Episodi

  • Paris Marx is joined by Edward Ongweso Jr. to discuss Kara Swisher’s attempt to rebrand herself as the most feared journalist in Silicon Valley, how she spent her career forwarding the industry’s narratives, and the larger problems with access journalism.

    Edward Ongweso Jr. is finance editor at Logics Magazine and co-host of This Machine Kills.

    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:

    Ed wrote a critical review of Burn Book in The Baffler.In Disconnect, Paris also wrote a critical review of Swisher’s book and explained his journey to becoming a tech critic.In 2021, Kara told CNBC that just because NFTs are digital “doesn’t mean it’s not of value.” The following year she also defended promoting investments in crypto for retirement.Support the show
  • Paris Marx is joined by Kat Tenbarge to discuss the proliferation of AI-generated, non-consensual sexual images, their impact on the victims, and the potential fallout for tech companies who helped make it all possible. Note there is some discussion of self-harm and suicide in this episode.

    Kat Tenbarge is a tech and culture writer at NBC News.

    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:

    Kat has reported extensively on this issue, including stories about fake nude images of underage celebrities toping search engine results, nonconsensual deepfake porn showing up on Google and Bing too, Visa and Mastercard being used to fund the deepfake economy, and why plans for watermarking aren’t enough.Another Body is a documentary that looks at the scale of the problem of non-consensual deepfake explicit images.Microsoft’s Designer AI tool was used to create AI porn of Taylor Swift.Middle and high schools in Seattle, Miami, and Beverley Hills are among those already facing the consequences of AI-generated and deepfake nude images.In 2014, Jennifer Lawrence called the iCloud photo hack a “sex crime.”Support the show
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  • Paris Marx is joined by Zach Weinersmith to discuss why building space colonies will be much more difficult than the space billionaires want us to believe.

    Zach Weinersmith co-wrote A City On Mars: Can We Settle Space, Should We Settle Space, and Have We Really Thought This Through? with Kelly Weinersmith. He also makes the Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic.

    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:

    An excerpt of A City on Mars was published by Space.com.Support the show
  • Paris Marx is joined by Jacob Silverman to discuss the motivations behind the proposed TikTok ban and what the effort tells us about US tech policy.

    Jacob Silverman is a tech journalist and the co-author of Easy Money: Cryptocurrency, Casino Capitalism, and the Golden Age of Fraud.

    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:

    Paris will be speaking in Montreal on March 23 and March 26.Jacob wrote about the GOP megadonor who could benefit from whatever happens to TikTok.Paris wrote about the geopolitics of the TikTok ban and what it says about US power.Taylor Lorenz broke down some of the disputed claims being made about TikTok.Sam Biddle wrote about how Facebook knows they violated Palestinian human rights.Byron Tau explained how US government agencies are getting people’s personal data from data brokers.Support the show
  • In a bonus episode, Paris Marx is joined by Ed Ongweso Jr. and Brian Merchant to share their thoughts on Dune: Part Two, how it relates to the modern tech industry, and whether today’s Luddites can take anything from Dune’s Butlerian Jihad.

    Ed Ongweso Jr is finance editor at Logic(s) Magazine and cohost of This Machine Kills. Brian Merchant is a technology journalist and the author of Blood In the Machine: The Origins of the Rebellion Against Big Tech.

    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:

    You can watch the entire livestream over on YouTube.For Disconnect, Paris wrote about how the digital revolution has failed.Support the show
  • Paris Marx is joined by Ed Zitron to discuss the public’s growing disillusionment with the tech industry as it pivoted to chasing profits instead of providing us with anything useful.

    Ed Zitron is the host of Better Offline and writes the Where’s Your Ed At newsletter. He’s also the CEO of EZPR.

    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:

    Ed wrote about how tech lost its way and the problems with the generative AI hype.Paris wrote the failure of the digital revolution, the material costs of data centers, and Kara Swisher’s new book.A lot of Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI is cloud compute credits.Molly White reviewed Chris Dixon’s new book.Support the show
  • Paris Marx is joined by Dharna Noor to discuss widely-held misconceptions about the effectiveness of plastic recycling and how industry lobbies invented them to protect the market for plastic products.

    Dharna Noor is the fossil fuels and climate reporter at The Guardian.

