Web Directions Summit 2019

Session Details

Aaron Z Lewis

Metaphors we believe by: the pantheon of 2019

Aaron Z Lewis Cyber Designer

IT’S 2013, AND I’M LOUNGING on the hardwood floor of my childhood bedroom with a blasphemous book that I smuggled home from college: Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation. I devour the whole thing in a single sitting. It feels like Harris is letting me in on a giant secret, a Big Truth that my very Christian upbringing had kept hidden from me. God is dead, he says. We killed him a few hundred years ago and replaced him with a sophisticated scientific understanding of life, the universe, and everything.

Fast-forward six years, and I’ve started to realize that the God vs. science situation is a bit more complicated than Sam Harris led me to believe. The more I learn, the more I suspect that rationalists only managed to kill a very narrow and anthropomorphic conception of God. People who study complex systems started using new words to talk about god-like phenomena — metaphors that are more palatable to secular minds. I believe these new words can help scientifically-minded people better understand what it actually felt like to believe in God before science became a Thing. Let’s take a tour through the pantheon of 2019 and explore what these seven “gods” might teach us in our era of ecological crisis and post-truth confusion.

Aaron Z Lewis

Aaron Lewis used to design digital products for Uber and for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Now, he's researching and writing about memetic warfare, preventing online radicalization, and cultivating compassionate communities (IRL and URL).

He likes to make familiar things feel new and new things feel familiar.

Don't miss your chance to see Aaron Z Lewis and many other inspiring speakers at Web Directions Summit 19.

Tickets start at $1195, for two in-depth days with the world's leading web professionals.

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Two big tracks, one Product/Design, one Developer focused, plus stellar keynotes and much more.

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