Tech Won't Save Us

Paris Marx

Silicon Valley wants to shape our future, but why should we let it? Every Thursday, Paris Marx is joined by a new guest to critically examine the tech industry, its big promises, and the people behind them. Tech Won’t Save Us challenges 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. It’s not your usual tech podcast.

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Episodes

A Setback for Gig Workers’ Rights in Europe w/ Ben Wray
Yesterday
A Setback for Gig Workers’ Rights in Europe w/ Ben Wray
Paris Marx is joined by Ben Wray to discuss why the European Union’s Platform Work Directive isn’t moving forward, what hope remains for gig workers’ rights in Europe, and what we should make of Uber’s first annual profit.Ben Wray is the coordinator of the Gig Economy Project and the author of Scotland after Britain: The two souls of Scottish independence.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. Support the show on Patreon.The podcast is made in partnership with The Nation. Production is by Eric Wickham. Transcripts are by Brigitte Pawliw-Fry.Also mentioned in this episode:On March 8, Paris will be doing a livestream about Dune 2 and Luddites with Ed Ongweso Jr and Brian Merchant. Get notified on YouTube.Ben wrote about the failure of the Platform Work Directive, the recent conferences on platform workers’ rights in Brussels, and the Uber CEO’s admission of using driver’s “behavioral patterns” to influence pay rates.Paris wrote about the wider context of Uber’s first annual profit.Delivery Hero’s business isn’t going well and its share price has been dropping.Glovo is facing serious legal trouble in Spain, and even as some fines have been suspended, others have been added.Food delivery workers in the UK have been on a major strike. Notes from Below have been publishing some dispatches from it.Support the show
The Year In Tech 2023 w/ Gita Jackson, Molly White, & Aaron Thorpe
Dec 28 2023
The Year In Tech 2023 w/ Gita Jackson, Molly White, & Aaron Thorpe
2023 is over, so it’s time to go through everything! In a special year-end episode, we review the biggest stories of 2023, what we’re thinking of the AI hype, how science fiction makes us think about the future, the worst villains in the tech industry, and what we’re watching in 2024. Gita Jackson is a journalist and cofounder of Aftermath. Molly White is the creator of Web3 is Going Just Great. Aaron Thorpe is co-host of Everybody Loves Communism. 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. Support the show on Patreon.  The podcast is produced by Eric Wickham. Transcripts are by Brigitte Pawliw-Fry.  Also mentioned in this episode:If you become a Patreon supporter before the end of the year, you’ll be entered into a giveaway for five signed copies of Joanne McNeil’s Wrong Way and Paris Marx’s Road to Nowhere. Sign up now!Gita recently launched Aftermath, and you can go subscribe!Molly is getting started on TikTok. Go follow her!Aaron posts a lot of cool science fiction art over on Twitter. Give him a follow!You can see the Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos photos we discuss in the Worst Person in Tech segment on Twitter, Bluesky, and Mastodon.Paris was mistaken: Enya sang “May It Be” for Fellowship of the Ring, not “Gollum’s Song” for the Two Towers. That was Emilíana Torrini. But Paris listened to both of them too much.Support the show
How Effective Accelerationism Divides Silicon Valley w/ Émile Torres
Dec 14 2023
How Effective Accelerationism Divides Silicon Valley w/ Émile Torres
Paris Marx is joined by Émile Torres to discuss Silicon Valley’s recent obsession with effective accelerationism, how it builds on the TESCREAL ideologies, and why it shows the divide at the top of the AI industry. Émile Torres is a postdoctoral fellow at Case Western Reserve University. They’re also the author of Human Extinction: A History of the Science and Ethics of Annihilation. 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. Support the show on Patreon.  The podcast is produced by Eric Wickham. Transcripts are by Brigitte Pawliw-Fry.  Also mentioned in this episode:Emile wrote about the TESCREAL ideologies and AI extinction scaremongering.Timnit Gebru also did a great presentation on TESCREAL.Paris wrote about the religious nature of Marc Andreessen’s techno-solutionist manifesto and about Sam Altman’s (temporary) ouster from OpenAI.The Year In Tech livestream for Patreon supporters is on December 17 at 1pm PT / 4pm ET / 9pm GMT. More details on Patreon or Twitter.The Information did a great profile on effective accelerationism.Forbes revealed the man behind the e/acc moniker Beff Jezos.972 Magazine reported on Israeli’s use of AI to expand targets in Gaza.UK plans a “hit squad” to replace public servants with AI. Paris wrote about the threat it poses.Support the show
The Information War in Gaza w/ Marwa Fatafta
Nov 16 2023
The Information War in Gaza w/ Marwa Fatafta
Paris Marx is joined by Marwa Fatafta to discuss the ongoing Israeli campaign in Gaza, the importance of social media for sharing what’s happening on the ground, and what listeners can do to support peace and Palestinian rights. Marwa Fatafta is a Palestinian digital rights advocate and researcher. She is Access Now’s Policy and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.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. Support the show on Patreon.The podcast is produced by Eric Wickham. Transcripts are by Brigitte Pawliw-Fry.Also mentioned in this episode:1 in 200 people in Gaza have been killed. >4,600 of the 11,100 dead are children.An Israeli government minster called their actions the “Gaza Nakba.”Instagram inserted “terrorist” into translations of Palestinian bios and removed hospital bombing photos for nudity. Whatsapp generated stickers of gun-wielding children for Palestinian terms.Facebook’s terrorism algorithms removed non-violent Arabic content 77% of the time.7amleh tracked hate speech in Hebrew on social media. WSJ reported Meta’s Hebrew hate speech classifier doesn’t actually work.FAIR detailed Western media bias in reporting on Israel-Palestine.Access Now published a report on the internet shutdowns happening in Gaza.CNN and other Western outlets allow the Israeli army to review their Gaza footage.Al Jazeera, Channel 4, NYT, and WaPo found holes in Israel’s hospital explosion story about.Israel has been actively creating and spreading disinformation.The Israeli parliament passed a bill criminalizing the “consumption of terrorist materials” as dozens are arrested for social media posts.Support the show