Tech Won't Save Us
Silicon Valley Doesn’t Get Science Fiction w/ Annalee Newitz
December 23, 2021
Paris Marx, Annalee Newitz
Paris Marx is joined by Annalee Newitz to discuss what’s wrong with Silicon Valley’s understanding of science fiction, and how tech leaders use it to justify terrible futures.
Annalee Newitz is the author of Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age and The Future of Another Timeline. They are also the co-host of Our Opinions Are Correct and a writer for NYT Opinion and New Scientist. Follow Annalee on Twitter at @Annaleen.
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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.
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- Annalee wrote about what tech companies don’t get about science fiction for New Scientist.
- Paris wrote about the dystopian future proposed by the metaverse.
The Verge spoke to Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, but the interviewer suggested The Matrix was trying to predict where technology was going.
- In 1985, Ursula K. Le Guin wrote about science fiction and the future.
- Facebook is already failing to combat harassment in VR, and its incoming CTO thinks doing so in the metaverse is “practically impossible.”
- People mentioned: Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, JPL engineer Jack Parsons, and Trekonomics author Manu Saadia.
- Annalee’s reading suggestions: Ring Shout by P Djeli Clark, Murderbot series by Martha Wells, Infomocracy by Malka Older, An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King, Rosewater by Tade Thompson, Waste Tide by Chen Qiufan, Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, and Broken Earth by N.K. Jemisin.