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.

Keep Capitalism Out of Space w/ Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

August 11, 2022 0:57:33 41.47 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein to discuss the science behind the new space telescope, the problems with the billionaire space race, and why we need to challenge the capitalist and colonial forces driving the the effort to commercialize space.Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is the author of The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred. She’s also an assistant professor of Physics and core faculty member in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of New Hampshire, and a  columnist at New Scientist and Physics World. Follow Chanda on Twitter at @IBJIYONGI.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:Chanda wrote “Becoming Martian” for the Baffler earlier this year, and called last year for the James Webb Space Telescope to be renamed.Paris wrote about the billionaire space race for Tribune Magazine.Of the five initial images released from the JW Space Telescope, Chanda described the First Deep Field and noted the accessibility of its alt-text on Twitter.As part of Joe Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia in July 2022, the country signed onto the Artemis Accords. The Accords have faced criticism as a US-centric and commercial set of bilateral agreements that seek to set new norms beyond international law.Saturday Night Live made fun of the billionaire space race.In July, the head of Roscosmos indicated it planned to pull out of the International Space Station, though an official notice has not been made. The segment Paris mentioned on AlJazeera can be found here.Starlink is undemocratically altering how we see the night sky, which some Indigenous groups are calling “astro-colonialism.”Gil Scott-Heron released “Whitey on the Moon” in 1970.Chanda called attention to the Just Space Alliance.Support the show

Competition Won’t Fix Canada’s Telecom Woes w/ Fenwick McKelvey

August 04, 2022 0:53:45 38.73 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Fenwick McKelvey to discuss the massive outage at Rogers, why it’s challenging the narrative that more competition will fix Canada’s telecom sector, and the need for better regulation and even public ownership.Fenwick McKelvey is the author of Internet Daemons: Digital Communications Possessed. He’s also an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University and a director of Machine Agencies at the Milieu Institute. Follow Fenwick on Twitter at @mckelveyf.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.Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.Also mentioned in this episode:Fenwick spoke to CBC about the Rogers outage and previously spoke to Daniel Joseph about changing the way we think about media platforms in Canada.Paris has previously argued for telecom nationalization in Canada and has written about the history of Canadian telecom.After the outage, Canadian innovation minister François-Philippe Champagne forced telcos to come up with a new agreement on several key areas of emergency cooperation.The Competition Bureau is objecting to a proposed merger between Rogers and Shaw.Last year, the Rogers family was engaged in a protracted feud that affected management of the company.ZeD was an “open-source television” series aired by Canada’s public broadcaster from 2002 to 2006.Support the show

The Real Legacy of Stewart Brand w/ Malcolm Harris

July 28, 2022 0:57:46 41.62 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Malcolm Harris to discuss the legacy of Stewart Brand and why the myth we’re often told about him overstates the reality of his impact.Malcolm Harris is the author of Kids These Days, Shit is Fucked Up and Bullshit, and his forthcoming book Palo Alto. He also writes for New York Magazine. Follow Malcolm on Twitter at @BigMeanInternet.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.Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.Also mentioned in this episode:Malcolm Harris wrote a critical review of John Markoff’s Whole Earth: The Many Lives of Stewart Brand.Benjamin Kunkel also wrote a critical review of Whole Earth.The Stewart Brand documentary We Are As Gods about his quest to bring back wholly mammoths to solve climate change is slowly being rolled out after two years of delay and seeming lack of sales interest.Brand’s Long Now Foundation is building a 10,000-year clock in Texas that’s funded by Jeff Bezos.We also mention Fred Turner’s From Counterculture to Cyberculture.Support the show

How the Cloud Reshaped the Internet w/ Dwayne Monroe

July 21, 2022 1:7:43 48.79 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Dwayne Monroe to discuss what it’s like to work in a data center, how the cloud came to hold a dominant position, and the consequences of its control by companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.Dwayne Monroe is a cloud technologist and aspiring Marxist theorist of technology, with twenty years of experience architecting large-scale computational systems. Follow Dwayne on Twitter at @cloudquistador.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.Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.Also mentioned in this episode:Dwayne wrote about cloud computing for Logic Magazine. He’s also written about a public cloud and the metaverse on his blog.Amazon’s cloud infrastructure in the eastern United States experienced a major outage in December 2021.Residents in various parts of the world have been questioning the logic of building data centers, including in the United States and New Zealand.In July, the network of Canadian telecom giant Rogers went down, leaving millions without service.Support the show

