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Real Life Screen Slavers? Are We Unfree Online?

February 26, 2022 at 11:00 am - 2:00 pm EST

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Join Donald Frederick, Christophe Porot, and Douglas Casson for a thought-provoking conversation on society and tech.

In the movie Incredibles 2 there is a villain called the screen slaver who enslaves people to their screens. But how far away is this from modern reality and the role of the screen in our current lives? Freedom in the digital landscape and the emerging metaverse is an increasingly important subject to evaluate. When asking how free we are online, we must first identify some core and competing concepts of liberty through which we might evaluate that freedom. The four main types of liberty are: Negative Liberty (freedom from external constraint), Positive Liberty (freedom from internal constraint), Republican Liberty (freedom from domination), and Non-Sovereign Freedom (freedom to have your volition actualized through the social web around you). These four types of liberty constrain or enable our freedom. The question is not as simple as “are we free online?” because online life is evolving with our “real” lives. Meat space and cyberspace are no longer easily distinguished entities.


In this salon we ask two profound questions. First, are we free in web 2? Second, in what way does web 3 modify our existing freedoms or lack thereof online?

Suggested Readings

  • Digital Unfreedom by Christophe Porot (DRAFT) link
  • Isaiah Berlin: Two Concepts of Liberty
  • Sharon Krause: Frederick Douglas Non Sovereign Freedom and the plurality of political resistance
  • Locke on Freedom (SEP): https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/locke-freedom/
  • Second Treatise, ch 5 http://libertyonline.hypermall.com/Locke/second/second-5.html
  • Phillip Petit: Republicanism a theory of freedom and government (Chapter 2)


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February 26, 2022
11:00 am - 2:00 pm EST
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Donald Frederick
Christophe Porot
Douglas Casson


Ticket price (US$)