Why You Don’t Hear Trump or Farage Talking About the Tech Revolution

This is the basic argument of a book I have been lost in for the last 10 days: The Technology Trap, by the Swedish-German economist and historian Carl Benedikt Frey. His basic thesis is that this phase of the 21st century is turning out to be very like the early 19th, in the sense that technology is causing a great crisis of status, security and trust in institutions.

Beyond Computational Thinking – a ‘Cloud of Unknowing’ for the 21st century

James Bridle’s New Dark Age is a deeply researched plea for us to move beyond computational thinking. He says learning to code doesn’t help us understand the internet age, any more than learning plumbing skills will give us an understanding of the ways an essential municipal utility is determined by hydrology, infrastructure, and sociopolitical policies.

Drones for Christmas

Unidentified drones shut down London’s Gatwick Airport for three days last week in the midst of the busy holiday travel season. Drones are examples of how miniaturization and cost reductions of existing technologies can lead to havoc when there is no thought or testing concerning the implications for public safety.

‘Télescope’, A Café without Smartphones: “They’re Filling our Lives with Emptiness”

I recently put out a call looking for places, events or venues that are creating wifi-free spaces, places where people can intentionally get away from smartphones and the distraction they bring into our lives, some time to cultivate the attention. 

Jacques Ellul: A Prophet for Our Tech-Saturated Times

By now you have probably read about the so-called “tech backlash.” Facebook and other social media have undermined what’s left of the illusion of democracy, while smartphones damage young brains and erode the nature of discourse in the family. Meanwhile computers and other gadgets have diminished our attention spans along with our ever-failing connection to reality. The … Read more

Reflections 50 Years Past, 50 Years Future

Throughout my life, there’s always been this deification of technology, this belief that technology will save us all, whether it’s from our own mortality or the damage we’ve done to the planet and other species. But there is no high-tech silver bullet that can change the realities of nature, including the fact that we’re part of it and that it has its limits.