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During the 21/22 academic year, the new BOW (Babson-Olin-Wellesley) book club will focus on the human-scale impacts of technology. We will choose four books - two fiction, two nonfiction - that explore this theme. You don't have to read every book or come to every session; we'll structure our discussions to make it possible to participate even if you haven't had a chance to read a given title yet.
The Olin College Library will provide ebooks, print books, or audiobooks to all BOW community members upon request. Please fill out this form no later than the end of Monday, September 13 at 5 PM to ensure we can get you your chosen format in time.
We're planning to meet in person, but will be able pivot to Zoom depending on COVID restrictions. Every meeting will begin at 5:30 PM with snacks and socializing (again, depending on the COVID situation) and discussion running from 6-7:30 PM.
FALL MEETING SCHEDULE
Wednesday, October 6 @ 5:30 PM
Weissman Foundry (Babson) https://foundry.babson.edu
(remote option will be available)
In Blockchain Chicken Farm, the technologist and writer Xiaowei Wang explores the political and social entanglements of technology in rural China. Their discoveries force them to challenge the standard idea that rural culture and people are backward, conservative, and intolerant. Instead, they find that rural China has not only adapted to rapid globalization but has actually innovated the technology we all use today. From pork farmers using AI to produce the perfect pig, to disruptive luxury counterfeits and the political intersections of e-commerce villages, Wang unravels the ties between globalization, technology, agriculture, and commerce in unprecedented fashion. Accompanied by humorous "Sinofuturist" recipes that frame meals as they transform under new technology, Blockchain Chicken Farm is an original and probing look into innovation, connectivity, and collaboration in the digitized rural world.
Oryx and Crake is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future. Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey-with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake-through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.
The BOW Book Club is a collaboration between Jonathan Griffiths of Babson, Callan Bignoli of Olin, and Eni Mustafaraj of Wellesley. Please contact Callan with questions or comments.