Doppelgänger: A Trip into the Mirror World

Naomi Klein • University of British Columbia

In this talk, Naomi Klein recounts her confrontation with a doppelgänger whose views she found abhorrent, but whose name and public persona were sufficiently similar to her own that many people got confused about who was who. Destabilized, she lost her bearings, until she began to understand the experience as one manifestation of a strangeness many of us have come to know but struggle to define, as AI-generated text is blurring the line between genuine and spurious communication; New Age wellness entrepreneurs turned anti-vaxxers are scrambling familiar political allegiances of left and right;and liberal democracies are teetering on the edge of absurdist authoritarianism, even as the oceans rise. Under such conditions, realityitself seems to have become unmoored. Is there a cure for our moment of collective vertigo?

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