What to read ahead of the Night of Ideas 2020?
Updated: Jan 23, 2020
This year's edition of the Night of Ideas will take place on Thursday 30 of January 2020 and will focus on our relationship with Nature and Artificial Intelligence — two central issues in modern society. Philosophers, Artists, Activists, Scientists and Economists will be at the Institut Français to debate on a variety of subtopics ranging from sustainability in fashion and food; social media addiction; algorithms; surveillance; entire ecosystems disappearing; immortality and the power of art. To get ready for one kind of a night, the mediatheque's team has selected a few books available to read for free on culturetheque. Come also browse through our physical items. We are open from Tuesday until Saturday.
NOTRE VIE DANS LES FORÊTS
A woman writes at the bottom of a forest. Her body and the world are falling apart. Before, she was a psychologist. She remembers visiting a woman who looked exactly like her, and who was trying to heal a man.
At the limits of the virtual and reality, new technologies sometimes lead to madness. Cyberattacks paralyze the PJ of Nantes, infiltrate the intimacy of the police and surround a city where the least connected object can become a lethal weapon. As the victims pile up, a young commissioner and her assistant from the "36" together confront an invisible enemy. All the specialized police will be mobilized to neutralize the new threat of the science involved in the crime.
Paris 2119. Clones, drones and holograms invade private and public spaces. However, some elements of the 21st century still persist, such as the metro, essentially squatted by those left behind. Most people now travel via Transcore, an individual teleportation booth available on every street corner. Tristan Keys lives in this world whose dehumanization he rejects. Like a marginal, he continues to take the subway, to walk in the streets, unlike his partner Kloé, follower of intercontinental teleportation. In this retrofuturistic atmosphere, disturbing facts arise…
NOUS SOMMES À LA LISIÈRE
These nine short stories place us on the edge of two worlds, where routed humans and semi-wild animals meet. Each is trying to reach the other, but no one knows who, beast or human, is looking for protection. In a world on the edge of chaos, Caroline Lamarche combines narrative simplicity with underground savagery to express the interdependence of all living creatures.
In Botswana, animals, and in particular elephants, have found refuge: men watch them day and night to preserve wildlife. This is where the fight was waged with the greatest will against poaching. The characters in this novel are all part of a very specific war that is taking place in Africa but which concerns us all. Customs officers, rangers, soldiers, breeders, civilians, poachers ... they kill or protect, live in the midst of these magnificent landscapes, surrounded by these animals which have been able to preserve their freedom and their dignity.
To operate permanently, 24/7, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, this is the watchword of contemporary capitalism. It is also the ideal for a life without breaks, active at all hours of the day and night, in a sort of state of global insomnia. This brilliant essay traces the history of this nibbling process of time, which has continued to intensify in the modern and contemporary period.
One thing is clear: urbanization is global. A standard of life, more or less homogeneous, spreads everywhere. It is this revolution that Thierry Paquot explores here in its multiple territorial forms - shantytown, megalopolis, secure residential enclave, average city, global city ... The author points out the challenges to be met: the "right" land use in the face of the extension of urban areas and the reduction of agricultural land; the "right" way to get around, in a world facing a probable shortage of oil; the "right" way to provide everyone with minimal urban comfort, by promoting a rational decrease in consumption; "good" governance, which requires the invention of new democratic practices.
MÉTAMORPHOSES DE L'INTELLIGENCE
Failing to define intelligence, psychologists set out to measure it. After the failed measurement tests, biologists looked for it in the genes. Genetics remaining silent, it was the brain and its epigenetic development that built the new laboratory of the mind. Today, intelligence allows its own simulation by synaptic chips. The Human Brain and Blue Brain programs aim to map the entire human brain to one day produce an artificial consciousness capable of self-transforming by accessing its source code.
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