148 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
    • 4.9 • 203 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.

    Trusting Tech Billionaires is a Recipe for Disaster w/ Douglas Rushkoff

    Trusting Tech Billionaires is a Recipe for Disaster w/ Douglas Rushkoff

    Paris Marx is joined by Douglas Rushkoff to discuss why internet visions of the 1990s were wrong to ignore corporate power, how the dot-com boom was like a Ponzi scheme, and why we desperately need to stop elevating tech billionaires.

    Douglas Rushkoff is an author and documentarian who studies human autonomy in a digital age. His most recent book is Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires and he’s the host of Team Human podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @rushkoff.

    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:
    An excerpt from Survival of the Richest was published in The Guardian.Paris was recently on the Team Human podcast to discuss Road to Nowhere with Douglas.Support the show

    • 1 hr
    Tech Isn’t Fixing the Crisis on Our Streets w/ David Zipper

    Tech Isn’t Fixing the Crisis on Our Streets w/ David Zipper

    Paris Marx is joined by David Zipper to discuss how Silicon Valley pitched new technologies as the fix for a whole range of transport problems, and how that really just distracted us from solutions while allowing issues like  road deaths, emissions, and traffic to get even worse.

    David Zipper is a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Taubman Center for State and Local Government and a contributing writer at Bloomberg CityLab. You can find his articles and sign up for his newsletter at DavidZipper.com and follow him on Twitter at @DavidZipper.

    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:
    David wrote about why traffic safety is getting worse in the US, and compared it to Canada, Finland, France, and Japan. He also wrote about the history of self-driving cars, the danger posed to pedestrians on the roads, the problem with infotainment systems, and what’s wrong with positioning car tech as the solution to our problems.Paris wrote about how Elon Musk designed the Hyperloop to try to get California’s high-speed line canceled.AAA puts the annual cost of car ownership in the US at over $10,000 a year in 2022. In Canada, CAA put it at $8600 to $13,000 a year in 2017 — a number that is surely even higher now.Peter Norton wrote about how the auto industry took over US roads in the early 1900s in Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City.Support the show

    • 1 hr
    Why Advertising Shapes the Tech Economy w/ Daniel Joseph

    Why Advertising Shapes the Tech Economy w/ Daniel Joseph

    Paris Marx is joined by Daniel Joseph to discuss why advertising is central not just to the tech economy, but modern capitalism itself, and how the business models of companies are increasing shaped by serving ads and collecting data to inform them.

    Daniel Joseph is a Senior Lecturer of Digital Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University. He’s also written for a number of publications, including Briarpatch Magazine, Motherboard, and Real Life Magazine. Follow Daniel on Twitter at @DanjoKaz00ie.

    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:
    Daniel wrote about how advertising and the need to create audiences is much more central to the tech economy than is often discussed.Shoshana Wodinsky explained why so many companies are getting into advertising, including hotel chains, retailers, and more.Unity faced criticism for merging with IronSource, a known advertising malware distributor.After reporting a subscriber decline earlier this year, Netflix launched an ad-supported tier in October.Companies like Apple and Uber are expanding their efforts to increase advertising revenue.Ramon Lobato wrote Netflix Nations: The Geography of Digital Distribution.Support the show

    • 52 min
    Why Visual Effects Look the Way They Do w/ Julie Turnock

    Why Visual Effects Look the Way They Do w/ Julie Turnock

    Paris Marx is joined by Julie Turnock to discuss the history of the visual effects industry, the role that George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic played in setting industry standards, and what its current form dominated by Disney means for visual effects workers.

    Julie Turnock is an associate professor of Media and Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and the author of The Empire of Effects: Industrial Light and Magic and the Rendering of Realism. Follow Julie on Twitter at @JulieTurnock.

    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:
    Paris will be speaking at Marxism Festival in Dublin on November 19, the Lighthouse Bookshop on November 24, and details on an event in London on November 25 are coming soon.In a series of recent articles, visual effects workers have been speaking out about conditions in the industry.The Mandalorian introduced ILM and Disney’s new visual effect technology dubbed “Stagecraft” that uses LED video walls instead of green screens.The declining quality of effects in major films is forcing people to look at labor and production practices.Disney accounted for nearly 40% of box office returns in 2019, and made 80% of the top earning films of the year.Support the show

    • 49 min
    Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover is a Disaster w/ Hussein Kesvani

    Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover is a Disaster w/ Hussein Kesvani

    Paris Marx is joined by Hussein Kesvani to discuss the mess of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, the problem with his solution to blue check privilege, and what we should learn from how he posts.

    Hussein Kesvani is a journalist and the co-host of Trashfuture and Ten Thousand Posts. Follow Hussein on Twitter at @hkesvani.

    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:
    Paris wrote about Elon Musk’s new plan to allow users to pay $8 to get a blue check, priority on their posts, and other features as part of an updated Twitter Blue.Private texts revealed from the Delaware court showed the rich and powerful groveling to Elon Musk.A long list of companies have stopped advertising on Twitter after Musk’s takeover. He blamed it on activists.Roko’s Basilisk brought Elon Musk and Grimes together.Elon Musk has decreed that people making fun of him by impersonating him on Twitter will be banned.Support the show

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Tech Billionaires Are Reshaping US Politics w/ Jacob Silverman

    Tech Billionaires Are Reshaping US Politics w/ Jacob Silverman

    Paris Marx is joined by Jacob Silverman to discuss Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, the politics of the PayPal Mafia tech billionaires, and how they’re trying to reshape US political discourse to serve themselves.

    Jacob Silverman is a journalist who writes for The New Republic, The Baffler, Slate, and many others. He’s also the co-author of Easy Money: Cryptocurrency, Casino Capitalism, and the Golden Age of Fraud with Ben McKenzie. Follow Jacob on Twitter at @SilvermanJacob.

    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:
    Jacob wrote about Musk’s Twitter acquisition for The Baffler and the politics of David Sacks and these other tech billionaires for The New Republic.Paris wrote about Musk’s Twitter acquisition for NBC News and Marc Andreessen’s housing politics for Business Insider.The Delaware court case revealed text messages between Elon Musk and all the people trying to gain his favor.Saudi Arabia had an intelligence operation running through Twitter, which led some former employees to be charged with spying. Saudi Arabia has imprisoned people over their tweets.There were accusations that Twitter had an Indian official associated with the far-right Modi government on payroll.Banks are expecting to suffer major losses on the loans provided to Musk to acquire Twitter.The LA Times reported that Twitter bots helped build the cult of Musk.In 2016, Thiel and Sacks’ Diversity Myth comments were resurrected and Thiel has to issue a statement.Support the show

    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
203 Ratings

203 Ratings

Hockeyboy1062 ,

Re: Zuckerberg Won’t Save Us.

While I think this is an interesting and insightful discussion I think one of the things you have missed is the lack of studying humanities by these tech people. When the question is posed “how different would the world have been if these tech giants have been exposed to a different type of story rather than dystopian science fiction,” my first thought was there are so many great stories in literature that express a more uplifting story. Thank of Hard Times by dickens; Les Miserables by Hugo. I can go on but you get the point. The biggest challenge I see is that humanities continues to be dismissed. have you ever considered a podcast about that?

1Kyle7 ,

Much needed tech critique

Great host, great guests, always thoughtful and useful.

loupgrru ,

Good

Good

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