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Tech Won't Save Us

Technology Podcasts

Silicon Valley has a solution for everything, but who do its ideas really serve? Every Thursday, Paris Marx is joined by a new guest to critically examine the tech industry, its thought leaders, and the worldview it spreads. They challenge the notion that tech alone can drive our world forward by showing that separating tech from politics has consequences for us all, especially the most vulnerable. But if tech won't save us, what will? This podcast isn't simply about tearing tech down; it also presents radical ideas for tech designed for human flourishing instead of surveillance, acquisitions, or to boost stock prices. A better world is possible, and so is better technology.

Silicon Valley has a solution for everything, but who do its ideas really serve? Every Thursday, Paris Marx is joined by a new guest to critically examine the tech industry, its thought leaders, and the worldview it spreads. They challenge the notion that tech alone can drive our world forward by showing that separating tech from politics has consequences for us all, especially the most vulnerable. But if tech won't save us, what will? This podcast isn't simply about tearing tech down; it also presents radical ideas for tech designed for human flourishing instead of surveillance, acquisitions, or to boost stock prices. A better world is possible, and so is better technology.

Location:

United States

Description:

Silicon Valley has a solution for everything, but who do its ideas really serve? Every Thursday, Paris Marx is joined by a new guest to critically examine the tech industry, its thought leaders, and the worldview it spreads. They challenge the notion that tech alone can drive our world forward by showing that separating tech from politics has consequences for us all, especially the most vulnerable. But if tech won't save us, what will? This podcast isn't simply about tearing tech down; it also presents radical ideas for tech designed for human flourishing instead of surveillance, acquisitions, or to boost stock prices. A better world is possible, and so is better technology.

Language:

English


Episodes

Why We Need a Democratic Approach to Data w/ Salomé Viljoen

1/14/2021
Paris Marx is joined by Salomé Viljoen to discuss existing proposals to expand individual data rights or treat it as a form of labor, why we instead need to see data governance as a collective democratic project, and how that would give us the power to decide what data is collected and what it’s used for. Salomé Viljoen is an affiliate at Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and a joint postdoctoral fellow at NYU School of Law’s Information Law Institute and...

Duration:00:43:42

The Frictionless World of Silicon Valley w/ Anna Wiener

1/7/2021
Paris Marx is joined by Anna Wiener to discuss her journey into the tech industry, how Silicon Valley’s desire for a “frictionless” world is affecting culture, and why it’s important to analyze Substack’s claims about the future of journalism. Anna Wiener is the author of “Uncanny Valley” (available in paperback on Bookshop) and a contributing writer at the New Yorker. Follow Anna on Twitter as @annawiener. Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider...

Duration:00:50:28

Platforms for Public Good w/ Mathew Lawrence & Thomas Hanna

12/30/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Mathew Lawrence and Thomas Hanna to discuss the problems with platforms, why antitrust alone is not enough to fix them, and how we can encourage the creation of democratic platforms that serve the public good. Mathew Lawrence is the founder and director of Common Wealth. He’s also the co-author of “Planet on Fire: A Manifesto for the Age of Environmental Breakdown.” Preorder it now from Verso Books and follow him on Twitter as @DantonsHead. Thomas Hanna is the...

Duration:01:03:22

The Complex Systems that Govern Our Lives w/ Tim Maughan

12/23/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Tim Maughan to discuss the exploitative infrastructures that make the modern world possible, how complex technological systems rob us of our power to control our collective destiny, and why predicting trends isn’t hard when you understand capitalism. Tim Maughan is the author of “Infinite Detail” and “Ghost Hardware.” He’s also written for BBC Future, New Scientist, and Motherboard, and is writing a new column for OneZero. Follow Tim on Twitter as @timmaughan. Tech...

