Edward Tenner - "The Efficiency Paradox" - Preston Torbert

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Edward Tenner

Edward Tenner discusses The Efficiency Paradox. He will be joined in conversation by Preston Torbert. A Q&A and signing will follow the conversation.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note your RSVP is requested, but not required.)

About the book: Algorithms, multitasking, sharing economy, life hacks: our culture can't get enough of efficiency. One of the great promises of the Internet and big data revolutions is the idea that we can improve the processes and routines of our work and personal lives to get more done in less time than ever before. There is no doubt that we're performing at higher scales and going faster than ever, but what if we're headed in the wrong direction?

The Efficiency Paradox questions our ingrained assumptions about efficiency, persuasively showing how relying on the algorithms of platforms can in fact lead to wasted efforts, missed opportunities, and above all an inability to break out of established patterns. Edward Tenner offers a smarter way to think about efficiency, showing how we can combine artificial intelligence and our own intuition, leaving ourselves and our institutions open to learning from the random and unexpected.

About the author: Edward Tenner is a distinguished scholar of the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and a visiting scholar in the Rutgers University Department of History. He was a visiting lecturer at the Humanities Council at Princeton, and has held visiting research positions at the Institute for Advanced Study and the University of Pennsylvania. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Wilson Quarterly, and Forbes.com, and he has given talks for many organizations, including Microsoft, AT&T, the National Institute on White Collar Crime, the Smithsonian Associates, and TED. His book, Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences, written in part with a Guggenheim Fellowship, has been translated into German, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, and Czech.

About the interlocutorPreston M. Torbert is a retired partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP’s Chicago Office and a founder of the firm's China practice. He is a Lecturer in Law at the Law School of the University of Chicago and Adjunct Faculty at the Peking University School of Transnational Law. He is an Associate of the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago. He is a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School and holds a Ph.D. in Chinese History from the University of Chicago. He advised U.S. clients regarding trade, investment, and compliance issues in China for over 30 years. He is the author of The Ch'ing Imperial Household Department (Harvard, 1977) and four books in Chinese on contract drafting.

Event Location: 
Seminiar Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn
Chicago, IL 60637