Tech Won't Save Us

Tech Won't Save Us

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.

Episodes

May 6, 2021 58 min

Paris Marx is joined by Margaret O’Mara to discuss how the state and military have been at the center of the US tech industry since the very beginning, but how it was written out of the popular narrative during the neoliberal turn in the 1980s.

Margaret O’Mara is the author of “The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America” and a professor at the University of Washington. Follow Margaret on Twitter as @margaretomara.

Tech ...

Share
Mark as Played

Paris Marx is solo this week, providing an update on the podcast, the series of guests planned for May, and what’s coming next for Tech Won’t Save Us!

Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider society with the goal of inspiring people to demand better tech and a better world. Follow the podcast (@techwontsaveus) and host Paris Marx (@parismarx) on Twitter, and support the show on Patr...

Share
Mark as Played

Paris Marx is joined by Kim Kelly to discuss what it was like on the ground in Bessemer as workers tried to form a union at Amazon, the mood after the results came in, and where the organizing effort against Amazon goes from here.

Kim Kelly is a freelance labor reporter who has written for Teen Vogue, The Baffler, Vox, and many others. She is also writing a book for One Signal Publishers called “Fight Like Hell” that will come out i...

Share
Mark as Played

Paris Marx is joined by Elizabeth Renieris to discuss why we should be concerned about proposals for vaccine passports and how they could create a precedent for a larger rollout of digital identity documents.

Elizabeth Renieris is a practitioner fellow at Stanford University’s Digital Civil Society Lab and a tech + human rights fellow  at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Follow Elizabeth on Twitt...

Share
Mark as Played

Paris Marx is joined by Jacob Silverman to discuss the implications of the recent NFT boom, the libertarian ideology that underpins crypto, and where the hype economy goes from here.

Jacob Silverman is a staff writer at The New Republic and the author of “Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection.” Follow Jacob on Twitter as @SilvermanJacob.

🎉 In April 2021, Tech Won’t Save Us celebrates its firs...

Share
Mark as Played

Paris Marx is joined by Chris Gilliard to discuss how decisions by powerful institutions over how to implement new technologies in cities, education, health, and more have the effect of creating a form of digital redlining that hides existing social problems.

Chris Gilliard is a Visiting Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center and teaches at Macomb Community College. You can follow Chris on Twitter as @hyper...

Share
Mark as Played

Paris Marx is joined by Manu Saadia to discuss the roots of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos’ visions for space, and why they serve the billionaires’ need for control, not the betterment of humanity.

Manu Saadia is the author of “Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek.”

Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider society with the goal of inspiring people to demand better tech and a better world. Follow...

Share
Mark as Played

Paris Marx is joined by Mar Hicks to discuss why we need to know the history of tech and how the British history of sexism and colonialism in computing has lessons for the present-day US tech industry.

Mar Hicks is the co-editor of “Your Computer Is on Fire,” along with Thomas S. Mullaney, Benjamin Peters, and Kavita Philip. They are also the author of “Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Ed...

Share
Mark as Played

Paris Marx is joined by Tim Schwab to discuss how Bill Gates wields his wealth to shape public policy, the many conflicts of interest of Bill and his Foundation, and how legitimate criticism of power is being positioned as conspiracy.

Tim Schwab is an investigative journalist whose recent work on the Gates Foundation has been published by The Nation, the Columbia Review of Journalism, and the British Medical Journal. Follow Tim on T...

Share
Mark as Played

Paris Marx is joined by Callum Cant to discuss the UK Supreme Court ruling that Uber drivers are workers, his experience organizing as a Deliveroo worker, and how algorithmic management is transforming work.

Callum Cant is the author of “Riding for Deliveroo: Resistance in the New Economy.” He’s also the head of communications at Momentum and an editor at Notes from Below. Follow Callum on Twitter as @CallumCant1.

Tech Won’t Save...

Share
Mark as Played

Paris Marx is joined by Gavin Mueller to discuss who the Luddites really were, what they can teach us about how we think about technology today, and why they show the need for a decelerationist politics of the future.

Gavin Mueller is the author of “Breaking Things at Work: The Luddites Are Right About Why You Hate Your Job.” He’s also a lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam and a member of the editorial collectiv...

Share
Mark as Played

Paris Marx is joined by Lizzie O’Shea to discuss how Australia’s plan to make Google and Facebook pay news publishers entrenches a data-extractive business model and aligns the interests of tech giants and media companies against those of the public.

Lizzie O’Shea is a human rights lawyer and the founder of Digital Rights Watch. She’s also the author of “Future Histories: What Ada Lovelace, Tom Paine, and the Paris Commune Can Teach...

Share
Mark as Played

Paris Marx is joined by Rida Qadri to discuss how gig workers in Jakarta created networks of mutual aid in the face of a lack of support from companies and the government, and how their experiences show the importance of workers’ local knowledge for delivery platforms.

Rida Qadri is a PhD candidate in Urban Information Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Follow Rida on Twitter as @qadrida.

Tech Won’t Save Us off...

Share
Mark as Played

Paris Marx is joined by Lauren Kaori Gurley to discuss how Amazon surveils workers to stop them from organizing, the difficult working conditions in warehouses and for delivery drivers, and whether Jeff Bezos become Executive Chair will change anything.

Lauren Kaori Gurley is a labor reporter at Motherboard/Vice. Follow Lauren on Twitter as @LaurenKGurley.

Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, a...

Share
Mark as Played

Paris Marx is joined by Grafton Tanner to discuss how social media constantly resurfaces the past, why film and television uses nostalgia to keep us engaged, and whether there’s a way to wield nostalgia in pursuit of a better world.

Grafton Tanner is the author of “The Circle of the Snake: Nostalgia and Utopia in the Age of Big Tech” and “Babbling Corpse: Vaporwave and the Commodification of Ghosts.” Grafton is also writing  “The Ho...

Share
Mark as Played

Paris Marx is joined by Becca Lewis to discuss YouTube’s history of incentivizing extreme content, how the storming of the US Capitol shows the power of media spectacle, and why we should see social media platforms as media companies.

Becca Lewis is a PhD candidate in Communication at Stanford University. She’s also written for a number of publications, including NBC News, Vice News, and New York Magazine. Follow Becca on Twitter as...

Share
Mark as Played

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 f...

Share
Mark as Played

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 off...

Share
Mark as Played

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...

Share
Mark as Played

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 colum...

Share
Mark as Played

Chat About Tech Won't Save Us

Advertise With Us

Popular Podcasts

Crime Junkie
The Daily

The Daily

This is what the news should sound like. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.

Dateline NBC

Dateline NBC

Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

For You

    Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeartRadio App.

    Connect

    © 2021 iHeartMedia, Inc.