Big Data: Big Hope or Big Hype?

Date: Monday 9 March, 7pm to 8:30pm

Venue: Carriageworks Theatre, Millennium Room

Speakers: Timandra Harkness, Mark Birkin, Graeme Tiffany

In recent years, with advances in data-storage capacity and accessibility, more and more information about us is being captured and analysed by government agencies and private companies. While there is some nervousness about this, the proponents of ‘Big Data’ argue that the benefits outweigh the risks to privacy. But should we question the hype around Big Data? Is it really true that the benefits outweigh the dangers? Should we place limits on data collection to protect individual liberties? Even in areas where data is put to benign use, could over-reliance on it impede the process of human judgment? Is it time to recognise the limitations of Big Data and put the stats in their place?



Tea & Cake with Oscar Wilde: A Vagabond in Leeds

Date: Saturday 21 March, 3pm to 4:30pm

Venue: New Headingley Club, 56 St Michael's Road, Headingley

Speaker: Geoff Dibb

As part of Headingley LitFest, Leeds Salon has invited Geoff Dibb to discuss his book Oscar Wilde - Vagabond with a Mission: The Story of Oscar Wilde's Lecture Tours of Britain and Ireland

Vagabond with a Mission gives a vivid picture of Oscar Wilde lecturing throughout Britain and Ireland on his way to becoming one of the most famous writers of the time. This is the first study of Wilde's lecture tours of Britain and Ireland. Using letters, memoirs, biographies, previously unpublished information and thousands of contemporary newspaper accounts, Geoff Dibb gives us a portrait of Wilde which we have never seen before.



Radicalisation & Security

Date: Monday 27 April, 7pm to 8:30pm

Venue: Carriageworks Theatre, Millennium Room

Speakers: Bill Durodié, Ian Cram

In the run-up to the General Election we're asking how should we respond to the threat of extremism.

Recent atrocities in Paris and Copenhagen and the sight of young Muslims travelling abroad to join jihadist groups have led to a renewed emphasis by Western governments on the need for greater security and to tackle what they see as the problem of ‘radicalisation’ - the process by which young Muslims are supposedly ‘groomed’ and get drawn into jihadist circles. But do simplistic narratives about ‘radicalisation’ miss the complex roots of homegrown terrorism? What should our response be to the threat posed by Islamist, and other, groups and individuals? And may the proposed solutions not just betray the very liberties that are meant to define us but promote the very fear the terrorists want?

Read more... 



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