Category: Podcasts

Podcast #10: Nicole Freedman on Bike Transit

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When Nicole Freedman became Boston’s first “bike czar,” the city had been rated worst in the country in bike friendliness by Bicycling Magazine. A decade later, it’s been in the top ten with a growing network of protected lanes and one of the nation’s first major bike-sharing programs. Freedman describes what it takes to change culture around transit and how everyone can benefit.

Podcast #9: Danielle Allen on Education and Civics

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Danielle Allen is a University Professor and the director of the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard, a regular columnist for The Washington Post, and author of five books, including most recently Education and Equality. She spoke with us about the current emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), the challenges of technology in education, and what it takes to raise an engaged and self-actualized citizenry.

Podcast #8: Tim Wu On Attention and Communications Networks

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Tim Wu is a renowned scholar on our communications networks, having coined the phrase “net neutrality” and written extensively on the subject both inside and outside of government and academia, including the White House and Columbia University. His latest book, The Attention Merchants, is a history of advertising, and it’s not pretty. He spoke with us about our declining private spheres, the current state of the Internet, and the effects of what he calls The Cycle, as new communications technologies inevitably move from open to closed.

Podcast #7: Bob McChesney on Capitalism and Technology

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Are we in capitalism’s end days? University of Illinois Professor Robert McChesney thinks we might be, or at least we might need to be, if technology continues to displace workers and concentrate wealth. He is a long-time observer of the interplay between media, policy, economics, and society; he sat down with The Technoskeptic to discuss the ramifications of technological automation on our economic system and our democracy. Professor McChesney has written more than 20 books including Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy. His latest, co-written with John Nichols, is People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy.

Podcast #6: Kentaro Toyama on the Fallacies of Tech in Development

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Kentaro Toyama is Professor of Community Information at the University of Michigan and the author of the book Geek Heresy. After spending five years in India attempting to deploy technology to aid international development, he came back disillusioned. He chats with the Technoskeptic about his experience there and in years of teaching that gave him an understanding of how technology often exacerbates, rather than levels, underlying disparities.

Podcast #5: David Krakauer on Tech, Cognition, and Social Systems

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David Krakauer is President and Professor of Complex Systems at the Santa Fe Institute, a private, not-for-profit, independent research and education center, where he focuses on the evolutionary history of information processing mechanisms in biology and culture. He sat down with The Technoskeptic to talk about the idea of complementary vs. competitive cognitive artifacts—that is, how technologies extend or supress our own capabilities.

Alex Marthews

Podcast #4: Alex Marthews on Protecting Privacy

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Alex Marthews is the executive director of Restore the Fourth, a national non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting enforcement of the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution. He spoke with publisher Mo Lotman about the legal terrain surrounding mass surveillance, including a new effort to bring oversight of the application of surveillance technologies in local communities.