137 episodes

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.

Tech Won't Save Us Paris Marx

    • Technology
    • 4.8 • 75 Ratings

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.

    Science Fiction As Tech Criticism w/ Brian Merchant and Claire Evans

    Science Fiction As Tech Criticism w/ Brian Merchant and Claire Evans

    Paris Marx is joined by Brian Merchant and Claire Evans to discuss their new science fiction anthology, how it uses the genre to critically interrogate the technologies being rolled out around us, and how it pushes back on the desire of tech billionaires to use science fiction to get the public to buy into their corporate futures.

    Brian Merchant is a tech journalist and author of The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone. Claire L. Evans is the author of Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet and singer of the Grammy-nominated pop group YACHT. They are the cofounders of Terraform at VICE's Motherboard and the co-editors of Terraform: Watch/Worlds/Burn.  Follow Brian on Twitter at @bcmerchant and follow Claire at @TheUniverse.

    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, support the show on Patreon, and sign up for the weekly newsletter.

    The podcast is produced by Eric Wickham and part of the Harbinger Media Network.

    Also mentioned in this episode:
    Brian and Claire wrote about their science fiction anthology and what you can expect from it.Some of the stories mentioned in our conversation are “Busy” by Omar El Akkad, “One Day, I Will Die on Mars” by Paul Ford, and “Devolution” by Ellen Ullman.Brian also wrote about the metaverse and the science fiction that inspired it for Vice.Langdon Winner wrote about the concept of epistemological Luddism in his book Autonomous Technology. Zachary Loeb expanded on it in a great essay called “Luddism for These Ludicrous Times.”Cory Doctorow wrote about science fiction being a Luddite literature.Support the show

    • 45 min
    Electric Vehicles Are Driving a Mining Boom w/ Thea Riofrancos

    Electric Vehicles Are Driving a Mining Boom w/ Thea Riofrancos

    Paris Marx is joined by Thea Riofrancos to discuss how the push for electric vehicles is driving governments in the United States and Europe to onshore mining after decades of doing the reverse, what that means for companies in the sector, and how movements are pushing back against this resource-intensive vision for a green transition.

    Thea Riofrancos is an Andrew Carnegie Fellow,  an Associate Professor of Political Science at Providence College, and a member of the Climate + Community Project. She’s also the author of Resource Radicals: From Petro-Nationalism to Post-Extractivism in Ecuador. Follow Thea on Twitter at @triofrancos.

    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, support the show on Patreon, and sign up for the weekly newsletter.

    The podcast is produced by Eric Wickham and part of the Harbinger Media Network.

    Also mentioned in this episode:
    Thea wrote about the push to onshore mining activities and what it means for climate justice, and recently published an academic article on the “security-sustainability nexus” relating to lithium onshoring.EV raw material costs doubled during the pandemic, forcing many automakers to raise prices.A lithium mine in Portugal was scrapped after local opposition, but other projects continue to move ahead.The US Inflation Reduction Act included many benefits for mining companies and tied EV tax credits to mineral supply chains.Support the show

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Surveillance Won’t Protect Students w/ Chris Gilliard

    Surveillance Won’t Protect Students w/ Chris Gilliard

    Paris Marx is joined by Chris Gilliard to discuss the push to expand surveillance technologies in schools during the pandemic and in response to school shootings, and why they’re making life worse for students without addressing the problems they claim to solve.

    Chris Gilliard is Just Tech Fellow at the Social Science Research Council at a recurring columnist at Wired. Follow Chris on Twitter at @hypervisible.

    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, support the show on Patreon, and sign up for the weekly newsletter.

    The podcast is produced by Eric Wickham and part of the Harbinger Media Network.

    Also mentioned in this episode:
    Chris recently wrote about why school surveillance won’t protect kids from shootings.Chris and David Golumbia wrote about luxury surveillance for Real Life.Pia Ceres wrote about how students’ school devices are still tracking what they do on them.Amazon is launching a new show called “Ring Nation” to make Ring surveillance videos seem less invasive.Studies by the Center for Democracy and Technology have found negative effects from surveillance on student expression and increasing their contact with police.After nine members of Axon’s AI ethics board resigned, plans for a taser drone in schools seem to still be inching forward.Todd Feathers reported on how school monitoring tools could flag searches for sexual and reproductive health resources.Pasco County in Florida deployed a predictive policing system targeting children. Some books mentioned: David Noble Progress Without People and Forces of Production, and Dan Greene wrote The Promise of Access: Technology, Inequality, and the Political Economy of Hope.Support the show

    • 57 min
    Amazon’s Highly Subsidized Foray Into Middle-Earth w/ Thomas Coughlan

    Amazon’s Highly Subsidized Foray Into Middle-Earth w/ Thomas Coughlan

    Paris Marx is joined by Thomas Coughlan to discuss Amazon’s foray into Tolkien’s fantasy world, the big subsidies it received to film in New Zealand, and how its decision to move the series to the UK is giving fuel to demands to reassess the support for Hollywood productions.