The Dangers of Tech that Tracks Everything We Do w/ Shoshana Wodinsky

July 14, 2022 0:56:31 40.72 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Shoshana Wodinsky to discuss how the digital infrastructure that companies have built out over the past couple decades to track everything we do in order to serve us ads places us at risk, and how that’s come into focus since the overturning of abortion rights in Roe v Wade in the United States.Shoshana Wodinsky is a privacy reporter at Gizmodo. Follow Shoshana on Twitter at @swodinsky.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.Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.Also mentioned in this episode:Shoshana wrote about getting an abortion in the age of surveillance and why every company is becoming an ad network. With her colleagues at Gizmodo, she also wrote about how Facebook perpetuated climate denial and killed news feed changes that would anger conservatives.Anti-abortion groups targeted ads at people who had visited abortion clinics.Data brokers have been selling data on people who visit abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood.Support the show

Tech Won’t Fix the Transport System w/ Paris Marx

July 07, 2022 1:4:16 46.3 MB Downloads: 0

In a special episode to celebrate the release of host Paris Marx’s new book Road to Nowhere, Brian Merchant takes over as guest host to interview Paris about the book, the tech industry’s visions for transportation, and why they don’t solve our mobility challenges. Paris is the host of Tech Won’t Save Us and the author of Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation. Brian Merchant is a tech journalist, author of The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, and co-editor of Terraform: Watch/Worlds/Burn. Follow Brian on Twitter at @bcmerchant. 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. Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.  Also mentioned in this episode:Road to Nowhere is available anywhere you buy books, but Verso has it discounted until July 8 as part of its Summer Reads sale.An excerpt of Road to Nowhere about the dystopian future the tech industry is creating was recently published in Wired.Paris recently spoke to StreetsBlog USA about the problem with Apple CarPlay.Support the show

15 Years of the iPhone w/ Brian Merchant

June 30, 2022 0:57:0 41.07 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Brian Merchant to discuss the impact of the iPhone after 15 years, including its effects on how we work, how we use technology, and what it’s meant for Apple.Brian Merchant is a tech journalist, author of  The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, and co-editor of Terraform: Watch/Worlds/Burn. Follow Brian on Twitter at @bcmerchant.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.Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.Also mentioned in this episode:In 2011, Cory Moll tried to unionize Apple stores. In June 2022, a store in Maryland became the first to vote to form a union.Apple’s claims about privacy are, at least to some degree, a clever marketing campaign.Paris previously wrote about some of Apple’s environmental messaging.The previous episode with Brian on the iPhone is episode 78 (Sep 16, 2021), and I also spoke to Jenny Chan about the conditions at Foxconn factories where iPhones are manufactured on episode 27 (Sep 17, 2020).Support the show

Canada’s Digital Contact-Tracing Experiment w/ Bianca Wylie

June 27, 2022 0:56:29 40.71 MB Downloads: 0

To kick off a new monthly bonus series on tech in Canada, Paris Marx is joined by Bianca Wylie to discuss Canada’s COVID Alert app, the problems with the digital contract-tracing experiment, and why we need a public post-mortem so lessons are learned for next time.Bianca Wylie is a partner at Digital Public, a co-founder of Tech Reset Canada, and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. Follow Bianca on Twitter at @biancawylie.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.Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.Also mentioned in this episode:This series on Canadian tech is made in partnership with Passage, a left-wing publication in Canada. Passage will be publishing an article to accompany each episode of this series. I’ll update the show notes with the link once it’s been posted.On June 17, 2022, Health Canada decommissioned the COVID Alert app.In April, Bianca wrote that the government needed to shut down the COVID Alert app because it wasn’t working (if it ever had). She also began writing a series on the app on her Medium blog that month.In July 2020, Bianca and her colleague Sean Mcdonald were already asking questions about the app and the planning around it.Other digital contact-tracing apps were launched in many other countries, including Australia, France, and Iceland, with poor results.Support the show

