WILL - Focus - September 27, 2012

Your Permanent Record


(Duration: 51:22)

Jules Polonetsky, Director and Co-Chair, Future of Privacy forum

Frances Harris, Librarian, University Laboratory High School, Urbana

Host: Craig Cohen
Filing Cabinets

As we share more and more of our lives on sites like Facebook and Twitter, privacy questions naturally arise. But so does the issue of how long this material will stay around - perhaps much longer than any of us had originally intended. In an age of social media and digital archiving, can we escape from what we have posted or written online? Is the internet compiling a "permanent record" of our lives, the one grade school teachers and principals have been warning students of for decades?

Categories: Privacy, Technology

WILL - Focus - September 11, 2012



(Duration: 49:45)

Garret Keizer, contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine, contributing writer to Mother Jones, recent Guggenheim Fellow

Host: Craig Cohen
Privacy Book Cover

In his book Privacy, Garret Keizer begins by noting how the word “sharing” today has almost everything to do with personal information, and almost nothing to do with personal wealth. Keizer sees a link between shrinking personal privacy and a growing gap between rich and poor. He maintains privacy has long been thought of as a value that came along with the growth of the middle class, and now that the middle class is shrinking, so, naturally, is privacy. We’ll discuss what privacy means in 21st century America – and just what sort of impact political, economic, or cultural influences have on it. From concerns over security to the rise of technology designed to make our lives easier, but requiring more and more access to information we once considered personal, is there even room for such privacy anymore?

WILL - Focus - September 10, 2012

Can Technology Serve Social Justice?


(Duration: 49:43)

Virginia Eubanks, Department of Women’s Studies at the University at Albany, author of Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age

Host: Craig Cohen

As the online world developed in the 1990s, so did a belief that such technology, if distributed evenly across communities, could be a vehicle for social equality – that if everyone had the same access to the same information, it would put everyone on an equal footing.

Virginia Eubanks believed that, and saw the web as that great equalizer, and a fundamental social justice issue in American cities. She built her career around the idea. By the early 2000s, she concluded she was wrong. We’ll welcome your questions for Virginia Eubanks, author of Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Digital Age. Eubanks will present a free lecture on this topic at the Champaign Public Library on Wednesday, September 12th at 5:30 p.m. (That event is sponsored by the proposed Center for Digital Inclusion at the Graduate School for Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois).

WILL - Focus - June 20, 2012

Nanoscience and Technology


(Duration: 51:55)

Irfan S. Ahmad, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, University of Illiniois

Yi Lu, Ph.D., Jay and Ann Schenck Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois

Host: David Inge

Many scientists believe that nanotechnology, a field that involves engineering on a very small scale, has great potential to change both our economy and the way we live.  At the nanoscale, materials we know well can have very different properties, making them valuable for a wide range of products. We’ll look at recent developments in this field here at the University of Illinois. We’ll have two guests, Irfan Ahmad, associate director of the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, and Yi Lu, professor of chemistry.

Categories: Science, Technology

WILL - Focus - June 12, 2012

Satisfaction Not Guaranteed: Dilemmas of Progress in Modern Society


(Duration: 51:32)

Peter N. Stearns, Provost and University Professor, George Mason University; Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of Social History

Host: David Inge

In the affluent, industrial societies of the world today, life is good.  Most people live long lives, without fear of plague, famine or war.  So why is there depression, anxiety, unfulfilled longing? In short, why has abundance not led to greater happiness? That’s the question we’ll take up with our guest, historian Peter Stearns. We’ll talk about some of the ideas in his book "Satisfaction Not Guaranteed." The book looks at the ways people in the past thought about progress, and asks whether we can be truly happy in the modern world.

WILL - Focus - June 07, 2012



(Duration: 51:24)

Debra Fligor, Network Engineer, Campus Information Technologies and Education Services, University of Illinois

James Eyrich, Security Engineer, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois

Host: Craig cohen

Categories: Technology

WILL - Focus - May 24, 2012

Interview with Homer Hickam, Writer and Former NASA Aerospace Engineer


(Duration: 50:55)

Our guest is author and former NASA engineer Homer Hickam. Many people will know him for his autobiographical novel "Rocket Boys," the basis for the film “October Sky.” He has just published a novel for young adult readers. The book, "Crater," is the first in a projected trilogy that depicts the life of 22nd century miners living on the moon. It has been praised as a coming of age story, and for its vision of what life in a permanent moon settlement might be like.

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