Silicon Valley promised us progress. That’s not what it’s delivered.
After several years of a supposed “techlash”, Silicon Valley hasn’t given up. During the pandemic, its monopolies soared to record heights and its chief evangelists pushed back against critics. No longer were they willing to be positioned as the bad guys; they wanted to rake in their billions — and be praised for it too.
But the industry has set the narrative on technology for too long. In close collaboration with prominent tech journalists and major media organizations, they fed us the story that their technologies were making the world a better place even as they skirted labor laws, exploited workers, expanded surveillance capabilities, and boosted fascism. They wanted us to believe that political organizing wasn’t necessary because technological development would deliver utopia all on its own. That was never true, but it served the chief executives and venture capitalists behind the dominant tech firms.
The first step to challenging their narrative is to understand what’s wrong with it. While there’s more critical coverage of the tech industry, it pales in comparison to the continued boosterism — especially with the emergence of new investment opportunites like the metaverse and web3. Tech Won’t Save Us is trying to change that.
Every Thursday, Paris Marx is joined by a new expert to critically examine the tech industry, the powerful people who helm it, and the products and services it unleashes on the world. 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.
Taking inspiration from the Luddites, Tech Won’t Save Us isn’t simply about tearing down tech. It examines how technological development is constrained by the need to serve capitalist imperatives, which include controlling workers and commercializing everything. But it’s also interested in radical ideas for a better world, and how technology fits into those futures.
About the show
Tech Won’t Save Us is an award-winning left-wing tech podcast that began in April 2020 during the first Covid lockdown. Since then, it’s gained a global listenership of tech workers, academics, journalists, and people who want a different perspectve on an industry that holds so much power over their daily lives.
Mashable has called Tech Won’t Save Us “a healthy counter dose to the nauseating tech utopia idealism that usually surrounds Silicon Valley and enthusiast tech press coverage.” PodSauce says the show is “challenging the notion that technology is the main driver behind advancing the world.”
The show’s primary goal is to provide insights about technology and the tech industry that listeners are unlikely to hear on other tech podcasts and in most tech media. By doing that, listeners can see the industry in a different light, reconsider our relationship to technology, and question the narratives we’ve been fed about it for decades. The hope is that knowledge will enable action.
Meet the team
Paris Marx is the host of Tech Won’t Save Us. Paris is a Canadian technology writer and author of Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation. Paris’ work has been published all over, including by Wired, Business Insider, NBC News, CBC News, Jacobin Magazine, Tribune Magazine, and many more. It’s also been translated into more than ten languages. Paris holds a Master’s in Geography from McGill University.
Eric Wickham is the producer of Tech Won’t Save Us, editing and preparing new episodes for publication. He’s a podcast producer and journalist based in Toronto, and co-hosts Canadian media criticism podcast Big Shiny Takes. Eric has spent time working for radio stations in large and small markets, including at Canada’s public broadcaster the CBC, and has words published in Maclean's and Passage.
Transcripts are put together by Brigitte Pawliw-Fry. Our website was created by Gabi Schaffzin. The logo was designed by Karen Mills. Tech Won’t Save Us is part of the Harbinger Media Network.