Events - 14.09.2011 - 00:00 

Questioning digital existence

Will the future belong to people or to computers? This is the question that Miriam Meckel investigates in her book entitled Next. On 21 September 2011 at 8 p.m., she will be reading in St.Gallen’s Rösslitor bookshop.


14 September 2011. 14 September 2011. Twenty data points are enough to predict a human being. Where we live, what we buy, where we travel, who we speak to, what we like, whom we love – all this has long been stored about us in computer networks and evaluated in such a way as to make us predictable.

Unsettling trip into the future

The computer knows what decisions we will make before we know it ourselves. We buy books that Amazon suggests to us, we listen to music that Apple recommends to us, we make friends with people whom Facebook considers to be suitable. And this is only the beginning of the future which at some stage will be able to do without us. Miriam Meckel narrates Next from two perspectives: from that of a human algorithm and from that of one of the last human beings – a fascinating intellectual game, an unsettling trip into our digital future. The book outlines the utopia of a world in which human judgement, chance, feelings and margins of error will no longer play a part. Everything will become analysable – but at what price, asks the author.

Teacher and author

Miriam Meckel was born in 1967, read communication and political science, law and sinology, and obtained a doctor’s degree with her thesis on European television. She was the government spokeswoman of the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia and later State Secretary for Europe, International Affairs and Media. She has been a professor at the University of St.Gallen (HSG) since 2005 and heads the Institute for Media and Communication Management. In 2007, her book "Das Glück der Unerreichbarkeit". Wege aus der Kommunikationsfalle (The Joys of Inaccessibility. Ways Out of the Communication Trap). Her book "Brief an mein Leben. Erfahrungen mit einem Burnout" (Letter to my Life. Experiences with Burnout) followed in 2010 and became a best-seller.

Reading in the Orell Füssli Rösslitor bookshop
On Wednesday, 21 September 2011 at 8 p.m., the HSG professor will present the book in St.Gallen’s Rösslitor bookshop in Multergasse 1. The number of seats is limited, admission tickets cost CHF 10.00. The bookshop is selling advance tickets on the first floor.

(Picture: Photocase / doxx)

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