Science and Nature

Niall Ferguson’s Networld

From the Reformation and 17th century witch-hunting, through the American Revolution and to the nightmare visions of Orwell’s 1984, Ferguson explores the intersection of social media, technology and the spread of cultural movements.

Episode 1 – “Disruption”

55m 26s

With the help of experts in network theory and precedents from history, Ferguson argues that the printing press had similar consequences for 16th-and 17th-century Europe as the personal computer and the Internet have for the world since the 20th century, leading to polarization and the dissemination of fake news.

Episodes

  • Episode 3 – “Networld War”: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 3 – “Networld War”

    S1 E3 - 55m 37s

    Looking at the fight against terrorist networks in Iraq, Russian attempts to divide Americans through social media and the rise of an Internet-powered surveillance state in China, Ferguson shows how our democracies are under threat from outside forces that seek to weaponize the social networks that we invented. He warns of a coming “networld war” that the West may not win.

  • Episode 2 – “Winner Takes All”: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 2 – “Winner Takes All”

    S1 E2 - 55m 37s

    Host Niall Ferguson tells the story of how a decentralized, not-for-profit worldwide web shape-shifted to become a highly profitable network controlled by a tiny elite selling our attention for billions of dollars to the world’s advertisers.

  • Episode 1 – “Disruption”: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 1 – “Disruption”

    S1 E1 - 55m 26s

    With the help of experts in network theory and precedents from history, Ferguson argues that the printing press had similar consequences for 16th-and 17th-century Europe as the personal computer and the Internet have for the world since the 20th century, leading to polarization and the dissemination of fake news.

Extras + Features

  • Preview | Niall Ferguson’s Networld: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Preview | Niall Ferguson’s Networld

    S1 E1 - 2m 15s

    From the Reformation and 17th century witch-hunting, through the American Revolution and to the nightmare visions of Orwell’s 1984, Ferguson explores the intersection of social media, technology and the spread of cultural movements.

  • Witch Hunts: Where "Fake News" Began: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Witch Hunts: Where "Fake News" Began

    S1 E1 - 3m 38s

    In the 1600s, self-proclaimed witch hunter Matthew Hopkins stirred public panic with his book "The Discovery of Witches," as competing Catholics and Protestants sought to attract new followers by demonstrating their power to expose and capture "witches."

  • How Online Data Is the New Oil: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    How Online Data Is the New Oil

    S1 E1 - 2m 5s

    In the new network empire, there's only one commodity that counts: data. The more time you spend online, the more your data is collected, which, according to Niall Ferguson, is just as valuable as oil in our modern economy.

  • The Social Media Operation That Divided Americans: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Social Media Operation That Divided Americans

    S1 E1 - 2m 44s

    The Russian social media disinformation campaign was particularly savvy in the lead-up to the 2016 election. But take a closer look and you might be surprised to learn that ads out of Russia only accounted for less than 1% of all political ads that year.

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