    Thomas Coughlan is a senior political reporter at NZ Herald, and formerly was a journalist at Stuff and Newsroom. Follow Thomas on Twitter at @coughlthom.

    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, support the show on Patreon, and sign up for the weekly newsletter.

    The podcast is produced by Eric Wickham and part of the Harbinger Media Network.

    Also mentioned in this episode:
    Thomas wrote for Stuff about the effort by the New Zealand government to attract Amazon to New Zealand and how it hoped the relationship would go beyond the TV series. For the NZ Herald, he also wrote that Amazon’s decision to move the series away from New Zealand will have implications for tourism and wasn’t communicated to the government until the last minute.Benjamin Clark wrote about how film subsidies have been essential to attracted big Hollywood productions to New Zealand.Madelaine Chapman dug into how much Peter Jackson has benefited from those subsidy schemes.Amazon is spending about $464 million on the first season of The Rings of Power.Amazon announced it was moving future seasons of the show to the UK in August 2021, causing frustration in New Zealand.There were concerns about safety on the set of The Rings of Power after stunt workers were injured and they didn’t seem to be properly reported to authorities.In November 2021, Unity acquired the technology division of Jackson’s Weta Digital.There’s also a growing debate in New Zealand over whether it should be the site of major data centers.Support the show

    • 50 min
    Who’s Winning in China’s Fight Against 996? w/ JS Tan

    Who’s Winning in China’s Fight Against 996? w/ JS Tan

    Paris Marx is joined by JS Tan to discuss how Chinese tech workers fought against “996” work practices and whether the its phaseout is being driven by that movement or by the changing needs of the government and tech companies.

    JS Tan is a graduate student at MIT, a former tech worker, and a member of Collective Action in Tech, a project to advance the tech worker movement. Follow JS on Twitter at @organizejs.

    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, support the show on Patreon, and sign up for the weekly newsletter.

    The podcast is produced by Eric Wickham and part of the Harbinger Media Network.

    Also mentioned in this episode:
    JS wrote about why China’s 996 work schedules are changing and the factors driving it.Rest of World also had recent reporting on changes to 996 practices.Collective Action in Tech has an embedded organizer program that is open for applications.The Verge wrote about Justin Sun, a controversial figure in crypto.In 2020, Ant Group's US IPO was canceled.China has launched a number of policies to crack down on its tech industry in recent years.Support the show

    • 49 min
    How the Modem World Shaped the Internet w/ Kevin Driscoll

    How the Modem World Shaped the Internet w/ Kevin Driscoll

    Paris Marx is joined by Kevin Driscoll to discuss the networks and services built by volunteers and hobbyists on top of the telephone network before the internet took over the in the 1990s, and what it can teach us about the internet and social media today.

    Kevin Driscoll is the author of The Modem World: A Prehistory of Social Media and an associate professor in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevindriscoll.

    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, support the show on Patreon, and sign up for the weekly newsletter.

    The podcast is produced by Eric Wickham and part of the Harbinger Media Network.

    Also mentioned in this episode:
    Kevin wrote about The Modem World in Wired.textfiles.com is a good source for historical documents about the modem world.Find out more about Paris’ event with Sabrina Fernandes in Berlin on August 26!Support the show

    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
75 Ratings

75 Ratings

Nikkkkkkkkkkkkkkk_k ,

The tech podcast we need

This podcast understands the difference between critical thinking and being critical. This podcast goes deep and with nuanced into tech issues with a non-dogmatic equity analysis.

Andrew Eisenberg ,

Recently discovered and love the topics

This podcast goes deep into some of the most important technology topics of our time. More than just tech, it shows how technology is deeply connected with society and how we can do better as humans.

RemoteChef ,

Go To Podcast!

Always great guests and topics! Interesting and informative!

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