Radical Technologies, by Adam Greenfield

Radical Technologies, by Adam Greenfield

A meditation on the modern technologies that are radically changing our world: AI, Machine Learning, 3D-printing, Blockchain, Smart Homes, and the like. He writes in an eloquent, but careful, way that aims to up-end our popular notions about these technologies. But, once up-ended, it's hard to tell in his nuanced considerations which way he thinks the technologies should be righted. tIn other words, he'd say 'There are many sides to all of this,' without ever stating his own side, or pointing towards a positive direction. Each chapter is devoted to a particular technology, and when read singularly they are increeeeedible. His study of smart homes, and the steady breakdown of how exactly something like the Amazon Dash button works is v. important and good. You can meditate upon just a few paragraphs and they'll profoundly alter how you view the world around you. But when you read the entire book, chapter by chapter, it all is kind of exhausting. '3D printing seems great, but is it? Blockchain seeks to create a new economy, but does it? This is a computer....maybe?'

My favorite part of the book is his multiple visions at the end. He draws out the ways each tech could change our world if they go on unimpeded and the results are diiiire, except the green future which is a solarpunk wonderland. I'd be interested in him picking the future he wants, and putting his incredible language towards describing the path to get there. In other words: I love his radical analysis, but now I want his radical manifesto.