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115 - Eliot Peper on The History of Technology and The Future of Society

Ep. 115

Eliot Peper (Episode 47) is back on the show this week to talk about the themes around and within his Analog trilogy of very adjacent and believable sci fi novels (Bandwidth, Borderless, and the new “conclusion” Breach): that is, about the complex interactions between people and technology, both the layer cake of deep utilities we take for granted and the new affordances that disruptive tools produce – and how we shape our lives within them.


https://www.eliotpeper.com/


“One of the most fun things for me as a novelist about writing fiction is that it is very much about the questions, rather than the answers…if the answer’s obvious, I don’t need to write a book about it.”


“You can’t really tell history without the history of technology.”


“Congress writes laws about what’s going on, not what might be going on ten years from now. Policymaking is largely a reactionary measure.”


“We haven’t figured out the new societies we want to build, given the new realities we’ve already invented.”


“If you start thinking about the entire internet as an AI, then Google is not a company that is building what could be in the future some kind of AI program. Rather, Google and its status as a corporation, all of the corporate hierarchies that exist within it, and all of the people working on teams there, are actually just one part of that AI.”


“I’m not a big believer in unitary self as an idea. I think we are all made up of MANY selves. We have these competing elements within us, and part of what it means to be human is to stitch these together into a coherent narrative. And we do that on the fly all the time.”


“Your solution is going to create new problems, and the best way to best way to deal with that knowingly is to try to keep an open mind, try to maintain your beginner’s mind, maintain your state of awareness about the world and continually challenge your own assumptions.”


“We are living in an age of acceleration – and yet, we have ALWAYS been confronted by a universe that defies our limited ability to make sense of it.”


“My hope is that by using it like reasonable, mutually respectful people, we can turn the digital world into a place that is still gonna have some of the nasty stuff, but is gonna have a lot of the good stuff.”


Mentioned: Kevin Kelly, Geoffrey West, Douglas Rushkoff


Theme Music: “God Detector” by Evan “Skytree” Snyder (feat. Michael Garfield)

https://skytree.bandcamp.com/track/god-detector-ft-michael-garfield


Additional Music: “On Higher Ground” by Michael Garfield

https://michaelgarfield.bandcamp.com/track/on-higher-ground


Support this show on Patreon to join the book club and for secret episodes:

https://patreon.com/michaelgarfield

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