City Paper is not for tourists
Cass R. Sunstein doesn’t believe that the Internet is an absolute boon for democracy, but his first attempt at pleading his case didn’t exactly seduce the public: A comment thread dedicated to his 2001 book Republic.com ultimately got the University of Chicago law professor pasted as a Nazi and a “pointy-headed socialist windbag.” Sunstein’s crime? Ironically enough, he argued that the Internet has a bad habit of generating echo chambers where people grow increasingly extreme in their thinking. Sunstein revisits his critique in the new Republic.com 2.0, and he adds a few more qualifiers to his assertions. But he refuses to back off from his central claim that the Internet has done a better job of getting us a cheap plane ticket than a new public square. He’ll also discuss his Worst-Case Scenarios, a worthy attempt to argue how governments can better calibrate their responses to matters like terrorism and climate change. Sunstein discusses and signs copies of his work at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919.