EP62: Socialize the Series of Tubes (ft. Ben Tarnoff)

Recently a major outage took nearly a third of Canada offline. No phone, no internet… even access to 911 got shut down in some places, all thanks to Rogers Media Inc. But why does one company get so much control over a vital service like the Internet in the first place? This is the story in the USA as well as Canada – our digitized lives are all being held captive by a tiny number of huge corporations. We at Darts don’t necessarily believe the market is the solution here. But if the market isn’t, what is? How do we make a more democratic, socially driven Internet? Gordon Katic interviews Ben Tarnoff, author of Internet for the People, to help us answer these questions – and most importantly, we ask whether the internet is indeed a series of tubes. Read Ben’s book, and keep up with his work on his website.


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Theme: Tech-Bro Philosophers

Today, our leading public intellectuals aren’t people like John Dewey, Emma Goldman, Bertrand Russell, Rosa Luxemburg, or Stuart Hall. They’re more like: Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Gary Vee, Curtis Yarvin, and the like. We have techbro philosopher kings, and their millions of fans wait on bated breath for their infinite wisdom.

Their politics is kind of an anti-politics. It’s a politics of  technological solutionism, technological determinism, and technological utopia (or dystopia, depending on who you ask). On this series, we examine the thoughts of our new ‘thought leaders,’ and tell stories of technological utopias past, present, and future.

This series of episodes received funding from the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada. The scholarly leads are Professors Tanner Mirrlees  at Ontario Tech University and Imre Szeman at the University of Toronto Scarborough. They both provided research and editorial guidance to these episodes.