Baratunde Thurston Delivers SXSW Keynote On The World-Changing Intersection Of Comedy & Technology
Comedian and author of "How to Be Black" delivered his SXSW keynote titled "How to Read the World" today to a packed room of hundreds.
His thrust? The intersection of comedy, politics and technology is what's going to change the world.
"The internet of crap is emerging for all of us, it's a magical time. This casts a lot of noise. It creates some tension in opportunity for clarity and trust because with all this noise and confusion, we look to institutions for trust. They often come up short. Government is trying to shut it down. Religion missing in action. Your parents are awkwardly texting you. And the media is busy talking about the state of the media.
So, who's left? You've got comics, willing to speak truth to the youth and beyond."
He went on to discuss how technology has extended the types of comedy Americans are allowed to express freely to more oppressed countries, such as Egypt, China and Iran.
"Swat teams are going around Tehran removing people's satellite dishes so that they can't watch a comedy show. How weak is your government when this is what you have to resort to get things done?"
And as satire and technology have become pervasive components of revolutions, so has the tech community's responsibility to help.
"There is a need for a storytelling narrative, for a humanity and a voice, for humor. And all this … working in concert with code to get us to further steps of freedom.