    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 Friday, March 8, Paris will be speaking with Ed Ongweso Jr. and Brian Merchant about Dune: Part Two and its connection to the growing Luddite movement. Watch it on our YouTube channel at 11am PT / 2pm ET / 7pm GMT.Our conversation was based in part on the Center for Climate Integrity’s new report called “The Fraud of Plastic Recycling.”Dharna reported on that report and has previously written about plastic materials ending up in landfills, fashion’s use of plastic, and the problem with replacing plastics with other disposables.In 2018, Barack Obama said, “That whole ‘suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer and the biggest gas,’ that was me, people.New research has found microplastics in the placentas of unborn babies. The science isn’t settled on the effects on microplastics on human health, but there’s reason to be concerned.Support the show
  • 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
  • Paris Marx is joined by Grafton Tanner to discuss the dangers and consequences of companies and politicians leveraging nostalgia for their own purposes.

    Grafton Tanner is the author of Foreverism. He also teaches at the University of Georgia.

    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:

    Paris wrote about the material footprint of data centers in Disconnect.Ian McKellen broke down on the set of The Hobbit after acting with no other actors on a green screen.In an interview with Charlie Rose, George Lucas described differences between Soviet and US film industries.Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told Vanity Fair it wasn’t as fun making Star Wars films today as it was making the original trilogy.Jake Gyllenhaal described the difficulty of acting in a Marvel film after Spider-Man: Far From Home.Support the show
  • Paris Marx is joined by Zachary Kaiser to discuss the power of tech interfaces, why data isn’t an accurate reflection of the world, and why we need to discuss democratic decomputerization.

    Zachary Kaiser is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design and Experience Architecture at Michigan State University. He’s also the author of Interfaces and Us: User Experience Design and the Making of the Computable Subject.

    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:

    Paris is speaking in Auckland on February 18 at an event hosted by Tohatoha.Zachary wrote about dream reading technologies for Real Life.Zachary mentions specific works by David Golumbia, Ivan Illich, Aaron Benanav, John Cheney-Lippold, Thomas F. Tierney, Marisa Brandt, Arturo Escobar, and James Ferguson.Support the show
  • Paris Marx is joined by Nastasia Hadjadji to discuss Emmanuel Macron’s plan to run France like a start-up, how that justified a further dismantling of France's welfare state, and how his desire to create national tech champions is having domestic consequences.

    Nastasia Hadjadji is a French journalist looking at tech from the lens of political economy and the author of “No Crypto. Comment Bitcoin a envoûté la planète.”

    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:

    Paris will be speaking in Auckland on February 18 in an event hosted by Tohatoha.Emmanuel Macron aided Uber’s lobbying efforts as Economy Minister under the former Socialist government.France worked hard to attract the crypto industry. Macron even took a selfie with Binance’s Changpeng Zhao, who’s now pled guilty to felony charges.The group Technopolice documents police surveillance in France.La Quadrature du Net campaigns against algorithmic video surveillance.Louis Pouzin is considered to have almost created the internet.Support the show
  • Paris Marx is joined by Victor Pickard to discuss the continued layoffs in news media, and how they are symptomatic of a deeper, structural crisis in journalism.

    Victor Pickard is Professor of Media Policy and Political Economy at University of Pennsylvania. He’s also the author of Democracy Without Journalism?: Confronting the Misinformation Society.

    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 and produced by Eric Wickham. Transcripts are by Brigitte Pawliw-Fry.

    Also mentioned in this episode:

    Paris will be speaking in Christchurch on February 4 and Wellington on February 8.Victor wrote for Niemen Lab about the need to divorce news and capitalism, and argued for public newspapers in the Washington Post.In the US, two-thirds of newspaper jobs, or 43,000 journalists, have been lost since 2005.Robert McChesney and John Nichols propose a Local Journalism Initiative.Police raided a newspaper in Kansas on August 11, 2023, setting off a major scandal that’s now seen the police chief suspended.Support the show
  • Paris Marx is joined by Eric Silver to discuss Spotify’s big plan to dominate podcasting, why it’s now pulling back from those efforts, and the difference between highly produced and more independent podcasts.

    Eric Silver is a podcast producer and head of development at Multitude.

    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 and produced by Eric Wickham. Transcripts are by Brigitte Pawliw-Fry.

