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This Machine Kills

Technology

A podcast about technology and political economy /// Agitprop against innovation and capital /// Hosted by Jathan Sadowski and Edward Ongweso Jr., Produced by Jereme Brown /// Hello friends and enemies Listen anywhere that fine podcasts are distributed. Subscribe at patreon.com/thismachinekills toRead more

Popular episodes

Patreon Preview – 121. TMK Book Club 2.0, Chapter 4

Dec 4 • 07:55
Continuing sci-fi week at TMK, we dig into Chapter 4, “Orienting the Future,” of Wendy H.K. Chun’s book. Grounded in Chun’s in-depth analysis of cyberpunk via two paradigmatic examples—the novel Neuromancer and the anime Ghost in the Shell—we lay out a critical take on the cyberpunk genre. We then discuss Chun’s incisive arguments about “high-tech Orientalism” and the colo...

120. The Butlerian Jihad – Why Sci-Fi Needs Luddism

Dec 1 • 01:06:15
We get into a great discussion about the Butlerian Jihad — or the war against all computation that catalyzed the events of the Dune series — and the reactionary politics that inform so much science fiction, the trap of treating feudalism as fate, the need for stories informed by the lessons of Luddism, and much more. Cold open: Alex Jones explains Evangelion https://www.yo...

Patreon Preview – 119. Rolling-Out Aadhaar

Nov 28 • 10:31
We pick up with part two of our deep dive into Aadhaar, looking at the social issues, political implications, and street-level implementation. Building on the work of Ranjit Singh and Steven Jackson, we first lay out an analysis of what it means to “see like an infrastructure.” Then we dwell on the problems, errors, and glitches involved in making Aadhaar actually work. An...

118. Building Aadhaar, The World’s Largest Biometric Database

Nov 24 • 01:29:54
We start the show looking back at a Wired cover story from 1997 predicting the next 25 years would be The Long Boom. But oops! Turns out all the bad future spoilers came true instead. We dive deep into Aadhaar, the Indian government’s massive biometric identity database that has enrolled the information of more than a billion people. We talk about the technological archite...

Patreon Preview – 117. TMK Book Club 2.0, Chapter 3

Nov 21 • 08:45
Cold open: MCI “Anthem” commercial (1997): https://www.youtube.…/watch?v=ioVMoeCbrig

We dig into Chapter 3, “Scenes of Empowerment, of Wendy H.K. Chun’s book and talk about the pervasive ideology of the internet as an emancipatory world of virtual equality where things like race, gender, age, and ability cease to exist. And discuss how, despite the obvious naivety (at best)...

116. Disability / Tech for Whom? (ft. Britt H. Young)

Nov 16 • 01:09:13
We’re very pleased to be joined by Britt Young, a PhD candidate in geography at UC Berkeley, who works on the intersection of technology and disability. We dive into the militarized R&D for prosthetics, Britt’s experiences using an advanced “cyborg” arm, the vast inequality in access to workable prosthetics, and question if our society’s approach to assistive tech is consi...

Patreon Preview – 115. Crypto Colonialism

Nov 14 • 06:27
Why don’t people like crypto? Obviously because they’re old fuddy duddies who don’t want to wrap their mind around new technology! We talk about Ed’s reporting trip to Puerto Rico and why the island has become a haven for crypto enclaves. We then end with a nice palate cleanser as Ed tells us about a recent panel he attended with David Wengrow about his and Graeber’s new b...

114. – Engineering Capitalism /// Communist Engineers (ft. Nick Chavez)

Nov 10 • 01:38:00
We’re joined by Nick Chavez, a mechanical engineer working in R&D, to discuss his incisive essay exploring the capitalist origins and purpose of engineering, the class position and labor process of engineers, and the role of engineers before, during, and after communist revolution.

Read Nick’s essay: The Present and Future of Engineers | Brooklyn Rail https://brooklynrail…K...

113. Metastatic

Nov 3 • 01:07:54
Metastasis is the process of cancer cells spreading to other parts of the body. Facebook is in its full on metastatic phase. We talk about the big news of Facebook rebranding as Meta – its impotent propaganda campaign, the extractive economy underpinning this vision of society, why the metaverse as its pitched is bullshit, and how the actual metaverse is more likely to be ...

Patreon Preview – 112. TMK Book Club 2.0, Ch. 2

Oct 30 • 07:09
We discuss Chapter 2, “Screening Pornography” of Wendy H.K. Chun’s book. Diving into the cultural panic around cyberporn in the 90s, we talk about how porn online was used as an early battleground for policy debates about commerce, regulation, and censorship on the internet. You can grab a pdf of Chun’s book here: https://au1lib.org/book/2074091/cc12a3

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