A Drink with The Idler | Tom Chatfield on How Technology Has Made Us What We Are.

Tom Chatfield


Join “A Drink with the Idler” as we talk to Tom Chatfield on how we have always been deeply involved with our creations

Tom Chatfield’s new book Wise Animals: How Technology Has Made Us What We Are explores the history of our relationship with technology and our deep involvement with our creations, from the first use of tools, to the invention of reading, printing, the internet and the emergence of AI.

The discussion will be followed by a live Q&A. The Idler Academy’s Head of Philosophy Dr Mark Vernon will present a short “thought for the week” to get our brains fizzing and the discussion will be followed by a live Q&A. The event will be  hosted by Idler Academy director Victoria Hull.

This is an online event. It should be like meeting up in the pub for an interesting conversation. We leave the meeting open at the end so you can carry on chatting.

Dr Tom Chatfield (@TomChatfield, www.tomchatfield.net) is a British author and tech philosopher. He has spoken about AI, tech ethics and digital culture at venues ranging from the UK and European Parliaments to Google, Meta, the US National Academy of Sciences and TED Global. His bestselling critical thinking textbooks and courses for SAGE Publishing are used across the world. His non-fiction books exploring digital culture — including How to Thrive in the Digital Age (Pan Macmillan) and Live this Book! (Penguin) — have appeared in over thirty languages. His debut novel, This Is Gomorrah (Hodder), was a Sunday Times thriller of the month, shortlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger and won France’s 2020 Prix Douglas Kennedy. He speaks, writes and broadcasts internationally on technology and culture. Tom is currently a member of the British Library Advisory Council; Chair of the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and co-Chair of the Copyright Licensing Agency; and an Associate at Perspectiva, researching the ethics of technology. He lives in Kent with his wife and two children. 

Tom Hodgkinson is editor of the Idler and author of the best-selling manuals, How to Be Idle and How to Be Free. Other publications include a book on parenting, the Ukulele Handbook and a manual for creative entrepreneurs, Business for Bohemians.

Dr Mark Vernon is a psychotherapist, writer, broadcaster, and teacher. He presents several Idler Academy online courses. He has a PhD in philosophy, and degrees in theology and physics. His most recent books include The Idler Guide to Ancient Philosophy (Idler Books), Love: All that Matters (Hodder) and Jung: How to Believe (Guardian Shorts) – and he has books on friendship, belief and the good life too. Mark can often be heard on Radio 4’s Moral Maze. He began his professional life as a priest in the Church of England. For more, visit markvernon.com

Victoria Hull is director of The Idler Academy, producing the Idler’s live and online events and courses.

Testimonials from A Drink with the Idler

Drinks with the Idler have kept me sane.

A fabulous Idler Drinks – thanks Tom, Victoria, Mark and idlers everywhere!

A simple heartfelt “thank you”: I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying Thursday evenings as part of the Idler community. Never has a subscription yielded such brain-nourishing pleasure. 

Short yet so sweet, delightful and interesting… uplifting intelligent conversation. I feel so happy to have stumbled upon the Idler. I bow to you all☺️⭐️

A Drink with the Idler has turned out to be one of our lifelines! Such fun, wonderful commentary by you and the remarkable Mark, not to mention the delightful Victoria. 

A great way to round off another year of Drinks, raise a glass to Christmas and to 2024!

Event Details

Date: Thursday 16 May 2024

Time: 6pm-7pm

Location: Online via Zoom link

Cost: £7.50. Free for Idler members. SUBSCRIBE HERE.

How to join A Drink with the Idler: Non subscribers should register by clicking the BUY NOW button above. Subscribers can register by clicking the GET TICKETS button above.


In order for the Idler to send you a link to this event you need to make sure you have signed up for the Idler newsletter here.

Idler Magazine and Idler Academy members will be sent a special registration link ahead of the event.

Latecomers may not be given access