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.

Why Advertising Shapes the Tech Economy w/ Daniel Joseph

November 24, 2022 0:52:54 9.81 MB ( 28.3 MB less) Downloads: 0

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

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

November 17, 2022 0:49:15 9.49 MB ( 26.0 MB less) Downloads: 0

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

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

November 10, 2022 1:2:0 11.59 MB ( 33.08 MB less) Downloads: 0

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

Tech Billionaires Are Reshaping US Politics w/ Jacob Silverman

November 03, 2022 1:12:0 51.88 MB Downloads: 0

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

Mark Zuckerberg is Burning Meta to the Ground w/ Dave Karpf

October 27, 2022 1:11:12 51.3 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Dave Karpf to discuss Meta’s misguided attempt to turn Facebook into a metaverse company, how Wired Magazine has evolved, and why the tech billionaires are destroying the world.Dave Karpf is an Associate Professor of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University. He’s also the author of The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy and Analytic Activism: Digital Listening and the New Political Strategy. Follow Dave on Twitter at @davekarpf.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:Dave wrote about the history of WIRED Magazine’s future predictions and why VR never dies.People Make Games made a video looking at what’s going on in VRChat.Meta’s legs demo wasn’t real.Douglas Rushkoff’s new book Survival of the Richest looks at how the rich are trying to protect themselves from the crises they’re making worse.Science fiction books mentioned: Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, and William Gibson’s The Peripheral.Support the show

Don’t Fall for the Longtermism Sales Pitch w/ Émile Torres

October 20, 2022 1:3:44 45.92 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Émile Torres to discuss the ongoing effort to sell effective altruism and longtermism to the public, and why they’re philosophies that won’t solve the real problems we face.Émile Torres is a PhD candidate at Leibniz University Hannover and the author of the forthcoming book Human Extinction: A History of the Science and Ethics of Annihilation. Follow Émile on Twitter at @xriskology.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:Émile recently wrote about the ongoing effort to sell longtermism and effective altruism to the public.Peter Singer wrote an article published in 1972 arguing that rich people need to give to charity, which went on to influence effective altruists.NYT recently opined on whether it’s ethical for lawyers to defend climate villains.Nathan Robinson recently criticized effective altruism for Current Affairs.Support the show

How Tech is Remaking the Food System w/ Jim Thomas

October 13, 2022 0:54:39 39.39 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Jim Thomas to discuss how digital technologies are being integrated into the industrial food system, how it empowers agribusiness firms and major tech companies, and its implications for farmers and farm workers.Jim Thomas is the research director at ETC Group, which has over 25 years international experience tracking the impact of emerging technologies on human rights, biodiversity, equity and food systems. Follow Jim on Twitter at @jimetc.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:ETC Group recently released its Food Barons 2022 report, providing a snapshot of the world’s the biggest players up and down the industrial food and agriculture chain, with a lot of insight on the use of technologies throughout the food system.The war in Ukraine is only exacerbating preexisting problems in the global food system.The Gates Foundation uses its vast wealth to shape the global food system so it works as Bill Gates wants it to and benefits major agribusiness and tech companies. Groups in Africa have long been speaking out about Gates’ plans for agriculture on the continent.The UN finds that food systems are responsible for 80% of deforestation, 29% of emissions, and a leading share of biodiversity loss. It also reports that 70% of the world’s agricultural land is owned by 1% of all farms, mainly large agribusiness firms.Support the show

Why Green Capitalism Won’t Fix Climate Change w/ Adrienne Buller

October 06, 2022 0:53:27 38.51 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Adrienne Buller to discuss how the tech and finance industries are selling us false solutions to the climate crisis that are designed for their own benefit.Adrienne Buller is the Director of Research at Common Wealth and the author of The Value of a Whale: On the Illusions of Green Capitalism. Follow Adrienne on Twitter at @adribuller.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:Adrienne originally wrote about the problem with the finance industry’s approach to climate change for Novara Media. She recently wrote about the failure of green capitalism for the Guardian and the power BlackRock wields for Jacobin.Common Wealth recently produced a report on Asset Management Capitalism.Elon Musk called ESG a scam after Tesla was booted from the S&P 500’s ESG fund.Ulrich Brand and Markus Wissen wrote The Imperial Mode of Living: Everyday Life and the Ecological Crisis of Capitalism.Support the show

Why Google’s Toronto Smart City Failed w/ Josh O'Kane

September 29, 2022 0:54:42 39.42 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Josh O’Kane to discuss how Sidewalk Labs decided to build a city “from the internet up” in Toronto, the concerns that existed with the project, and why it ultimately fell apart.Josh O’Kane is an award-winning technology reporter at the Globe and Mail and the author of Sideways: The City Google Couldn't Buy. Follow Josh on Twitter at @joshokane.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 of Josh’s book was published in the Globe and Mail.Josh wrote about how Canada’s Liberal government under Justin Trudeau isn’t as friendly with tech companies as it was earlier in its time in power.Around the time of Sidewalk Toronto, opponents were able to defeat Amazon’s HQ2 project in New York, Google’s Berlin startup hub, Apple’s planned central Stockholm store, and its planned store in Melbourne’s Fed Square.Bianca Wylie was one of the prominent critics of the project, and was called the “Jane Jacobs of the smart city.”In 2019, documents leaked showing Sidewalk Labs wanted a lot more power and access to more land than was agreed upon, and that further fueled opposition.In May 2020, Wylie wrote about the cancelation of the project and the lessons that should be learned.Support the show

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

September 22, 2022 0:45:37 32.87 MB Downloads: 0

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

Electric Vehicles Are Driving a Mining Boom w/ Thea Riofrancos

September 15, 2022 1:9:5 49.78 MB Downloads: 0

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

Surveillance Won’t Protect Students w/ Chris Gilliard

September 08, 2022 0:57:4 41.12 MB Downloads: 0

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

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

September 01, 2022 0:50:52 36.66 MB Downloads: 0

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

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

August 25, 2022 0:49:17 35.52 MB Downloads: 0

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

How the Modem World Shaped the Internet w/ Kevin Driscoll

August 18, 2022 1:2:8 44.77 MB Downloads: 0

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