New York Thought: Smart Things to Do in NYC This Week

Talks on fame, tech, hormones, and the right to bear arms highlight our picks for the best smart things to do in NYC this week.

Monday, October 21

With celebrity culture debasing so many layers of our society it’s a great time to examine where popular fame began. Columbia professor Sharon Marcus leads a panel of experts discussing her new book, The Drama of Celebrity, an exhaustively researched look at the roots of celebrity and the many forces that go into manufacturing it. Columbia University.

Dance over to this book launch for choreographer Mark Morris’s new memoir, which will include a conversation with Morris and performance by Mark Morris Dance Company.

Tuesday, October 22

Silicon Valley—and its often cavalier attitudes toward user privacy—is coming under increased scrutiny. Europe in particular is gearing up regulatory pressure. Should Big Tech face more accountability? Or will that stifle the freedom that produced so much innovation in recent years? The next Intelligence Squared US Debates showdown takes on the question, following the proposition Europe Has Declared War on American Tech CompaniesKaye Playhouse at Hunter College.

When you pick out a shirt, is it you or your hormones making the choice? Dr. Adar Eisenbruch, who studies the evolved psychology of cooperation, leads a Think & Drink session on our body’s hidden signals. He’ll explain how testosterone in men and estradiol and progesterone in women affect romance and relationships. Subject.

Say “hello” to this talk on the Hello Girls, America’s first women soldiers who ran communications during World War I. The National Arts Club.

Author Andrew S. Lewis presents his new book, The Drowning of Money Island: A Forgotten Community’s Fight Against the Rising Seas Threatening Coastal America, which tells the story of his hometown of Bayshore, NJ and the imperiled futures of less affluent coastal settlements. Book Culture.


Accompanying the exhibition Alice Miceli: Projeto Chernobyl, catch a panel of art professionals and academics as they look at the way imperceptibility heightened Chernobyl’s human costs. Americas Society.

Wednesday, October 23

See the forest for more than the trees at this talk on the Japanese practice of “forest bathing” and finding healing power through nature. Japan Society.

Jamie Warren asks whether love’s root is in lines or triangles. She leads a Think Olio session with a close reading of Anne Carson’s Eros: The Bittersweet, the poet’s 1998 exploration of love in classical philosophy and literature. Knowledge of the text is not required—passages will be read and considered.

Control your mind, control your life: join Gautamji, a senior disciple of the celebrated Indian philosopher and guru Swami Parthasarathy, for an evening focused on the ancient Indian philosophy of Vedanta. Community Church of New York.

Thursday, October 24

How did a D.C. pizza parlor with no basement go viral as the supposed site of a subterranean pedophile ring? Journalist Anna Merlan presents her new book, Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power, which lays out the fertile conditions in the U.S. that produce a bumper crop of paranoia. Grand Central Library.

Exercise your First Amendment right to learn more about the Second at this panel discussion on how history has become contested in the national debate over guns. Book Culture.

Andrew Marantz (Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation) talks about solutions to the unintended consequences of the technological revolution. The Strand.

Find our picks for the weekend here.

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