but is the quality of life as good? Surprisingly, yes! Psychologist Laura Carstensen shows research that demonstrates that as people get older they become happier, more content, and have a more positive outlook on the world.


The secret to living longer may be our social life

The Italian island of Sardinia has more than six times as many centenarians as the mainland and ten times as many as North America. Why? According to psychologist Susan Pinker, it’s not a sunny disposition or a low-fat, gluten-free diet that keeps the islanders healthy — it’s their emphasis on close personal relationships and face-to-face interactions. Learn more about super longevity as Pinker explains what it takes to live to 100 and beyond.

Your old technology stories

An old-style hob kettleHello Hackney podcast,
Friday 20 July, 2 to 4 pm

Our VIP guest will be Belén Barros, who is interested in your stories about old and new technology.

She wants to hear about your radios, your washing machines, your vacuum cleaners, your cameras, your computers, your phones and any other gadgets you’ve ever had, bought or built.

So we could have a conversation about familiar technology that is considered obsolete even though it works, and replacement technology that requires adaptation to an unfamiliar and unsettling way of life (eg- smartphones instead of landline phones).

Or perhaps you could bring a gadget to make your point (I’m still using a kitchen blender that I bought more than 40 years ago; it looks odd, but it works perfectly).

Follow this Google search link for more ideas: old technology

Please bring your voice to Whitmore Community Centre on Friday afternoon.


Update

Published at blog.hellohackney.net/2018/old-technology

Can you remember your first job?

We have started a conversation about older people and work.

Can you remember your first job? First job as a school leaver? First job after arriving in the UK? Your worst job? The job you most want to talk about? Has your work formed your identity? How do you feel about retirement?

The voices belong to service users and volunteers at the Hackney 50+ Drop-in: Andreas, Martin, Peter, Rick, Sallie, Saul.

Recorded 2 March 2018. 29 minutes.

Was it a good idea to come to live here?

Was it a good idea to come to live here? In Hackney? In the UK?

This is a discussion point for older people whose family roots are somewhere else. We asked our participants: Were you brought here, or was it your own decision? Do you have any regrets? Are you contented? If you could start your life again, would you make the same choice? What are your best stories?

The voices belong to service users and volunteers at the Hackney 50+ Drop-in: Ayo, Bola, Dino, Hyacinth, Irene, Liz, Rick, Theresa.

Recorded 23 February 2018. 23 minutes.