Fluke: Chance, Chaos, and Why Everything We Do Matters
If you could rewind your life to the very beginning and then press play, would everything turn out the same? Or could making an accidental phone call or missing an exit off the highway change not just your life, but history itself? And would you remain blind to the radically different possible world you unknowingly left behind?
In this talk based on his new book, Fluke, social scientist Brian Klaas of University College London draws on philosophy, science, history, social science, and evolutionary biology to dive deeply into the phenomenon of seemingly random chance and the chaos it can sow, taking aim at most people’s neat and tidy storybook version of reality. Klaas argues that we willfully ignore a bewildering truth: but for a few small changes, our lives—and our societies—could be radically different.
So, why do we pretend otherwise? Offering an entirely new lens, Fluke explores how our world really works. How did one couple’s vacation cause 100,000 people to die? Does our decision to hit the snooze button in the morning radically alter the trajectory of our lives? And has the evolution of humans been inevitable, or are we simply the product of a series of freak accidents?
Drawing on social science, chaos theory, history, evolutionary biology, and philosophy, Klaas provides a fresh look at why things happen — and the lies we tell ourselves about our world.
Brian Klaas grew up in Minnesota, earned his DPhil at Oxford, and is now a professor of global politics at University College London. He is a contributing writer for The Atlantic, host of the award-winning Power Corrupts podcast, and frequent guest on national television. Klaas has conducted field research across the globe and advised major politicians and organizations including NATO and the European Union. You can find him at BrianPKlaas.com and on Twitter @BrianKlaas. Klaas lives in Winchester.
Admission is £5 which also gives you an entry in the book raffle. We take cash and major cards (cards preferred).
The event is in two parts – the talk and then a Q&A after the interval. We encourage you to support the venue by indulging in the available drinks before and during the event.
You are also welcome to join us for a drink in the bar after the event.