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

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Driverless Car Not As Prophesy But Allegory

This image adorns the cover of a recent issue of The Economist.  Of course, Google's driverless cars are no more going to Change Everything than Google's Glass is going to do so. But whatever its failure as a would-be prophetic burning bush, the retro-futural nostalgia of this image of a fit pink pastel privileged heteronomative couple in a fifties gas-guzzler streaming down a prinstinely clean well maintained stretch of uncongested highway surrounded by fresh foliage with the cloudy suggestion of a fanciful skyline in the horizon is a rather apt conjuration of the futurological fantasizing through which corporate-military discourse has peddled ruinous unsustainable plutocracy to generations of ever more impoverished, precarious and poisoned majorities in the aftermath of World War II. I must say the image provides another layer of metaphorical aptness -- though one deeply implicated in the fanciful futurological story I've already mentioned -- speaking to the self-congratulatory deregulatory austerian elites among the periodical's subscribers, careening down a road to nowhere, napping in the backseat or faces glued myopically to screens, all the while obliviously unaware that there is no one fucking driving the car! About the dreary apologia for catastrophic car culture represented by the futurological enthusiasm for driverless cars, do let me direct your attention to this earlier piece of mine.

1 comment:

jimf said...

A sight to take your breath away.

On a highway, or a road along the levee
Performance is sweeter
Nothing can beat her
Life is completer in a Chevy

Hey, you know, this gives me an idea:
(If it works for Audrey, why not Dinah too?)