With the birth of the internet and advance of digital networks, we’ve been promised everything from creative cooperation and digital democracy, to the end of work and a new abundance of leisure time. It’s a promise of a techno-utopia that persists today.
Playing for team human today, Dr. Richard Barbrook challenges this imaginary future by unearthing the neoliberal underpinnings of Silicon Valley’s vision of progress. Rushkoff and Barbrook engage in a conversation that both uncovers the economic forces driving the evolution of technology while simultaneously acknowledging the utility of our tech tools as evidenced in the recent organizing around Labour underdog, Jeremy Corbyn.
Rushkoff opens with a monologue challenging his own initial enthusiasm for Universal Basic Income. Is UBI just another gaming of the system in order to perpetuate consumption in an vastly unequal society?
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- Special thanks to Luke Robert Mason of Virtual Futures who facilitated this exchange and recorded this interview on location in London.
- Slider photo By Northwestern Litho. Co, Milwaukee – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3b52834. Public Domain, Link.
- Barbrook Photo By Sebastiaan ter Burg from Utrecht, The Netherlands (New Gamegrounds) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- Music in today’s show: Mike Watt: beak-holding-letter-man , R.U. Sirius: President Mussolini Makes The Planes Run On Time, Fugazi: Foreman’s Dog