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Saturday, October 13


David Harris: The War Over California's Redwoods
Limited Capacity seats available

This month, Heyday releases a reprint edition of legendary activist and former editor (Rolling Stone and The New York Times Magazine) David Harris' environmental classic, The Last Stand: The War Between Wall Street and Main Street over California's Ancient Redwoods. Last Stand details the financier Charles Hurwitz's takeover of Pacific Lumber Company in remote Northern California, and is as much a story about the struggle for the soul of capitalism as it is about the fight to save the ancient redwoods on the company's lands. In conversation with Kristin Kaye (Tree Dreams). FREE, $5 suggested donation

Co-presented by Craig Newmark Philanthropies

Authors and Participants
avatar for David Harris

David Harris

David Harris has raised two children, has played in a lot of pick up basketball games, belongs to a local peace group, is an original member of the Global Business Network, and is a practising freelance Buddhist.  He has lived in Mill Valley, California, on the edge of the Golden... Read More →
avatar for Kristin Kaye

Kristin Kaye

KRISTIN KAYE is an award-winning author, ghostwriter and teacher whose work sits at the intersection of nature, narrative and spirituality. Her most recent book, Tree Dreams: A Novel, has given gave rise to a global tree tagging campaign that celebrates the myriad ways we are connected... Read More →

Saturday October 13, 2018 1:00pm - 2:30pm
San Francisco Botanical Garden 1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122
Sunday, October 14


Zombies in Nature: A Conversation with Matt Simon
Zombieism isn’t just the stuff of movies and TV. It’s happening all around us, from wasps and worms to dogs and moose...even humans. In Plight of the Living Dead: What Real-Life Zombies Reveal About Our World—and Ourselves, science journalist Matt Simon infects ants with zombifying fungi, searches for kamikaze crickets in New Mexico, and meets the Israeli wasp that stings cockroaches in the brain before leading them to their doom. In conversation with science journalist Susan Freinkel (Plastic: A Toxic Love Story). FREE, $5 suggested donation

Co-presented by Craig Newmark Philanthropies

Authors and Participants
avatar for Susan Freinkel

Susan Freinkel

Susan Freinkel is a science writer whose work has appeared in a variety of national publications including: Discover, Reader’s Digest, Smithsonian, The New York Times, OnEarth, Health, and Real Simple. In 2005, she was awarded an Alicia Patterson Fellowship, which allowed her to... Read More →
avatar for Matt Simon

Matt Simon

Matt Simon is a science writer at Wired magazine, where he specializes in zoology, particularly of the bizarre variety, and the author of The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar. He is one of just a handful of humans to witness the fabled mating ritual of the axolotl salamande... Read More →

Monday, October 15


Energy: A Human History with Richard Rhodes
People have lived and died, businesses have prospered and failed, and nations have risen to world power and declined, all over challenges with energy. In Energy: A Human History, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes looks back on five centuries of progress, from such influential figures as Queen Elizabeth I to Henry Ford, and explains how wood gave way to coal, coal made room for oil, and where we turn next. In conversation with Ralph Lewin, executive director of Mechanics' Institute. FREE 

Co-presented by Craig Newmark Philanthropies

Authors and Participants
avatar for Richard Rhodes

Richard Rhodes

Richard Rhodes is the author of numerous books and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He graduated from Yale University and has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the... Read More →

Monday October 15, 2018 7:00pm - 8:30pm
San Francisco Center for the Book 375 Rhode Island St., San Francisco, CA 94103


Loaded: A History of Guns in America
Lawmakers suggest teachers arm themselves. People can download 3D plans to make their own guns. High school students across the country demand a solution to the crisis. How did we get here? Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz takes us through America's long, tortured relationship with guns in her deeply researched—and deeply disturbing— book Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment. In conversation with San Francisco Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguía. FREE

Co-presented by Craig Newmark Philanthropies

avatar for Alejandro Murguia

Alejandro Murguia

Alejandro Murguía is the author of Southern Front and This War Called Love (both winners of the American Book Award). His non-fiction book The Medicine of Memory highlights the Mission District in the 1970s during the Nicaraguan Solidarity movement. He is a founding member and the... Read More →

Authors and Participants
avatar for Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother. She is the author of many books, including Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie... Read More →

Monday October 15, 2018 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Mechanics' Institute Library 57 Post St., San Francisco CA 94104
Tuesday, October 16


Future Presence: Decoding Virtual Reality
Wired editor and virtual reality expert Peter Rubin presents his new book Future Presence, a captivating, candid glimpse into the future realities of emerging VR technology: how we will use it to form previously impossible relationships, explore new frontiers of intimacy, and how it will forever change human connection. In conversation with New York Times journalist Scott James. FREE

Co-presented by Craig Newmark Philanthropies

avatar for Scott James

Scott James

Co-founder, Castro Writers' Cooperative
Scott James is the co-founder of the Castro Writers' Cooperative, a co-working space for writers in San Francisco. He's a contributor to The New York Times and has three Emmy Awards for his work in TV news. He's also the author of two bestselling novels, "SoMa" and "The Sower," published... Read More →

Authors and Participants
avatar for Peter Rubin

Peter Rubin

Peter Rubin oversees WIRED's culture coverage in the magazine and online. In 2014, his cover story on Oculus introduced readers to the rebirth of virtual reality, and Rubin has since written frequently about the evolution of VR and its many applications. Prior to arriving at WIRED... Read More →

