Tue, 28 July 2020

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT

Why We Drive – On Freedom, Risk and Taking Back Control

Matthew Crawford In Conversation With Bryan Appleyard

Join philosopher and motorcyclist Matthew Crawford for a rebellious celebration of the human spirit, taking us to the heart of one of the defining questions of our time: who is really in control?

Philosopher Matthew Crawford is ‘one of the most influential thinkers of our time’ (Sunday Times); he lectures internationally, writes for the world’s most influential broadsheets, and has become world-renowned for his unique perspective on the human condition. He also runs a vintage motorcycle repair shop – putting into practice the lessons he preaches in his bestseller The Case for Working With Your Hands: Or Why Office Work is Bad For Us and Fixing Things Feels Good.

In this free, livestreamed conversation with Sunday Times journalist Bryan Appleyard, Matthew will fuse his twin passions to explore driving as the near-perfect embodiment of broader changes being wrought by government and technology throughout our lives.

He will show how the driver’s seat to be one of the few remaining places where we still regularly take risk, exercise skill and enjoy freedom. But it is here too that we discover what we are losing to automation and the technocrats, and who will profit from the vision of progress they press upon us.

Once we were drivers, the open road alive with autonomy and adventure. Today we are as likely to be in the back seat of an Uber as behind the wheel. As we hurtle toward a shiny, happy ‘self-driving’ future, are we destined to become passengers in our own lives too?

Blending philosophy with hands-on storytelling and drawing on his own experience in the garage and behind the wheel, Crawford will lead us on an irreverent but deeply considered inquiry into the power of faceless bureaucracies, the importance of questioning mindless rules and the battle for democratic self-determination against the surveillance capitalists. In turn he will speak up for rivalry and play, solidarity and dissent – and the existential value of occasionally being scared shitless.

This talk takes place at 6:30pm British Summer Time.

About Our Digital Programme:

In response to the global pandemic, How To Academy is curating a not-for-profit programme of live-streamed talks and conversations bringing you advice, insight and entertainment. Tickets are offered on a Pay What You Can basis, including a Free EarlyBird option for those who cannot afford more at this difficult time. Thank you for your help sustaining How To Academy through the crisis — and for enabling us to share new thinking from across the globe at a time when it has never been more important.

Books will be shipped within two weeks after the event. Please note that due to the challenges of distribution during the global pandemic, some books may be delayed. If we experience any delay in getting your copy to you, we will contact you by email to let you know. Thank you for supporting a local London business, Primrose Hill Books.

Matthew Crawford

Physicist-turned-political philosopher, author and senior fellow at the University of Virginia.

Matthew Crawford is the author of The Case for Working with Your Hands: Or Why Office Work Is Bad For Us and Fixing Things Feels Good and The World Beyond Your Head: How to Flourish in an Age of Distraction, which have been translated around the world. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, Sunday Times, Guardian, Independent, Wall Street Journal as well as numerous magazines and journals. Matthew is a senior fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, lectures internationally and runs a motorcycle repair shop.

Bryan Appleyard

Award-winning veteran writer with a CBE for services to journalism and the arts.

Bryan Appleyard has published ten books and countless articles for, primarily, The Sunday Times, but also for Vanity Fair, New York Times, New Statesman, Spectator etc. He has been named feature writer of the year three times and once interviewer of the year in the British Press Awards. In 2019 he was made a CBE for services to journalism and the arts in 2019.