The Myth of Progress: Planned Obsolescence, Anti-Art, and the Violence of Linear Time


Happy New Year Think Olio Style

Each of these Mini-Olios will be 20 minutes long with time for a short Q&A in between.


Dada is Anti-Dada
Professor Hallie Scott
Dada emerged in Zurich in 1916 as a reaction to the catastrophic violence of World War I, the blind futurism of the artistic movements that preceded the war, and the false notions of progress that governed both. “What we are celebrating is both buffoonery and a requiem mass,” poet-artist Hugo Ball said of the Dada events that he and other artists, writers, and filmmakers organized in rejection of modern society. These events, and the Dada disgust that they manifested, reveal the horrors and absurdities of progress.


Consumer Society Made Easy
Professor Ward Regan
The rise of industrial society and its new and distinctive form of mass production created the corollary need for mass consumption. They are two sides of the same economic coin.  One of the main questions economists have pursued is understanding the dynamic between supply and demand in pursuit of some perfectly balanced free market. So ten thousand years of human development have at last produced the combination bagel toaster & egg poacher (take that, Angkor Wat and Sphinx!)  The final victory of planned obsolescence?


Our Most Violent Fantasy
Professor Jamie Warren
In recent years, some conservative and neoliberal academics have touted the idea that human societies are evolving toward a less violent state. Progress, such scholars claim, is an inherent quality of our species, and history moves in one direction. But what if the notion of progress itself is in fact our most enduring fuel for violence? Let us look closely at the myth of historical progress and ask ourselves just how we came to believe that the past exists in service to the future.




Location: Berg'n

899 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Hip, late-night beer hall featuring microbrews & food vendors in a spacious, industrial-chic venue. Classes will be held in the private room.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.


Learn about joining the Scenius for $10 / month



Other upcoming Olios


Jul 21

Olio Breakfast Club | The Stranger

Taught by Patricia Kim
10 a.m. at Greenberg's Bagels @ North 3rd St. Market

Sign Up - $25

Jul 23

The American Soundscape

Taught by Christina Katopodis
7 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Jul 25

Frida's Fragrance: Art, Scent, & Persona

Taught by Jessica Murphy
7:30 p.m. at The William Vale Hotel

Sign Up - $20

Jul 31

Prospect Park Philosophy | Art vs. Reality

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:15 p.m. at Prospect Park (Grand Army Entrance)

Sign Up - $15

Aug 2

OlioHouse Weekend | Midsummer Night’s Dream

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $200

Aug 14

The Allure of Masculinity

Taught by Kim Nguyen
7:30 p.m. at The Assemblage | NoMad

Sign Up - $15

Aug 17

OlioHouse Weekend | Scenius (Un)Skillshare

Taught by Lauren Hudson
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $100

Aug 20

Dementia Americana: The Persistence of Forgetting

Taught by Ward Regan
7:30 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $15

Aug 21

Philosophy Club | "God is Dead"

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Sep 19

OlioTrip | Cienfuegos, Cuba

Taught by Teresita Levy
10 a.m. at Cienfuegos, Cuba

Sign Up - $


Find out when we launch new classes!