Technology of the Oppressed w/ David Nemer

June 23, 2022 1:3:7 45.48 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by David Nemer to discuss how residents of Brazil’s favelas reshape technologies developed in the Global North to serve their needs, and how technology alone does not solve social oppression.David Nemer is an assistant professor in the Department of Media Studies and in the Latin American Studies program at the University of Virginia. He’s also the author of Technology of the Oppressed: Inequity and the Digital Mundane in Favelas of Brazil. Follow David on Twitter at @DavidNemer.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.Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.Also mentioned in this episode:Ahead of hosting the World Cup, Brazil forced thousands of favela residents from their homes.Grace Blakeley recent spoke to David Adler about Colombia’s election and the use of TikTok.Dan Greene wrote The Promise of Access: Technology, Inequality, and the Political Economy of Hope and Lindsay Ems wrote Virtually Amish: Preserving Community at the Internet's Margins.Support the show

Streaming Wars: Revenge of the Cinema? w/ Gita Jackson

June 16, 2022 1:9:8 49.81 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Gita Jackson to discuss how streaming has altered the film and television industry, what happens as their business models are coming under question, and whether cinemas have reason to celebrate streaming’s woes.Gita Jackson is a staff writer at Motherboard, Vice’s tech vertical. Follow Gita on Twitter at @xoxogossipgita.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.Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.Also mentioned in this episode:Gita wrote about why Eternals was still bad even though it was diverse, Netflix laying off Tudum writers, and some of the challenges Netflix faces.Paris wrote about the end of the Paramount Decrees, the need to break up the media giants, and the problem with the new Spider-Man movies.EA considered a merger with NBC Universal, and had talks with other companies.Raven Software at Activision Blizzard and Bioware contractors at Keywords Studios have voted to unionize. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said the company would recognize the Raven Software union if its acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes through.CNN+ was shut down after a few weeks of operation.Netflix is changing its content investment strategy as investors lose confidence.Netflix’s share price plummeted in April after reporting it lost subscribers. The following week, the cinema celebrated the negative turn on streaming at CinemaCon.The Mandalorian pioneered a new kind of film set with massive LED screens instead of green screen.Support the show

Privatizing the Internet Was a Mistake w/ Ben Tarnoff

June 09, 2022 1:12:41 52.37 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Ben Tarnoff to discuss why the problems with the modern internet, including its excessive concentration in the hands of a few companies and the way its dominant firms shape our interactions to generate profit, find their root in the decision to privatize the network. To fix them, that needs to be changed.Ben Tarnoff is the author of Internet for the People: The Fight for Our Digital Future and the co-founder of Logic Magazine. Follow Ben on Twitter at @bentarnoff.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.Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.Also mentioned in this episode:An excerpt of Ben’s book was published in the New York Times.Victor Pickard wrote about the history of public media in Democracy Without Journalism.Newt Gingrich and George Gilder, once featured by Wired for their visions for the internet, have now become big crypto fans.The United States has terrible broadband access.Major tech companies are buying up undersea internet cables.Tarleton Gillespie wrote about the politics of platforms and what the term suggests.Jathan Sadowski compares platforms to shopping malls.Tressie McMillan Cottom wrote about the predatory inclusion of the internet.Community internet has shown success in the United States, while provincial public telcos have a history of positive outcomes in Canada.Support the show