Duration:00:57:15

How Urban Tech Increases Corporate Control w/ David Banks

12/17/2020
Paris Marx is joined by David Banks to discuss how tech solutions to increase corporate control in cities will be sold to us as fun and convenient, and what that will actually means for access and equity in urban life. David Banks is a visiting assistant professor at the University at Albany. He’s the editor-at-large at Real Life, and has written for The Baffler, e-flux architecture, and Current Affairs. Follow David on Twitter as @DA_Banks. Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective...

Duration:00:54:27

Why Game and Tech Workers Are Organizing w/ Emma Kinema

12/10/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Emma Kinema to discuss how workers are organizing in the video game and tech industries, the challenges faced by those workers, and the importance of organizing to improve workplaces, but also larger economic structures. Emma Kinema is a former tech and games worker who is a Campaign Lead with the Communications Workers of America on the Campaign to Organize Digital Employees. She also co-founded Game Workers Unite. Follow Emma on Twitter as @EmmaKinema. Tech Won’t...

Duration:00:57:57

Fighting for Gig Workers’ Rights After Prop 22 w/ Wilfred Chan

12/3/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Wilfred Chan to discuss how gig companies misled California voters to back Prop 22, whether the Biden administration will be an ally to gig workers, and the need for solidarity in the fight to preserve (and expand) labor rights. Wilfred Chan is a contributing writer at the Nation. He has also written for Dissent, The Guardian, NBC News, and more. Read his recent piece on the fight for labor rights after Prop 22. Follow Wilfred on Twitter as @wilfredchan. Tech Won’t...

Duration:00:38:16

How Spotify is Built On Artist Exploitation w/ Liz Pelly

11/26/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Liz Pelly to discuss how the Spotify model of streaming music continues a long trend of exploitation in the music industry and why musicians need to organize around a vision for a different world of music. Liz Pelly is a freelance writer and critic who has spent the past decade working with community arts spaces. She is also a contributing editor and columnist at The Baffler. Follow Liz on Twitter as @lizpelly. Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on...

Duration:00:43:47

The Injury Crisis in Amazon Warehouses w/ Will Evans

11/19/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Will Evans to discuss how excessive productivity targets are causing high rates of injury at Amazon warehouses, how executives have misled the public about the problem, and what that suggests about the impacts of the company’s “customer obsession.” Will Evans is a reporter at Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Read his investigation about Amazon’s safety crisis. Follow Will on Twitter as @willCIR. Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on...

Duration:00:36:29

How Video Games are Shaped by Capitalism w/ Daniel Joseph

11/12/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Daniel Joseph to discuss the relationship between video games and capitalism, how the gaming experience has become increasingly commercialized, and what the new consoles — Xbox Series X|S and Playstation 5 — herald for the future of the industry. Daniel Joseph is a Senior Lecturer of Digital Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University. Read his articles for Real Life about video games and capitalism and platformization, and for Briarpatch about what better...

Duration:00:47:46

Jobs Suck, But Not Because of Automation w/ Aaron Benanav

11/5/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Aaron Benanav to discuss why jobs are getting worse because the economy’s slowing down, not because technology is speeding up, and why that requires a vision of post-scarcity centered around human relationships instead of technological change. Aaron Benanav is an economic historian and social theorist. He is a post-doctoral researcher at Humboldt University of Berlin and author of “Automation and the Future of Work.” Follow Aaron on Twitter as @abenanav. Tech Won’t...

Duration:00:48:22

Section 230 Protects Free Expression Online w/ Evan Greer

10/29/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Evan Greer to discuss Republican and Democratic desires to amend or revoke Section 230, why the proposals won’t solve problems with Big Tech, and the international implications of US decisions about moderation. Evan Greer is an activist, musician, and writer. She is the deputy director at Fight for the Future, which is currently running campaigns to protect Section 230 called Save Online Free Speech and to ban facial recognition technology. Follow Evan on Twitter as...

