February 26
Autonorama: The Illusory Promise of High-Tech Driving and Technofuturistic Driving Utopias
Meetings # 3,655 - Peter Norton, Assoc Prof, University of Virginia, technology historian

“The foundation has been laid for fully autonomous,” Elon Musk announced in 2016, when he assured the world that Tesla would have a driverless fleet on the road in 2017. “It’s twice as safe as a human, maybe better.” Promises of technofuturistic driving utopias have been ubiquitous wherever tech companies and carmakers meet.

In Autonorama: The Illusory Promise of High-Tech Driving, technology historian Peter Norton argues that driverless cars cannot be the safe, sustainable, and inclusive “mobility solutions” that tech companies and automakers are promising us. The salesmanship behind the driverless future is distracting us from investing in better ways to get around that we can implement now. Unlike autonomous vehicles, these alternatives are inexpensive, safe, sustainable, and inclusive.

​Norton takes the reader on an engaging ride —from the GM Futurama exhibit to “smart” highways and vehicles—to show how we are once again being sold car dependency in the guise of mobility. He argues that we cannot see what tech companies are selling us except in the light of history. With driverless cars, we’re promised that new technology will solve the problems that car dependency gave us—zero crashes! zero emissions! zero congestion! But these are the same promises that have kept us on a treadmill of car dependency for 80 years.

Autonorama is hopeful, advocating for wise, proven, humane mobility that we can invest in now, without waiting for technology that is forever just out of reach. Before intelligent systems, data, and technology can serve us, Norton suggests, we need wisdom. Rachel Carson warned us that when we seek technological solutions instead of ecological balance, we can make our problems worse. With this wisdom, Norton contends, we can meet our mobility needs with what we have right now.

Venezuelan politician and labour leader who won the special election held in April 2013 to choose a president to serve out the remainder of the term of Pres. Hugo Chávez
February 5
The Surrender of Democracy
Meeting # 3,652 -
​Kenneth Williams, President, Dallas, Texas Alliance for Retired Americans, and Democratic Activist, will discuss the Question: "Should Democrats be doing more to save democracy from the anti-democratic movement that has taken over the Republican party?" He concludes that they should, and offers directions as to what we can do to combat this situation.
February 12
Illinois Green Party
Township Citizens Initiatives on the Ballot
Chicago Petition for Climate Action
Meeting # 3,653  - Anna Schiefelbein
​Illinois law requires that townships hold at least one public meeting per year, on the second Tuesday in April. (April 12 in 2022.) At these meetings, members of the public have the same voting power as the township committee members. At this meeting, a majority vote of those in attendance can put a question on the ballot for the next election. The exception to this is Chicago, which will meet the following day, April 13, 2022 at 10am to bring City Council a climate action petition to set a zero-emissions date of 1/1/30. (See below under April 13, 2022)  

The bar for getting a ballot initiative put on a Regular or Special Township Meeting agenda is very low, at 15 signatures from residents of the township/ward.

February 19
The US War on Venezuela  
Meeting # 3,654 - Stansfield Smith returns with another detailed analysis of foreign affairs
(program description in progress)