Tech Media Needs to Do Better on Crypto and Elon Musk w/ Ed Zitron

June 02, 2022 1:7:56 48.94 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Ed Zitron for a wide-ranging discussion on the responsibility tech media has to its readers, the problems with crypto, and why bosses like Elon Musk are desperate to force workers back into the office.Ed Zitron is the CEO of EZPR and writes the Where’s Your Ed At newsletter. Follow Ed on Twitter at @edzitron.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.Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.Also mentioned in this episode:New Tech Won’t Save Us merch is now available in our store (including tote bags!).Ed wrote about the problem with Kara Swisher’s aggressive response to a listener asking why Pivot had run an ad telling people to put their retirement savings into crypto. (Listen to the ad here.)Elon Musk wrote a set of emails telling workers they need to return to the office for a *minimum* of 40 hours a week, or they can “pretend to work elsewhere.”Ed has written many times about employers pushing their workers back to the office.In March, Kevin Roose wrote a Latecomer’s Guide to Crypto, and Ed was one of the critics that Molly White got to contribute to an edited version.Sam Harnett wrote an essay on how the early, uncritical coverage of the gig economy helped legitimize its exploitative business model.Support the show

The Dangerous Ideology of the Tech Elite w/ Phil Torres

May 26, 2022 0:55:3 39.67 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Phil Torres to discuss why longtermism isn’t just about long-term thinking, but provides a framework for Silicon Valley billionaires to justify ignoring the crises facing humanity so they can accumulate wealth and go after space colonization.Phil Torres is a PhD candidate at Leibniz University Hannover and the author of the forthcoming book Human Extinction: A History of Thinking About the End of Humanity. Follow Phil 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.Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.Also mentioned in this episode:Phil wrote about the dangers presented by longtermism and its relationship to Elon Musk.Paris wrote about Jeff Bezos’ vision of life in space and why Elon Musk is planning for climate catastrophe.Elon Musk was tweeting about birth rates again (he has some odd views on who should be having kids) and retweeted someone praising a paper by longtermist Nick Bostrom.After moving to Texas, its governor said Elon Musk liked the state’s “social policies” (in reference to abortion limitations) to little pushback, then Musk forced California employees to move to Texas. Support the show

(Un)Stablecoins and the Crypto Crash w/ Bennett Tomlin

May 19, 2022 0:55:0 39.64 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Bennett Tomlin to discuss last week’s crash of Terra and Luna, the problems with stablecoins, and whether this collapse will finally force regulators to take action on cryptocurrency.Drew Pendergrass is a co-host of Crypto Critics’ Corner and writer of the FUD Letter. Follow Bennett on Twitter at @BennettTomlin.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.Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.Also mentioned in this episode:Paris wrote about the Terra/Luna collapse and why we can’t let those who promoted crypto scams escape blame for their actions.Bennett references George Soros’ attack on the British pound in 1992, also known as Black Wednesday.Do Kwan was behind the failed Basis Cash stablecoin.Vitalik Buterin backed a proposal for an FDIC-like response to rescue “small holders” who lost money in the Luna collapse.Investors recently pulled $7 billion out of Tether, which still won’t be open about its reserves. It was hacked in 2017.FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried described yield farming as a Ponzi scheme.Justin Sun has already launched a copycat of the failed Terra algorithmic stablecoin. The Verge did a deep dive on him in March.a16z says the crypto winter is here.Support the show

The Argument for Half-Earth Socialism w/ Drew Pendergrass & Troy Vettese

May 12, 2022 0:58:52 42.42 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Drew Pendergrass and Troy Vettese to discuss the environmental crises of climate change and mass extinction we face, and why taking them seriously while providing for everyone requires a radical change to how we structure society.Drew Pendergrass is a PhD candidate in environmental engineering at Harvard University and Troy Vettese is an environmental historian and a Max Weber fellow at the European University Institute. They are the co-authors of Half-Earth Socialism: A Plan to Save the Future from Extinction, Climate Change and Pandemics. Follow them on Twitter at @pendergrassdrew and @TroyVettese.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.Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.Also mentioned in this episode:Earth is currently undergoing its sixth major extinction, due to the actions of humans on the planet.The most recent IPCC report looked at demand-side solutions to the climate crisis.The meat industry is responsible for double the emissions of plant-based foods, as well as for an enormous amount of water and 80% of all agricultural land.Aaron Benanav is the author of Automation and the Future of Work.There is also a Half-Earth Socialism videogame on half.earth.Support the show