Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Friday, April 05, 2013

Teachable Moments

It's my long teaching day today in the City, so blogging will be low to no. This morning, in my Fact, Figure, Fetish seminar we take up Bruno Latour (Making Things Public), Donna Haraway (Promises of Monsters), and David Harvey. Given the brouhaha over Morozov, it is interesting to read Harvey on the Fetishism of Technology calmly anticipating Morozov's critique of solutionism by a decade. Of course, Morozov would be the last to deny this or any of his other informed interlocutors, as Harvey would be the last to deny the many others who anticipated many of the same points before him -- from Heidegger to Adorno to Noble and on and on and on. What is so depressing is the extent to which the vaunted tech intellects are so profoundly ignorant and uninformed of the range of critiques to their positions. Folks doing real technocultural criticism in STS and environmental justice and philosophy of technology and so on treat the supposedly stunning conclusions at which technofixated digirati like O'Reilly and Diamandis and Brand arrive in their promotional/self-promotional circle-jerks as folksy points of departure for the actual business of critique. One is reminded that given their training and temperament intellectuals are ideal either as indispensable props for the administration of incumbent elites or as indispensable prompts for the admonition of incumbent elites. Anyway, after my seminar I shift right away to my MA thesis cohort -- deadlines are looming and nerves fraying. Good times!

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