Tech Won't Save Us

Tech Won't Save Us

Elon Musk has a tech solution for everything, but who do his ideas really serve? In each episode of Tech Won't Save Us, Paris Marx will be joined a new guest to critically examine the tech industry, its thought leaders, and the worldview that emanates from Silicon Valley. They will challenge the notion that tech alone can drive our world forward by illustrating how separating tech from politics has consequences for nearly everyone, especially the most vulnerable. But if tech won't save us, what will? This podcast isn't simply about tearing down tech, but presenting radical ideas for a better world; one where cities are oriented around people instead of cars, where the economy serves the public instead of profit, and — yes — where tech is designed for human flourishing instead of surveillance, acquisitions, or to boost stock prices. A better world is possible, and so is better technology.... Show More

Episodes

August 5, 2020 33 min

Paris Marx is joined by Tania Davidge to discuss the campaign to stop Apple from building a store in the middle of Melbourne’s Federation Square and how the company’s vision of a town square differs from what a true public space should be.

Tania Davidge is architect, artist, educator, writer, and researcher. She is the president of Citizens for Melbourne, a public space advocacy group, and the co-founder of the architectural researc...

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Paris Marx is joined by Alissa Walker to discuss how Elon Musk’s Boring Company transportation system has changed over the past few years, what his plans in Las Vegas mean for workers and transit users, and why tech companies are distracting us from a real vision of better cities.

Alissa Walker is the urbanism editor at Curbed, co-host of LA Podcast, and a contributor to KCRW’s Greater LA. She recently reported on the latest updates...

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Paris Marx is joined by Julie Michelle Klinger to discuss the myths around rare earth elements and how they’re fueling a movement to enclose and mine space. But a better, more collaborative future that treats space as a commons is still possible, and the Global South may show us the way forward.

Julie Michelle Klinger is the author of “Rare Earth Frontiers: From Terrestrial Subsoils to Lunar Landscapes” and an Assistant Professor of...

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Paris Marx is joined by Juan Ortiz Freuler to discuss the recent global negotiations on the taxation of multinational corporations, how Africa is demanding the digital labor of its citizens be accounted for, how these tensions threaten to fragment the web, and why the Global South may hold a better future of technology that transcends the capitalist, centralized, and individualist platforms which currently dominate.

Juan Ortiz Freul...

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Paris Marx is joined by Jathan Sadowski to discuss the politics of smart technology, how it enables powerful actors to further control the population, and why we should be more comfortable dismantling technologies that don’t serve the public good.

Jathan Sadowski is the author of “Too Smart: How Digital Capitalism is Extracting Data, Controlling Our Lives, and Taking Over the World” and a Research Fellow in the Emerging Technologies...

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Paris Marx is joined by Aaron W. Gordon to discuss how VC-backed tech companies upended the bike-share industry, how that specifically played out in the case of Uber and Jump, and why the dockless bike and scooter model is failing.

Aaron is a senior staff writer at Motherboard. He recently reported on Uber’s mismanagement of Jump Bikes. Follow Aaron on Twitter as @A_W_Gordon.

You can also read Paris’ thoughts on the future of mic...

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Paris Marx is joined by Banu Subramaniam and Debjani Bhattacharyya to discuss Indian politics under Narendra Modi and the BJP; how contract-tracing apps and geofencing are being used to monitor people during COVID-19; and how Hindu nationalism is informing responses to the pandemic on WhatsApp.

Banu Subramaniam is a professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the author of “Holy Scien...

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Paris Marx is joined by Brian Merchant to discuss how Amazon’s response to COVID-19 has put its workers in danger, how big tech companies are partnering with oil and gas companies, and why the pandemic makes it clear that shopping at Amazon is unethical.

Brian Merchant is a senior editor at OneZero and the author of “The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone”. He recently wrote how the pandemic is accelerating the Amazonific...

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Paris Marx is joined by Edward Ongweso Jr. to discuss how the labor practices, tech products, and global supply chains of tech companies prove they don't care about Black lives — regardless of what they've said in recent statements. Edward also explains why we should defund the police.