    Also mentioned in this episode:

    Paris will be in Christchurch on February 4 (details here) and Wellington on February 8 (details here). He’s hoping to get an Auckland date organized and is open to going to Australia.Spotify pulled back on its podcasting ambitions last year, canceling big shows and laying off staff.After buying Gimlet and Parcast, it merged them into Spotify Originals last year.Ashley Carman posted a slide from a Spotify presentation presenting the RSS feed as “outdated tech” because it’s harder for them to harvest data from.Support the show
  • Paris Marx is joined by Timnit Gebru to discuss the past year in AI hype, how AI companies have shaped regulation, and tech’s relationship to Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.

    Timnit Gebru is the founder and executive director of the Distributed AI Research Institute.

    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:

    Paris is speaking in Montreal on January 20. Details here.Billy Perrigo reported on OpenAI lobbying to water down the EU’s AI Act.Nitasha Tiku wrote about the push to train students in a particular idea of AI.Politico has been doing a lot of reporting on the influences on AI policy in the US and UK.OpenAI made a submission in the UK to try to get permission to train on copyrighted material.Arab workers in the tech industry fear the consequences of speaking out for Palestinian rights.972 Magazine reported on Israel’s use of AI to increase its targets in Gaza.Jack Poulson chronicles the growing ties between military and tech.Timnit mentioned No Tech for Apartheid, Antony Loewenstein’s The Palestine Laboratory, and Malcolm Harris’ Palo Alto.Support the show
  • Paris Marx is joined by Vincent Bevins to discuss the mass protests of the 2010s, the role that social and traditional media played in them, and why the horizontalism of those movements ultimately didn’t work.

    Vincent Bevins is a longtime foreign correspondent who has worked for the Washington Post, Financial Times, and LA Times. He’s the author of The Jakarta Method and If We Burn: The Mass Protest Decade and the Missing Revolution.

    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 and produced by Eric Wickham. Transcripts are by Brigitte Pawliw-Fry.

    Also mentioned in this episode:

    Read excerpts from If We Burn in The Guardian and In These Times.Vincent mentioned the work of Charles Tilley, Cihan Tuğal, Evgeny Morozov, and Andrey Mir.Support the show
  • Paris Marx is joined by Naomi Klein to discuss the problems with personal branding pushed social media, how the left’s insufficient response to the pandemic created an opening for the right, and the fight over the roots of Western society that will shape our future.

    Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, New York Times bestselling author, and a columnist with The Guardian. She is the founding co-director of the UBC Centre for Climate Justice and Professor of Climate Justice at the University of British Columbia. Her newest book is Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World.

    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:

    Read excerpts of Doppelganger in The Guardian and Vanity Fair.Naomi mentions Aimé Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism.Support the show
  • 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
  • Paris Marx is joined by Astra Taylor to discuss how capitalism creates insecurity to sustain itself, the way tech is used to make us more insecure, and what it will take to change that.

    Astra Taylor is a writer, filmmaker, and political organizer. She’s the author of The Age of Insecurity and co-founder of the Debt Collective. Her next book Solidarity: The Past, Present, and Future of a World-Changing Idea, written with Leah Hunt-Hendrix, comes out in March.

    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:

    Astra wrote about the Insecurity Machine for Logic Magazine and the Dads of Tech for The Baffler.Find excerpts from The Age of Insecurity in The New York Times and The Walrus.Become a supporter on Patreon to join our giveaway.Support the show
  • 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
  • Paris Marx is joined by Tim Schwab to discuss why the story we hear about Bill Gates and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation doesn’t reflect their real impact on education and health around the world.

    Tim Schwab is an investigative journalist and the author of The Bill Gates Problem: Reckoning with the Myth of the Good Billionaire.

    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:

    Bill Gates was pied in Belgium in 1999 and made fun of on The Simpsons.You can watch highlights from Gates’ deposition in the antitrust trial on YouTube.Gates had a reputation about questionable and inappropriate conduct toward women below him in the workplace.Aaron Gordon wrote there’s an adage that “everyone thinks Musk is a genius until you hear him talk about a subject you know something about.”In 2008, the head of the World Heath Organization’s malaria program criticized the growing dominance of the Gates Foundation in the research area.Support the show