The Anti-Dystopians


Nationalize Gmail!: Climate Change, Critical Infrastructure, and the USPS

Season 1, Ep. 10

Alina Utrata talks with Josh Lappen, a fellow Californian and environmental historian researching at Oxford University, who studies some of the most important technology there is: critical infrastructure. They discuss why hundreds of Elon Musks can’t (and won’t) solve climate change, the government funding and politics behind many technology entrepreneurs’ businesses, why low-tech solutions and indigenous practices are critical sources of knowledge, and the surprising number of technological innovations enabled by the US Postal Service (including Amazon’s e-commerce business and commercial flight). Plus, is PG&E really the worst company, what’s going on with the Texas blackouts, and should the government give you an email (and a bank account)?

Addendum from Josh: "When recognizing the climate benefits of indigenous land management, we need to stress that a purely technical approach, which seeks to identify knowledge and incorporate it into existing management regimes, is simultaneously inadequate, amoral, and probably counterproductive. As we stressed during the interview, climate change is a political question which presents problems of distribution that run deeper than its problems of budgeting. In places like California, indigenous land management regimes ended due to enslavement, removal, and genocide of the state's native peoples, and modern land management practices have long depended on ignoring that fact, and the experiences of people who live on the land in general. Durably solving climate change is not just about assembling new tools; it requires rebuilding social and political systems to avoid new iterations of extractivism. In the case of cultural land management practices, that means restoring indigenous communities' role in shaping and caring for the land."

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Nowhere Land by Kevin MacLeod



More Episodes


Human rights and internet infrastructure 

Season 2, Ep. 4
Alina Utrata talks to Dr Corinne Cath-Speth, a recent graduate from the doctoral program at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and a cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on Internet infrastructure politics, engineering cultures, and technology policy and governance. They discuss the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF): What is it? What are internet protocols? And how can infrastructure uphold or harm human rights?You can follow Corinne Cath-Speth on Twitter @C___CSAlina Utrata on Twitter @alinautrataAnd the Anti-Dystopians podcast on Twitter @AntiDystopiansOr sign up for the AD email newsletter: episodes of the Anti-Dystopians are hosted and produced by Alina Utrata, and are freely available to all listeners. To support the production to the show, visit: Reading and Articles by Corinne Cath-Speth:Corinne Cath on Internet governance cultures: van Geuns and Corinne Cath, article for the Brookings Institute: workshop organized by Beatrice Martini, Niels ten Oever, Corinne Cath: 'Changing minds and machines: a case study of human rights advocacy in the Internet Engineering Task Force'. PhD Thesis University of Oxford. Technology We Choose to Create: Human Rights Advocacy in the Internet Engineering Task Force’. Telecommunications Policy 45, no. 6 (1 July 2021): 102144. Land by Kevin MacLeodLink:

Snake oil or substance? Tech companies talk climate at COP26

Season 2, Ep. 3
This week Josh Lappen, an environmental historian studying at Oxford University, returns to discuss the climate crisis and tech companies ahead of COP26. Are tech companies’ promises of technological innovation really going to save Earth? Do we need AI for 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.All episodes of the Anti-Dystopians are hosted and produced by Alina Utrata, and are freely available to all listeners. To support the production to the show, visit: follow the Anti-Dystopians new Twitter account, go to: follow Alina Utrata on Twitter, go to: follow Josh Lappen on Twitter, go to: Mentioned:Past Anti Dystopians episode with Josh—Nationalize Gmail! Carbon Offsets Offset Carbon?’s First Climate Actions Are Missing Coal’s Long Tail Germany helped bring down the cost of PV Dream of Scooping Plastic From the Ocean Is Still Alive—and Problematic space and climate solutionism Land by Kevin MacLeodLink:

Financial imperialism on the blockchain: Bitcoin in El Salvador

Season 2, Ep. 2
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