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episode 1254: Paris Marx, "Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation" (Verso, 2022)


In Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation (Verso, 2022), Paris Marx identifies two convergent forces in the 20th century: the growth of the climate killing automobile industry and the rise of Silicon Valley with its California Ideology (a hypocritical self-rationalization). Their narrative shows how these two forces merged in the early 21st century with less-than-ideal, even deadly, results. Marx challenges many of the tech industry’s myths, misrepresentations, and lies and offers some suggestions for how we can build a better world. While Road to Nowhere is a book about our current crisis it situates our this mess in its historical context. Marx illustrates how many of the most problematic aspects of automobility are the consequences of specific policy decisions, often made in the interest of capital and not the social good. Marx is not shy about naming names, specifically calling out Elon Musk and Über.

Paris Marx is Canadian tech critic and host of the award-winning Tech Won’t Save Us podcast. Their work has been published in Business Insider, NBC News, CBC News, Jacobin, and Tribune. And just this week, they published a piece in Time Magazine on Elon Musk. Paris earned a Master’s degree in urban geography from McGill University, researching Silicon Valley’s efforts to transform how we move.

Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 2018). When he’s not reading or talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California.

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 2022-08-16  1h38m