Tech Won't Save Us
Tech Won't Save Us
Oct 22, 2020
What Rural China Teaches Us About the Future of Tech w/ Xiaowei Wang
44 min

Paris Marx is joined by Xiaowei Wang to discuss how technology is being used to connect rural China to global supply chains, what that means for life and work in those communities, and how China also holds inspiration for a different way of organizing production and technological development.

Xiaowei Wang is a technologist, artist, and writer. They are the creative director at Logic Magazine and author of “Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China’s Countryside.” Follow Xiaowei on Twitter as @xrw.

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.

Find out more about Harbinger Media Network and follow it on Twitter as @harbingertweets. You can also find out more about 49th Parahell on its website.

Also mentioned in this episode:

  • How China’s Sanlu milk scandal shattered trust in the food system
  • Garrett Hardin, who came up with the tragedy of the commons, was a racist, eugenicist, nativist, and Islamophobe — and those ideas are baked into the concept
  • Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize in Economics for her work on the governance of commons, rebuking Hardin’s ideas
  • Xiaowei wrote about the Chinese concept of “shanzhai” provides a vision of an open-source future of technological development

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Parallax Views w/ J.G. Michael
Parallax Views w/ J.G. Michael
On the Edge of Globalization w/ Brian Francis Culkin
If you appreciate Parallax Views and the work of J.G. Michael please consider supporting the show through Patreon at On this edition of Parallax Views, globalization has led to culture shocks in societies around the world. What to make of this phenomenon, its interactions with culture and the way we live our lives, and what it means for the future? Critical theorist Brian Francis Culkin, co-author with Shipibo shaman Ricardo Amaringo of The Ayahuasca Dialogues: Globalization, Plant Medicine, and the Healing of the Human Heart, joins us to unpack the topic of globalization and it's relationship to what philosopher Byung Chul Han calls "The Burnout Society". In the first part of our conversation we focus on the aforementioned burnout is producing in citizens of various different nations as well as the ways in which globalization may be altering our social lives. In particular, Brian hones in on how the ever accelerating techno-society we are creating is moving away from the nuclear family unit as its foundation for society. Additionally, we delve into Brian's experiences with the indigenous Shipibo-Conibo people of the Amazon rainforest in Peru. This leads to a discussion of his collaboration with the previously mentioned healer Ricardo Amaringo and Brian's thoughts on the psychedelic plant drug ayahuasca. In this regard we discuss the the different perspectives on ayahuasca, ayahuasca tourism and its problems, ayahuasca as not merely a drug but also a medicine, and the importance of indigenous cultures. We also chat about ideas related to the apocalypse and End times, Byung-Chul Han's concept of "the autistic performance machine", the opening of the heart and seeing the other, neoliberalism and production, the human as a cosmic phenomenon and man as stardust, spirituality and materialism, Catholicism and Christianity, the humility of Carl Sagan vs. science and atheism as a theology, the value of friendship, and much, much more.
1 hr 24 min
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