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The Conversation #41 — John Fullerton

I actu­al­ly think you can trace many many of these big sys­temic crises to being symp­toms of the flawed idea that eco­nom­ic growth can go on indef­i­nite­ly, expo­nen­tial­ly, on a finite plan­et. That’s sort of my North Star. And then as a finance per­son, why do we think we need eco­nom­ic growth? Well, because the way our cap­i­tal sys­tem works is that cap­i­tal demands that growth.

Don’t Be Human

With Twitter bots and a lot of AI in pop sci­ence, it’s kind of like stay­ing up late with your par­ents. Once you ask to be treat­ed like a human being, you have to abide by a dif­fer­ent set of rules. You have to be extra good. And the sec­ond you mis­be­have, you get sent to bed. Because you didn’t play by the rules that you were agree­ing to be judged by.

The Internet of Damned Things

We have to be aware that when you cre­ate mag­ic or occult things, when they go wrong they become hor­ror. Because we cre­ate tech­nolo­gies to soothe our cul­tur­al and social anx­i­eties, in a way. We cre­ate these things because we’re wor­ried about secu­ri­ty, we’re wor­ried about cli­mate change, we’re wor­ried about threat of ter­ror­ism. Whatever it is. And these devices pro­vide a kind of stop­gap for help­ing us feel safe or pro­tect­ed or whatever.

No, Thank You: Agency, Imagination, and Possibilities for Rejecting World-Changing Tech

We’re try­ing to say it’s on you, it’s your respon­si­bil­i­ty, fig­ure this out, down­load this, under­stand end-to-end encryp­tion, when it’s a shared prob­lem and it’s a com­mu­nal problem.

Crafting Visions

It’s the expec­ta­tions them­selves that start to change the mate­r­i­al qual­i­ties of our world, the mate­r­i­al qual­i­ties around sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy, around our polit­i­cal activ­i­ties. That it’s not just that the entrails have been read, but the fact that you now have to make a deci­sion whether you’re going to [ward?] that warn­ing or not.

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