Snake oil or substance? Tech companies take COP26
The Anti-Dystopians 2.3: Josh Lappen on the Climate Crisis
Yesterday was the start of COP26 in Glasgow! So it is fitting that this week Josh Lappen, an environmental historian studying at Oxford University, returns to discuss the climate crisis and tech companies. Are tech companies’ promises of technological innovation really going to save Earth? Do we need AI to help the environment? What does the German government have to do with the adoption of solar panels? And who really are the biggest impediments to stopping climate change? (Hint: it’s not China.) Josh discusses the snake oil and substance at COP26, and how tech companies use the promise of the future to influence the politics of the present.
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Past episode with Josh: Nationalize Gmail!
Meme of the week
What I’ve been reading
An estimated 9% of global electricity consumption goes towards information technology, which includes the internet. (Also, do you know sharks attack internet cables?!)
Anatomy of an internet shutdown. A stunning feature on the impact of internet blackouts in Sudan by Rest of World.
The Facebook outage highlights how integrated the platform has become into the structure of the internet for much of the world.
The State Department sets up new cyber bureau to combat hack attacks (finally, says nearly everyone).
Some UK school canteens have implemented facial recognition for minors in order to speed up check out, saying lunch queues are too long. Two thoughts:
1. By the time you implement the technology, it would have been cheaper just to give all the students lunch for free and
2. I was under the impression the British liked queuing.
ContraPoint’s Natalie Wynn explains the history and philosophy of anti-trans rhetoric, and how the policing of single-sex spaces and domestic violence have been used as a method of oppressing the trans community.
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