Tuesday October 16, 2018 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Mechanics' Institute Library 57 Post St., San Francisco CA 94104


Valley of Genius: The Secret History of Silicon Valley
Limited Capacity seats available

Rarely has one economy asserted itself as swiftly—and as aggressively—as the entity we now know as Silicon Valley. Built with a seemingly permanent culture of reinvention, Silicon Valley does not fight change; it embraces it. So how did this omnipotent and ever-morphing place come to be? Adam Fisher celebrates release of his new oral history Valley of Genius, and discusses the lesser-known secrets of technology's invention and betrayal. With Wired founder Jane Metcalfe, virtual reality pioneer David Levitt, Atari Research director Kristina Woolsey, and GUI theorist Brenda Laurel. Doors open at 6 pm for pre-show reception. $10, limited free seating for Society members

Co-presented by Craig Newmark Philanthropies

avatar for Adam Fisher

Adam Fisher

Adam Fisher grew up in Silicon Valley playing Atari, programming computers, and reading science fiction. He now lives on an island in the San Francisco Bay and writes overlooking the water for Wired, MIT Technology Review, and The New York Times Magazine. This is his first book.

Authors and Participants
avatar for Brenda Laurel

Brenda Laurel

Brenda Laurel, Ph.D., works as an independent scholar and consultant. She is an advocate for diversity and inclusiveness in video games, a pioneer in developing virtual reality, a public speaker and an academic. She has worked for Atari, co-founded the game development firm Purple... Read More →
avatar for David Levitt

David Levitt

Dr. David Levitt is the co-founder and CEO of Pantomime Corporation, creator of the Pantomime™ Platform for interactive virtual reality using any mobile or consumer device -- headset optional.Pantomime Corporation, founded in April 2014, quickly won the Launch Silicon Valley Tech... Read More →
avatar for Jane Metcalfe

Jane Metcalfe

Jane Metcalfe is an entrepreneur, board member, advisor, executive and investor in industries including media, tech, food, health, education, arts and real estate. She was cofounder and former president of Wired magazine. She graduated with honors from the University of Colorado... Read More →
avatar for Kristina Woolsey

Kristina Woolsey

Kristina Woolsey is known as the “mother of multimedia” for her work as director of Atari’s research lab and co-founder of Apple’s multimedia lab. She was named a Distinguished Scientist by Apple Computer in acknowledgment of her pioneering work in multimedia in education... Read More →

Wednesday, October 17


Wesley Yang: The Souls of Yellow Folk
Wesley Yang’s The Souls of Yellow Folk marks a fresh contribution to the conversation about race in America today. An eclectic mix of reporting, sociology, and personal history, Yellow Folk collects 13 of the National Magazine Award-winning writer's best essays, including the New York cover story “Paper Tigers,” on Asian values and the American Dream; a New York Times Magazine portrait of chef and author Eddie Huang; his n+1 dispatch “The Face of Seung-Hui Cho,” about the largest mass murderer in U.S. history; and provocative essays on white supremacy. In conversation with Tom Pyun. FREE

Co-presented by Craig Newmark Philanthropies

Authors and Participants
avatar for Tom Pyun

Tom Pyun

Tom Pyun is a writer based in Los Angeles. He was a fellow with Tin House, Vermont Studio Center, Gemini Ink, and VONA/Voices. His work has appeared in The Rumpus, Eleven Eleven, Blue Mesa Review, and Reed magazine, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net... Read More →
avatar for Wesley Yang

Wesley Yang

Wesley Yang has published criticism, essays, and nonfiction features in The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, the New York Times Book Review, New York Magazine, Esquire, Tablet, and n+1. His work has appeared in Best American Essays, Best American Magazine Writing, Best Creative... Read More →

Wednesday October 17, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Library 57 Post St., San Francisco CA 94104


977 Days in Captivity: Michael Scott Moore's The Desert and the Sea
In January 2012, journalist Michael Scott Moore traveled to the Horn of Africa to write about piracy. But in a terrible twist of fate, he was kidnapped by Somali pirates, and subjected to conditions that break even the strongest spirits: physical abuse, starvation, isolation, and terror. After 977 days he was freed, and this year published his remarkable memoir The Desert and the Sea, a riveting, thoughtful, and emotionally resonant exploration of foreign policy, religious extremism, and the costs of survival. In conversation with foreign correspondent Jeanne Carstensen. FREE

Co-presented by Craig Newmark Philanthropies

Authors and Participants
avatar for Jeanne Carstensen

Jeanne Carstensen

Jeanne Carstensen covered the Syrian refugee crisis in Greece, Turkey, and Europe for Public Radio International’s The World, The Nation, Foreign Policy, The Intercept, The Global Post’s Long Reads on Conflict, and other outlets, with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis... Read More →
avatar for Michael Scott Moore

Michael Scott Moore

Michael Scott Moore is a literary journalist and a novelist, author of a comic novel about L.A., Too Much of Nothing, as well as a travel book about surfing, Sweetness and Blood, which was named a best book of 2010 by The Economist and Popmatters. He was kidnapped in 2012 on a reporting... Read More →

Wednesday October 17, 2018 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Mechanics' Institute Library 57 Post St., San Francisco CA 94104