Edward Ongweso Jr. is a staff writer at Vice. He recently wrote about tech companies' response to Black Lives Matter and what it would me...

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Paris Marx is joined by Nika Roza Danilova to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting artists, the privileged worldview of tech, the human essence of art, and why that can’t be replicated by artificial intelligence. She also provides advice on how to best support artists and her hopes for what a better world for artists might look like.

Nika Roza Danilova makes music under the name Zola Jesus. Her fifth studio album, Okovi, was released i...

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Paris Marx is joined by Dan Hind to discuss the problems with the existing tech industry and its links to the state, and his proposal for reorienting technological development to promote human flourishing and a cooperative economy.

Dan Hind is the author of “The Return of the Public: Democracy, Power and the Case for Media Reform” and recently wrote a report called “The British Digital Cooperative: A New Model Public Sector Institut...

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Paris Marx is joined by Veena Dubal to discuss how Uber's misclassification of drivers of independent contractors denies them rights and protections granted to other workers; how that's causing even more problems during the pandemic; the ongoing fight in California to get drivers recognized as employees under Assembly Bill 5; and how ride-hailing services ushered in a second wave of deregulation in the taxi industry.

Veena D...

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Paris Marx is joined by Joanne McNeil to discuss how our experience online has evolved over the past three decades, the class backgrounds of tech founders, how the AIDS crisis robbed us an important contribution to the early web, and whether COVID-19 will change how we use platforms in the future.

Joanne McNeil is the author of “Lurking: How a Person Became a User.” She has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, WIRED, t...

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Paris Marx is joined by Lizzie O’Shea to discuss how learning about history can empower us to imagine more radical futures, how COVID-19 could create the opportunity to demand a better world, and how the praise for essential workers could help us rethink our ideas about work and the economy.

Lizzie O’Shea is the author of “Future Histories: What Ada Lovelace, Tom Paine, and the Paris Commune Can Teach Us about Digital Technology.” S...

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Paris Marx is joined by Rob Larson to discuss how tech billionaires use philanthropy to massage their images, how they're creating a world that leaves nearly everyone else worse off, and how we need to respond with an online socialism to bring tech platforms under worker control.

Rob Larson is the author of “Bit Tyrants: The Political Economy of Silicon Valley” and an economics professor at Tacoma Community College. He also rece...

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Paris Marx is joined by Grace Blakeley to discuss how neoliberal capitalism benefits the tech monopolies, how they’re thriving as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and how workers fight back after the defeat of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn.

Grace Blakeley is the author of “Stolen: How to Save the World from Financialisation,” a staff writer at Tribune Magazine, and serves on the Labour Party’s National Policy Forum. She also rece...

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Paris Marx is joined by Ilari Kaila to talk about Elon Musk's latest unhinged tweeting episode, his self-serving calls to end COVID-19 lockdowns, and how the outlandish promises he makes and stories he makes result in a cult-like devotion by those who follow him.

Ilari Kaila is a Finnish-American writer and Composer-in-Residence at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His work has been published by Aeon Magazine, ...

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Paris Marx is joined by Bianca Wylie to talk about the response to COVID-19, how governments’ emphasis on tech solutions ignores (and potentially entrenches) social inequalities, and how we might take control of technology to ensure it works for the public good.

Bianca Wylie is the co-founder of Digital Public and Tech Reset Canada, and a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. Follow Bianca on Twitter a...

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Paris Marx is joined by Ziya Tong to talk about how COVID-19 is helping us to see the world in a new way, and how that might open the door to reimagining how we organize society. Our "reality bubbles" about work, the food system, technology, and our relationship to nature are being severely challenged, but the question remains whether we can seize this moment to build a better world in the pandemic's aftermath.

Ziya Tong...

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April 23, 2020 54 min

Paris Marx is joined by James Wilt to talk about how COVID-19 is affecting transportation systems, the flaws in tech’s auto-oriented visions of the future, and why we need to fight for better transit systems to more equitably serve everyone.

James Wilt is the author of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Cars?: Transit in the Age of Google, Uber, and Elon Musk". He's also written for Canadian Dimension, Briarpatch, and Passag...

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