Duration:00:46:24

What Rural China Teaches Us About the Future of Tech w/ Xiaowei Wang

10/22/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Xiaowei Wang to discuss how technology is being used to connect rural China to global supply chains, what that means for life and work in those communities, and how China also holds inspiration for a different way of organizing production and technological development. Xiaowei Wang is a technologist, artist, and writer. They are the creative director at Logic Magazine and author of “Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China’s Countryside.” Follow...

Duration:00:43:39

Why Google’s Ad Business Could Implode w/ Tim Hwang

10/15/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Tim Hwang to discuss how digital ad markets became financialized, why Google and Facebook have an incentive to hide how poorly digital ads actually work, and how a financial bubble in digital advertising could usher in a better future of the internet. Tim Hwang is a writer, researcher, and former global public policy lead for artificial intelligence and machine learning at Google. He is also the author of “Subprime Attention Crisis: Advertising and the Time Bomb at...

Duration:00:41:42

Silicon Valley is Embracing Anti-China Nationalism w/ JS Tan

10/8/2020
Paris Marx is joined by JS Tan to discuss the internet’s connection with neoliberalism, China’s protectionist measures to develop its own tech industry, and how the new tensions between the United States and China are leading Silicon Valley to embrace nationalism. JS Tan is a former tech worker and writer. He is an editor at Lausan and started Collective Actions in Tech. He recently wrote articles about the tech angle on the Cold War for Foreign Policy and Trump’s attempted TikTok ban for...

Duration:00:34:53

Major Publishers Want to Shut Down Digital Lending w/ Maria Bustillos

10/1/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Maria Bustillos to discuss the important work of the Internet Archive, why it opened a digital National Emergency Library during the pandemic, how access to culture is essential for the social good, and why the major publishers are trying to permanently restrict digital lending in a narrow-minded bid for short-term profit. Maria Bustillos is the founding editor of Popula and Brick House. She recently wrote about the major publishers’ lawsuit against the Internet...

Duration:00:45:22

How Google & Facebook Dominate Digital Ads w/ Shoshana Wodinsky

9/24/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Shoshana Wodinsky to discuss how digital ad markets work, how Google and Facebook maintain their dominance, and why the TikTok saga wasn’t really about China getting people’s data at all. Shoshana Wodinsky is a data reporter at Gizmodo. She recently wrote how banning TikTok won’t do anything about data going to China and how the US Congress might break up the tech monopolies. Follow Shoshana on Twitter as @swodinsky. Tech Won't Save Us offers a critical perspective...

Duration:00:38:04

How Foxconn Treats the Workers Who Built Your iPhone w/ Jenny Chan

9/17/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Jenny Chan to discuss the difficult lives of Foxconn factory workers, the company’s relationship with Apple, the structural roadblocks to better working conditions, and how Chinese workers are trying to push back. Jenny Chan is the co-author of “Dying for an iPhone: Apple, Foxconn, and The Lives of China’s Workers” with Mark Selden and Pun Ngai. It’s available from Haymarket Books and Pluto Press. She is also an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Hong Kong...

Duration:00:50:22

A Better Internet Requires Ending the Monopolies w/ Cory Doctorow

9/10/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Cory Doctorow to discuss how the problems we associate with Big Tech aren’t the result of mind-control systems, but corporation consolidation. Cory argues we need to stop buying the overblown sales pitch, stop collecting so much data, and enforce antitrust legislation against the tech monopolies. Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, and journalist. His most recent non-fiction book, “How to Defeat Surveillance Capitalism,” is available for free at...

Duration:00:50:09

Thinking about Tech in the Present Tense w/ Ben Tarnoff

9/3/2020
Paris Marx is joined by Ben Tarnoff to discuss why we should look to the Luddites for inspiration, how history could inform a better future of technology, and what tech organizing might look like under a Joe Biden administration. Ben Tarnoff is a co-founder of Logic Magazine and co-authored “Voices from the Valley: Tech Workers Talk About What They Do–and How They Do It” with Moira Weigel. The book will be released in October and can be preordered now. Follow Ben on Twitter as...

Duration:00:44:39